Incidentally, the Hand of Buddha went bad almost immediately.  Goes to show you that a rose is a rose is no Hand of Buddha.  I decided not to take a picture of the moldy webbing between the “fingers” because it squicked me out.  I’ll look for it next time I go shopping and do something with it right away next time.

But on to the actual crash and burn I wanted to talk about.

I’ve been craving grapefruit lately.  Luckily, they were on sale, and I was able to pick up six of them for a fifth of what I paid for the Hand of Budda (6/$1 versus $4.99, for those of you who don’t like to futz around with story problems).  But I had a secret.  I didn’t just want the fruit, I wanted to try to candy the peel.  I’d never had candied grapefruit peel, and for some reason that didn’t tip me off.  Why hadn’t I ever had candied graprefruit peel?  With as sharp as I look out for candied [fill in the blank here] peel, you’d think I would have.

So, following a handy, super-easy recipe from Mark Bittman, I first cut the peel into strips.

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Sill Life with Strips Three Grapefruit

Then I blanched them, which means, “dunked them in hot water for about two minutes.”  This was supposed to remove the bitterness.  Notice how I said, “supposed to.”  This is an indication that all did not go as planned.

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Blanche DuBois Got Nuttin’ on Me

Then I drained the stips and boiled them for five minutes in a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 white sugar, until they were like orange-pinkish gelatin.

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Tasty-Looking, Eh?

Then I drained them and rolled them in sugar and put them out to dry.

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I Tired Rapidly of All That Sugar

Some of them I sugared, some I didn’t.

Then I ate one.


Then I had to eat another one, because I couldn’t stop.

My mouth did funny things, I’m telling you.

Unfortunately, the rind never did dry out.  I’m going to have to experiment with a higher sugar ratio next time, I think.

I boiled down the sugar syrup a bit and put it in the fridge, because I had an idea:  I would make a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.  No, actually I wanted to make a lavender martini with grapefruit syrup.  Which was easy, because Ann had given me lavender oil for Christmas, and I’d just bought a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

I mixed it up and said, “Probably not on a worknight,” and put it in the freezer.  I used about 1 oz gin, 1 oz grapefruit syrup, and 1/2 t lavender oil, if that.

The next night was a worknight too, but I decided to drink it anyway.

I ran myself a hot bath, picked out a good book, and leaned back in the tub, my martini glass of frozen lavender-grapefruit gin by my side.


My mouth felt like I was in Kung Fu Hustle or something:  Kung Fu Hustle Lips (skip to 7:30 or so).

Yeah.  I couldn’t finish it.  I tossed the grapefruit peels a few days later.  Wicked, wicked candied grapefruit peel.  I can still taste you on my rubbery, somewhat-numbed lips.