THERE is no shortage of oranges in this part of the world; they are an important part of the local diet and many expatriates consume far more of them than they ever did in their home countries. But in this age of “no waste” what can you do with the peel, other than compost it? For starters, candied orange peel is a great decoration for cakes with a real sweet and sour flavour. Take the well cleaned peel, slice it into thin strips (about the size of a matchstick) and blanche them for a couple of minutes. In another pan make the syrup with vanilla pods (or extract), sugar and water then place on a high heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring all the time. Add the peel and simmer for quarter of an hour on a low heat and then cool in a bowl and it’s done. This will keep for about six months in an airtight container.
Other simpler uses include as a drinks garnish for cocktails or juices or just add in advance to water to flavour it, especially for kids who find water plain. Apparently, it also stops brown sugar from going hard and dried peel makes good kindling for your fire which also gives off a pleasant aroma. Other uses include keeping away insects at night (rub a small piece on your skin) and it is also supposed to keep cats away from leafy plants which they like to chew.