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Spiced Orange Shrub

One of the few things that I miss about living in California was our access to so much wonderful citrus, straight off the tree. When we lived in Montecito, we even had a semi-abandoned lemon grove near our house and my son and I would very often pick a few lemons on our way home from school.

Citrus also seems to be the fruit of choice on the US East Coast during the winter months and I somehow ended up with an over abundance of oranges in my fruit bowl. A quick internet search yielded the inspiration recipe below.

I did make a few changes - I very often find that American recipes contain way too much sugar for my taste. If a recipe calls for both sugar and vinegar, I often use balsamic vinegar instead so in the case of this recipe, I cut the sugar content by half and used balsamic to taste instead of the quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. I didn't have cloves so I used star anise, which I think goes better with the ginger any way. Last but not least, i used a mix of blood and Cara Cara oranges.

This is excellent with fizzy water and I think would make a nice addition to a vodka-tonic or as the base of some orange-cranberry-Champagne holiday cocktail. Save the candied orange peel when you are done and use it as your imagination serves -- I added some of it chopped to black beans and ginger and made some pork meatballs for the freezer for when my son next comes home, chopped some along with crystallized ginger and added this and a drizzle of Grand Marnier to a boring bowl of vanilla ice cream, and sprinkled some on the sweet potato and tahini portion of my lentil-veggie bowl.

Inspiration recipe, here.


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