Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting ready for Imbolc...

Work for the week is over, and now the real work begins...

We're hosting our (mostly) annual Imbolc party tomorrow night, and i've got to get cooking!

First on the agenda:

Coconut Snow Oranges

(1/2 batch)
6pktsunflavoured gelatin3
1 1/2cupscold water3/4
216oz. canscoconum cream (not coconut milk!)1
411oz. cansmandarin oranges, drained (reserve syrup)2
7cupssugar3 1/2
2pintsheavy whipping cream1

Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. Set aside.

Drain two cans of mandarin oranges and reserve the syrup. Add water to the reserved syrup to make 6 cups. Combine the syrup with 6 cups of the sugar in a medium-large saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for five minutes. Add syrup and coconut cream to the gelatin and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool to lukewarm (105ºF is about right).

If you have a KitchenAid, this next part will be a snap. Otherwise, just go out and buy whipped cream from the store. Take your metal KitchenAid bowl and put it outside (or in the freezer) until it is very cold. This is why we do these things for Imbolc in Minnesota! Depending on the size of your KitchenAid bowl, you may want to do this in two batches. Add the heavy cream to the bowl. Using the whisk beater, beat the cream on speed 4 while gradually adding the remaining sugar and the vanilla. Increase the speed gradually to 8, stopping every few seconds to check to see if peaks are forming properly. Once a stiff peak forms, you have whipped cream. Do not overwhip the cream! (It will become butter.)
If you are just making a couple pans of this stuff (9" x 14" cake pans will do fine), fold the whipped cream into the lukewarm gelatin. Press mandarin orange slices into the dish - they will sink through the whipped cream and rest on the jello, and sort of glow. Chill for 4 hours and serve.

If you want to be really facy about this, though (and i recommend it!), fold half the whipped cream into the gelatin and mix thoroughly. Then spoon the rest of the whipped cream into individual ramikins and pour the gelatin over it, then garnish each with 4 - 5 orange slices. Chill for 3 - 4 hours before serving.

This should make about 24 servings.

Peat will also be making his famous Ginger Carrots, the recipe for which is in the name... Ginger, and carrots. Add lots of butter and brown sugar, and you're done. It's trickier than that, of course, but i can't give away secrets that aren't mine.

Other things in the back of my mind are:
  • Mandarin Martinis
  • Screwdrivers
  • Sweet Potato French Fries
  • Masoor Daal
  • Apricot Jello Shots
  • something with peppers?
  • any other random red, orange, or yellow things i happen to run across while grocery shopping tomorrow morning.