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Citrus Potpourri
Makes about 2 ¼ cups

This is a recipe adapted from my colleague in Alberta, Judy Schultz. Itís a great way to take advantage of winter specials on citrus fruits. Save money by picking up decorative containers at dollar stores and dress them up with ribbons for great hostess gifts. You can find cinnamon bark at East Indian grocery stores, and itís much less expensive than cinnamon sticks. I also purchase my cloves and cardamom pods in bulk at those shops for great savings. Because these spices are whole, they keep for years in tightly sealed glass jars. The dried kaffir lime leaves might be a little harder to find, but provide a nice aromatic touch.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oranges
  • 4 limes
  • 4 lemons
  • ½ cup cinnamon bark or cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • ½ cup green cardamom pods
  • ¼ cup dried kaffir lime leaves (optional)

Peel the citrus fruits using a sharp peeler, taking as little white pith with the rind as possible. Slice the peels into very thin strips. Set aside in a single layer on baking sheet and allow to dry. I try to put the baking sheet under a warm desk lamp, but if you are in a hurry you can put the strips into a very low oven (150 degrees) and dry them.

Mix the peels and all the rest of the ingredients together. To use the potpourri, simply put a tablespoon or two of the mixture into a small pot of water and simmer very gently, or put in a potpourri burner.




Spiced Nuts
(This recipe is from The New Canadian Basics Cookbook, by Carol Ferguson and Murray McMillan)

I always make a double recipe of these nuts and give some of them away in Christmas-style mugs I find at the dollar store or thrift shops.

Ingredients:

In a bowl, beat egg white with water until frothy. Stir in nuts and mix well. Pour nuts into a sieve and let drain for a few minutes. In a plastic bag, combine sugar, spices and salt. Add nuts and shake until well coated. Spread nuts in a single layer on nonstick or lightly oiled baking sheets. Bake in a 275 degree oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nuts are dried and crispy. Let cool. Makes 3 cups.




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Pacific Palate with Don Genova

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