A spate of cooking

We’ve been very busy. It is hard to remember everything that has happened and even everything I cooked…

I guess I should start with the very first of the ramen noodle recipes. Grace and I made this together for four people but I am going to write it as if for one since that is probably the best way.

Poached Egg Miso Noodle Soup

First, set about three cups of water to boil. Dice up the white parts of three spring onions and toss them in. Add about a tablespoon of whatever kind of vinegar you like (or even lemon juice). Stir in two tablespoons of whatever kind of miso paste you want (I like red). If you don’t have miso paste or don’t want to use it, instead add in half a stock cube or even just a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce. Once the water boils, turn it down to medium and add the package of ramen noodles. Do NOT add the stupid flavor packet in the ramen noodles – they taste horrible and are full of really bad stuff.

Now comes the hard part. Wait about a minute to get the noodles started cooking and then carefully break an egg into the pot in the place the noodles are thinnest. Let it cook for a minute more to start the egg firming up and then carefully spoon the egg out into a soup bowl and then pile the noodles on top. Add as much of the broth as you want. It is OK if the egg breaks – then you get instant egg drop soup. The kids really like this for breakfast.

So that’s one recipe.

Another very different one is candied orange peel dipped in chocolate. It’ll take a little more to dredge this out of my memory. By the way – this stuff is fantastic and tastes like condensed essence of orange dipped in chocolate. As a nice by-product you also get a decent amount of orange syrup.

Candied Orange and Lemon Peel and Chocolate

Use organic oranges and lemons if you can so you don’t get wax and pesticides on your peels. First, peel the rind carefully off two lemons and four oranges in strips, each about the size you want the final candied peel to be. Put them all in a small pot, squeeze in the orange and lemon juice and add just enough water to barely cover them. Put on stove on medium and let them boil for ten minutes. Then turn off the heat and stir in two cups of sugar and carefully heat back to boiling. Reduce to the lowest simmer possible (to prevent boilovers) and let simmer for at least an hour and maybe two hours, checking every ten minutes or so. When the liquid is reduced to less than a cup and is getting pretty thick, but before it starts to really caramelize, turn it off and let it cool. Once cool, carefully strain off as much syrup as possible and store it in the fridge. Get a flat dish out and put a couple of cups of sugar in it. Carefully roll each piece of peel in the sugar until it feels dry to touch and you can pick it up without it sticking. Set each piece aside on a tray to dry and continue similarly with the rest of the peel strips.

Now, put them somewhere safe overnight (and away from ants) to let them dry a bit.

Next, carefully melt the kind of chocolate you want to use in a double boiler or on an EXTREMELY low stove. If using a stove, turn it off once melted and reheat as needed to keep it molten, but do NOT leave it on the heat – it will burn. Carefully dip about two thirds of each piece of peel into the chocolate and lay the pieces on wax or greaseproof or parchment paper so that they are not touching. When they are all done, put them somewhere cold to harden. That’s it!

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