Day 5: Mishap

Yes it is actually Day 7 now, but as others have back-posted, I am going to assume retrospectively in my role as event administrator that back-posting is allowed. The reason I have not been posting is that I got sick and by got sick, I mean I had severe sinus pain/migraine/horrible pain behind your eyes. Which was resolved via the glories of Vick’s Vapo Rub, but did not resolve the fact that I was having some trouble breathing, slightly feverish, and very tired. And while one might assume that I was merely sick, apparently my allergies are back.

For those of you who have not heard of my splendid (stressful) adventures in the land down under, one of the highlights was my first severe allergy-driven respiratory attack. The full on fingers tingling, face-puffing up, can’t-breath-hysterical-laughing/hyperventilating-crying thing that apparently really does happen. Thus now when I feel as if I am having trouble breathing, feverish, and shooting pain behind my eyes, I wonder not how long I will be sick but rather, crap, what am I allergic to this time. Currently, I am fairly certain that it is something airborne and seasonal, since I am usually fine and my symptoms usually are no worse than some funky sinus-issues and a little lethargy. And the worst situations I have been in have all been in the presence of something or many things being burnt (Australian bush fire and Las Vegas… who knows what).

At the same time, this past week was the first in awhile that I have had more than 2  meals eaten out (instead of home-cooked, etc) and given the experience of several of my friends with allergen-issues, I do wonder now if the rapid descent into allergy-induced-illness was brought on by perhaps something I ate (I say allergy-induced in that 24 hours after taking allergy pills, most of the symptoms have gone away). Thus this is why today’s back-entry will be on food!

I have discovered in this past month of mostly-not-eating out and my penchant for citrus fruits, that using the fruit in cooking can lead to usually good results! Two things that I have learned though. 1. bigger does not mean better, oftentimes the more potent fruit are the smaller ones you are less likely to want to eat on their own. 2. citrus juices have a tendency of creating reactions. ie. curdling with milk or dairy, creating bubbles with liquid bases.

To solve both issues, I have found that using zest or the peels of citrus fruits may be just as good as adding their juices, without the annoyance of reacting to other liquids as readily. Currently, I favor mandarins because their skins are fairly thin so you can just chop them up instead of shaving the skin of a larger fruit. I usually tear chunks of the skin into small to medium pieces and cook it with stir fry, adding a little bit of the fruit juices, wine, or water so that the skin’s aromas seep into what it is you are cooking instead of frying to a crisp.

And here’s an orange oatmeal yogurt cookie recipe I made up in SB with Max! Mostly designed/defined by what ingredients do we have that we should use up.

2 cups of flour
2 cups of oats
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar (brown)
2 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp nutmeg
1tsp vanilla extrac
1tsp zest (or citrus peel)
2 tbsp orange juice (no sugar) – this reacted with the baking soda, would potentially replace with more zest and/or chunks of citrus fruit
1 cup yogurt (or sour cream or ricotta cheese)
1 cup chocolate chips

In retrospect I would definitely mix all of the dry ingredients first. Add the zest with the dry ingredients and save the orange juice/pieces for the very end (ie. after yogurt).

Bake 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Outcome: a very large batch of semi-cake-like-density orange-y cookies.

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3 thoughts on “Day 5: Mishap

  1. Sorry to hear about your allergies – sounds an order of magnitude worse than when I found out I was allergic to the lime they use in horse arenas.

    It’s funny to see the perils of chemistry on tasty cooking (baking soda and the citric acid in the orange juice not liking one another), though I suspect the cookies turned out quite well anyways. I’m still somewhat hesitant on citrus peels, though – I presume you only use organic (non-pesticide) citrus? That I can imagine using, but I’d be too leery of the typical orange or lemon from Kroger.

    ~ Ferrard

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    1. The cookies turned out ok, mostly because we added baking soda until the fizzing went away and then some more so there would be some that hadn’t been neutralized in there.

      And… we didn’t even think about that with the oranges (in the cookies). I washed them first?

      In my own cooking through, I have been buying the tangerines from Berkeley Bowl, so I think I’m safe. Sorry to say, I have not really been paying attention to that aspect of the produce/fruits that I buy. I should probably…

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