J.C. Coon: Waste Not Want Not

What joy!  When I opened my mailbox today I saw the now familiar orange post card announcing the long awaited arrival of the Clarke County FFA annual Florida Fresh Citrus sale.  This year like last year, I had placed my order early in the fall.  Last year,  I had grand plans to use every inch of the oranges, but alas, time got in the way.

Again this year the plan is to use every inch of the oranges that I have ordered.

Waste not, want not - Photo Janice Coon

Hubby found a beautiful glass juicer at a yard sale.  How clever and resourceful were those who came before us.  I have been using this juicer over the past months to get the last drops of lemon juice out of my lemons.  Lemons have been my latest cooking friend.  I have put them in rice, soups and they are awesome in a chicken noodle casserole.  (Try it…you will like it).  Back to the juicer and my lemons. I tried all the tricks, put them in the micro, be sure to ‘roll them’ to loosen up the cells etc.  None of these work as well as this old-fashioned juicer.

I am now looking forward to making my own orange juice.  I have ordered a box of ‘juice oranges’ in addition to the all-time favorite navel oranges.  Now if all goes as planned…once I have ‘juiced’ my oranges.  The plan is to make an all time holiday favorite recipe of my father’s, Candied Orange Rinds.  It was a family tradition to “waste not, want not.” Many have turned their noses up at the thought of eating the rinds of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.

The process is actually rather simple.  As you finish eating your citrus fruit, just take the peels and cut them in strips and put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer until you have ‘enough’.  I call enough four cups.  Then you toss them in a pan and cook and drain several times.  Then add some sugar and cook some more.  Once the sugar is cooked down you spread the strips on a cooling rack.  You can roll some in powered sugar and let them dry for a day or two (or three).  If you get tired of rolling them in powered sugar, just let the rest of them dry and you will be amazed the uses you can find for them…

The ones in powered sugar look nice on a cookie tray.  You can also take dip them in chocolate, yummm.  This year I hope to use some to make my own citrus for fruitcake.

Waste not, want not.

Thanks FFA…great idea.

FYI — if you did not ‘pre-order’  your citrus I understand starting at 8:30 am on Thursday December 8, 2011 you can pick-up fruit on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis at the Clarke County High School Agriculture Education Department.

Phone: 540.955.6138


  1. Thanks for sharing this, J.C. I have missed your writing! My family was audibly and visibly disappointed when I told them I had forgotten to place an order this year. Thankfully, Mr. Cole came to my rescue and entered a last minute order! I was so thankful to pick up a box of navels and 2 bags of grapefruit! The rest of the family was happy, too and now the house is filled with a wonderful citrus aroma (as they are all peeling away). Will have to tell them to save those rinds!

  2. Michelle H. says:

    Thanks J.C. . I’ll be certain to try.