Friday, February 29, 2008

Feeling Cozy...

Pound Cake with Candied Buntan Citrus Peels

Ever since I started working at the supermarket, I have been craving sweets, especially cakes. After my work from dawn to lunchtime, I come back to my apartment and see bright afternoon sunshine coming through the lace curtain. Yes, it's my favorite time of the day.

Soon it became my everyday routine to enjoy, after quick lunch, home-made sweets with hot black tea with milk. It is so cozy to watch the steam coming up from the tea cup. Nice buttery cake and warm tea heal me more than anything else. (And I guess my body is trying to develop a "thermal" fat layer to keep me warm when at work early in the morning. That must be the reason behind this craving for sweets.) :P

BTW, the candied citrus peels in this pound cake were made from buntan citrus from dad's orchard, and as you might have guessed, it was my mom who made them. Buntans look pretty similar to grapefruits, but they are less juicy than grapefruits and taste sweeter. The rind is much more bitter than that of regular oranges, but after the bitterness is largely removed by repeated boiling and soaking in water, buntan rind can make good candied peels with the remaining bitterness balancing out the sweetness of granulated sugar. Yes, I admit it. There's nothing wrong or outrageous about making candied buntan peels.

The problem is that making them has become my mom's major winter project in the past couple of years. (Her mom's summer project is making that bright-colored shiso drink. Remember?) And when she does it, she does it all the way. In summer, the two fridges at my parents' house are filled with plastic bottles with bright reddish-pink drinks, and in winter, me, my sister and mom's tea ceremony students receive her home-made candied citrus rinds in big ziploc bags more than once...

Mom's Candied Buntan Peels

Mom says that she and her students munch on them as they chat after their weekly tea ceremony lessons and they all love them. (Of course. How could the students say anything bad about something their teacher made?) And I heard that my sis once baked bread with them. Here I am with this pound cake, gradually developing a fat layer underneath my skin. Hahaha ...



 gmirage said...

How is the season there now? That photo speaks well of the title. Obachan, hanami is coming very near, are you going to post fotos then? I hope I see some of your food shots and sakura =) Onegai...Genki de ne!

K and S said...

sounds like a nice way to recouperate after a hard day's work.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to enjoy simple pleasures in life.

Pinkity said...

sunshine streaming through lace curtains sounds beautiful!

Rei said...

I agree fully! Nothing is more satisfying than hot coffee or tea (though I prefer green vs. black tea) with something sweet, like dark chocolate! :D I just finished gyokuro tea and tomoe ame! Its my comfort candy from childhood. :)

a toi rose society said...

I love reading your site.
Its charming. I make candied grape fruit peel every christmas. I make tons of it and use it all year in different things.

Hollywood Tai Tai said...

Obachan, can you share the love? It's looks yummy!

Rei said...

Wow! I don't know how I missed your entries about the buntan citrus fruits direct from your Dad's orchard and your Mom's homemade cyrstalized buntan peels. I had to laugh when you said her students had to like them since she was their teacher. Somehow I think they were a very good match, sweet tart citrus with matcha.

So you must be somewhat well versed in Chanoyu and Ikebana besides cooking.

Anyways, your citrus cake looks beautiful and delicious!

obachan said...

It's getting warmer. For the past couple of days, it was as warm as some days in late April. Yep, hanami season is just around the corner, and I WILL take photos of sakura. Definitely. I promise! :D

K & S
It's much better (cheaper) than going to a coffee shop and having a "cake set," you know.

I totally agree. :)

YES. So beautiful and healing.
I just wish that my room was more tidier, though...

Your comment reminded me of my grandma, because hot green tea and ame was her favorite combination. BTW, I didn't know what tomoe ame was. I just googled and found out. Boy the package looks so... nostalgic?

Heaven on earth
Tons of candied grapefuirt peels? I can imagine your kitchen filled with nice citrus aroma. :D

Ang moh and me
Oh I would be happy to share my love and candied buntan peels anytime! LOL

Yeah, my mom said that they were good with matcha, which I couldn't believe. You know matcha has its own bitterness, and the candied buntan peels also have a little different kind of bitterness... Anyway, the next thing I'm tempted to try is coating mom's buntan peels with chocolate.