Quite some time ago, we were friendly with a Chinese lawyer, whose wife, Betty, was the best cook on the planet. Well, maybe his mother was best, but Betty was a close second. Betty and her mother in law would host a Christmas party every year, invite about 100 of their closest friends, and do all of the cooking. Chinese food, of course. It was beyond wonderful. We went to Betty's house a number of times for dinner, too, and the food was beyond wonderful. When I grow up, I want to cook like Betty.
One of the things I remember Betty serving was a simple dessert consisting of sliced oranges in a dressed up syrup; I asked her about it, and never made it. I think that was 1991, but it could have been 1990, too. Well, I was staring at a bag of oranges which were not really sweet enough to be a wonderful snack, but we really can't throw away oranges, now can we? Suddenly, I remembered Betty's oranges from approaching 20 years ago, and was inspired! So, sifting through my memory banks, and thinking carefully, I present you with....
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp Cointreau
Peel and zest the oranges, being sure to remove all the white pith from the oranges. Slice thinly across the width of the oranges, so you have pretty little sections. You really might want to remove the seeds, although I didn't, and everyone lived through it. In the a 2 cup measuring pitcher, mix the sugar, water, Cointreau and orange zest. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until the syrup thickens, stirring every 30 to 45 seconds. Put the oranges in a large serving dish, or individual bowls, pour the syrup over them, and chill at least an hour. Serves 4.
If you're not a fan of Cointreau, you can replace that with more water. Since it's cooked, there's no alcohol in it to prohibit small children from eating it, although you might not want to admit that to them. And, Paula, this one's safe for your smallest child, and it seems like it's Lent-friendly, too.
Tomorrow is Pi Day, 3.14. I hope everyone's planning pizza pie, dessert pie, and any other pie your heart desires! Beat your vague memories of Geometry into submission! Tell them you know what Pi really means: tasty stuff! Happy Friday!