What do you do when you have so many oranges falling off the tree in your backyard? The most common thing people would do is a batch of orange marmalade to keep for the winter. Some people would make orange cakes, cookies, tarts, or eat the oranges directly from the tree. They are so delicious, fresh and sweeten the day. What if you have a group of friends who wants to cook with you and “hangs from your lips” sort of speaking to learn everything you know about cooking with oranges? That’s what happened to me last weekend. A bunch of friends gathered in someone’s house with a large kitchen to cook with me. We were at Gioia Co. https://www.facebook.com/gioiaitalianartandproducts
The incredible aromas and flavors filled the kitchen during the two hours we cooked together. We bonded through stories of our childhood, food comparison, history of food, table customs and of course my anecdotes from Puglia came alive again putting a happy sparkle in everybody’s eyes.
A few days before we got together, I gave the hostess a suggested color scheme for the table. “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything” one of my business coaches said once.
Colors are very important to me, they are the focus of any project. I like infuse the right color energy in people sitting at the table, but that’s not all. A good energy comes from a few decorations (food is still the center of attention), from the right light if it is an evening affair, from an attractive or extravagant table setting and since the subject was cooking with oranges, the best color to pair was turquoise energy. The hostess went out of her way to find decorations to make her table stand out. The shells with orange and turquoise accents decorated the table well.
The food was incredible! We indulge with orange appetizers and prosecco, a salad of tomatoes, orange and olive, chicken roasted with oranges and hearty spices from my garden and a side dish of braised fennel in orange sauce. Dinner finished with an orange sorbet accompanied by orange home-made cookies. The food was easy to prepare, everyone introduced to food from Puglia for the first time was so shocked to see how simple food retained such huge flavors. Nothing remained for the next day, my friends polished off everything.
However, I must say, I was very much surprised to learn that all the people in the group buy chicken already cut up in pieces and not a whole chicken. In the name of convenience and saving time, I guess people prefer the industry or machineries to process their food for them, sacrificing quality and health. However, my hope is alive, I am sure to have shown them cooking at home is not a chore, but a fun way to keep healthy. Next time figs will be on stage.
Tomatoes and Orange Salad is almost a non recipe, but here it is:
Cherry tomatoes split in half, oranges peeled and quartered, Calamata olives, red onion finely sliced, garlic finely chopped, basil leaves or mint, olive oil, salt and black pepper to your taste. Mix well and you will have a salad to die for. Ciao,
Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on