Blast from the Past

This is an excerpt from the book Thrift in the Household by Dora Morrell Hughes

“Orange, lemon, and grapefruit peel can be saved, cut in strips, left standing in salted water overnight. In the morning parboil in one or more waters to draw out the bitterness, of which with grapefruit there is considerable, though with orange and lemon only little. Then boil in thick syrup. Place hot in jars and seal. With boiled rice, it is excellent for dessert; it furnishes another dessert with syrup and toasted crackers; and it may be used like citron. It is also good to eat like candy. Baskets of candied peel make an attractive Christmas or birthday gift.”

I would like to know “Has anyone ever done this?” If so, “How does it taste?”


  1. Elizabeth says

    About the restaurant, that should be they gave you the best watermelon pickle. Of course, the pickle is made from the peel, but no one ever calls it watermelon peel.


  2. Elizabeth says

    Did you know that you can also pickle watermelon rind? I’ve never tried it myself. But, I think my grandmothers used to make it. And I’ve eaten plenty of it from other sources. There was a restaurant in Atlanta, where I grew up, that always gave you a bit of the best watermelon peel in a garnish dish on your table. Alas, it’s closed now.

    However, as Milehimama pointed out, unless we grow the food ourselves or we know it was grown without pesticides, we might want to think twice about using peelings in our cooking. I wonder about this, as many recipes call for you to gate some of the zest directly into the recipe. I have a veggie wash that’s supposed to take away any pesticides, but I don’t if it gets them all, because I don’t know how deeply they are absorbed into the skin.


  3. Milehimama says

    I’ve never canned it, but I have done this with lemon peels and it tastes good – like orange marmalade, but lemony, of course! My grandmother had citrus trees so we always had lots.

    However, nowadays you might want to research what kind of waxes and pesticides they use on the oranges or use organic, you wouldn’t want to boil that up! LOL

    Candied orange peel is very good and not very hard.

    BTW – jelly is made from fruit juices, jams have pieces of fruits, and marmalades have pieces of rind in them. That’s the difference! So if you look at a proper orange marmalade, it should have pieces of the peel in it like described here. Never tried it on rice though!


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