Saying No to A Go Large and Up Size Option

The fast food service crew often ask me, “Go large po yung drink sir or up size po sir?” The crew is referring to  beverage that is included in the meal package. My answer is always “No”. I just want a small regular size drink.

A regular size drink is often enough to quench my thirst. I am getting a drinking water in case not. Besides, the real thirst quencher is pure water and not any other flavored drink. Sweetened water is not good for removing thirst cause molecules are bound to sugars and other flavor components.

Getting a large drink during long travel is not a good idea. It makes me pee often, about every 15 to 30 minutes interval for two hours. Controlling a pee for that period feels like hell.

The large beverage option is not part of the budget meal package. Few coins should be added to get the option. It is a part of restaurant’s strategy to boost sales. It is like a fried rice with a dumpling option. The extra dumpling have an added cost of about 30 pesos.

More of it will not do any benefit. Larger means more calories and more unhealthy food components. On the other hand, natural fruit juices are beneficial. A go large choice is healthy.

Often, the go large or up size option is only for  soda beverages, not for healthier drink like orange and pineapple.

In the end, my choice is always pineapple or tea.

The Taste of Sweetened Citrus Peel Strips

This is a double post about citrus peel candy. Maybe its not cause it is my very own version (without the use of thermometer).

sweetened citrus peel strips

How I did It?

1) I got the orange inside the fridge. She bought it for our toddler.

2) I sliced the fruit to eight parts. Each part has a half moon shape.

3) I peeled it off. I gave the juicy flesh to our toddler. This is one of his favorite. He was  only 11 months old but can eat a whole orange in minutes. He got a great appetite.

4) I sliced the peels to small strips. It allowed better sugar penetration and shorten the cooking time.

5) I added three tablespoons of sugar and one cup water. Brought it to slow boil.

6) I added 1/4 cup water every time the water was to shallow. I did it five times.

7) After 1 1/2 hours of slow boiling. The peels are semi transparent. I stopped addition of water and continued boiling until the syrup was about to crystallized – a rapid boil with lots of small and big bubbles and the water was almost dry.

8) I removed it from fire and transferred to a clean plate. I stirred it continuously until cool – to prevent sticking of peels together.

The verdict:

My wife: It was yummy on the first bite. However, the slightly bitter and astringent taste prevented her form eating more.

Sister: She curiously got and and munched. A very straightforward comment – Bitter!

Cook: The cook is me and non-other than me. It is indeed bitter and astringent. It is the typical taste of any citrus peel. I can taste the sweet sugar blended with bite of citrus. Then the slight bitterness follows shortly and the astringent taste kicks in.

My first impression was awful but the taste gets better and better after each strip. I was munching it one by one while writing this post and the plate was empty before I tapped the period.

How to Make Fruit Marmalade (Basic Principles)

yellow oranges in bowl

I recommend the use of brown sugar,  muscovado or coconut sugar. They are  healthier than white sugar.  However ,  the look  of  end product is brownish.

Pectin is expensive and hard to obtain . One tablespoon of  calamansi juice might do the trick. Rare ripe fruits are recommended cause of their high pectin content.

Applicable Fruits
Guava etc…

1 Liter fruit juice
1 kg sugar
10 ml (1 tbsp) calamansi juice or 1.25g (1/4 tsp) citric acid
400 g fruit, thinly slice (peel in case of orange)
2 tbsp pectin powder (should be mixed with sugar)

yellow oranges in bowl

1. Select ripe but firm fruits.
2. Wash them thoroughly under running water or through several changes of water.
3. Blanch the fruit by dipping them in hot water. Dipping will help reduce the microbial load and deactivates enzymes that cause browning.
4. For easy peeling, soak fruits in boiling water for one to two minutes. Citrus peeling are soaked overnight before cooking.
5. Cut the fruit thinly and uniformly.
6. Prepare juice as describe in jelly making.
7. Cook the fruits in their own juice or with little water until soft to release the fruit pectin.
8. Supplement the natural acid of the fruit with lemon or calamansi juiced, citric, or tartaric acid as described in jelly making.
9. Boil the juice, fruit slices and sugar, boil rapidly until the setting point is reached according to the methods suggested in jelly- making.
10. Hot-fill the jelly into sterile glass jars with lid. The temperature should be 82-85ºC. If the filling temperature is too hot, the steam will condense on the inside of the lid and drop down onto the surface of the product. This will dilute the product’s surface making it vulnerable to microbial attack. Set them aside to cool undisturbed for proper gel formation.
11. Store them in a cool, dry place from a strong light.

Measure the following physico-chemical properties and and adjust accordingly to set standard. These properties should be uniform every batch. Adjustments can be computed using Pearson’s Square formula.

a. sugar content. Sugar concentration can be increased by adding sugar or lowered by adding water or pulp.
b. pH. This can be lowered by adding citric acid or increased by adding water or pulp.
c. titrable acidity. Same as in (a), just replace sugar with citric acid. Be cautious because citric acid affects both pH and titrable acidity.