Thursday, October 22, 2009

Zest for Life

Yesterday, while making the mincemeat to can, or long after making and canning the mincemeat I came upon a discovery. Not that mindblowing but I keep thinking about it. I had grated some orange and lemon peel for my recipe and added some to the pot. But not knowing how much I wanted in the mincemeat, I was kind of experimenting with the recipe, I decided to grate the rind of both oranges and both lemons with my microplane and keep them in two separate little bowls. I never used the rest of it and so last night I noticed them still on the counter and they had dried out. And today they are even more dry, but they have the most delicious smell still to them. I am going to bag them up and keep them for when I need orange zest or lemon zest and don't have an orange or a lemon. Using the microplane really made a fine zest and it dried quicker than I would have guessed. Hey, I made a rhyme!

Edit-NOTE on citrus zest:I had the zest in little plastic cups. Clear plastic, but not disposable plastic. The acid from the citrus in the zest etched the plastic and melted into the cup. Just be warned, use glass.

If you've never heard of mincemeat or mincemeat pie before, go to

And though some mincemeat has "meat" in it, the kind I made and the kind you buy in the frozen pie aisle or in the bakery does not. My daughter said that the mincemeat made the house smell like Christmas. She was right.


  1. What recipe did you use? My mother used to make 'meatless' mince meat every year. You make it sound wonderful!

    What's a microplane?

  2. the recipe in the Ball book of canning and preserving. I changed it up a little as I didn't use figs or cranberries so I added more apples. And I didn't use the alcohol called for. And there were several recipes. I'll post it. I'm making more and my house is beginning to smell like Christmas again. My dau. liked just eating it out of a bowl.

    A microplane is a rasp or microplane that they use for woodwork. About ten years ago, maybe more someone decided that it would make a good grater for lemon, orange zest, garlic, whole nutmeg(I think nutmeg or maybe that's one of those things I made up in my head). so now they sell fancy versions of microplanes in cooking stores and BB&B.

  3. Then I'm sure Dottie's has one! My super-duper amazing pressure cooker is finally in. Unfortunately, I've no time to pick it until Monday. I'll ask about a microplane while I'm there. I hope the cooking class is one I haven't seen yet.

  4. You might be able to find it cheaper somewhere else. I got mine at BB&B a couple of years ago. Might have been $20, I think. Or was it $10? I can't remember, either way, pricey even there.