I had a huge headache earlier this evening. Not wanting to pop a few Advils, I decided to make a new batch of orange zest confit and watch last week’s episode of Dexter.Â I used four oranges this time instead of two. These were actually a lot more work this time because their skins were quite thick. I had to slice off the pith from the peel. Being that I’m still way too into my Global knife, I decided to remove the pith with it. Any well-adjusted person would probably use a paring knife or utility knife. I, being to lazy to use another, went after that damned pith with my 8″ chef knife. My first attempt was not the greatest, leaving about an eighth of an inch of pith on the the peel. I figured I rather have the zest confit be slightly bitter than have to tell everyone I know or meet that I lost a finger while zesting a fruit. By my third orange, I have perfected the art. Pith was hardly to be found. It was beautiful.
This is one of the things I miss about working in the kitchen day in and day out. It’s the craft. The elusive, intangible thing you gain through repetition and practice. The ability to quickly slice even strips of orange peel at lightning (ok, slightly slower than lighting) speed. The satisfaction of producing something to perfection. I can’t say my zest confit came out perfect, but it’s almost there.
I find it funny that all it took to push me back in the kitchen was a television show. I will smack anyone who says television is just a wasteland. I guess it’s good to know that there are others who loves food and sees food like I do.
After a good hour of zest-making and a delicious episode of Dexter, my headache is completely vanquished.Â Who needs drugs? I sure don’t. Unless, of course, it’s caffeine stuffed inside a bean, then ground and brewed with hot water with some steam milk, topped with froth.