Tag Archives: gift

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Oils are an integral part of cooking. Regardless of what you are preparing, it’s likely you will incorporate a fat, unless you are in a time machine going back the SnackWell 1990’s.

Oils are purposeful. They add flavor, they lubricate, in some cases they elevate ordinary things to spectacular dishes.

They are also malleable, and take on the flavors compounded with them over time.

So, I offer you The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil. This is good for salad dressing and finishing. It can be used for cooking as well, but because of the labor involved and the subtlety of the product, it’s best for dressing and finishing.

What you need:

  • 4 cups of grapeseed oil
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 4 tbsp peppercorn (black or mixed)
  • 4 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 4 long sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • the rind of a lemon

In a sturdy pot (I use a cast iron skillet), measure out your oil. Cut the heads of garlic to expose the insides of each clove. No need to peel. Place in a 250 degree oven for about an hour and a half.

Allow this to cool.

Choose your bottles or jars. I chose 1 bottle to accommodate 2 cups, and then 2 more to accommodate 1 cup each.  Wash them diligently. Make sure whatever vessel you use can attain a solid seal to prevent leaking and contamination.

Combine your ingredients. For every cup of oil, you will want 1 tbsp of chili, 2 lemon peels, 1 tbsp of peppercorn and a sprig of rosemary.

Allow to sit for 2 weeks, shaking occasionally. Enjoy!

Other interesting combinations include:

  • star anise and fennel frond
  • raw garlic by itself for a very garlicky oil
  • fresh basil leaves and roasted garlic
  • fresh lavender and thyme

This is The Gentleman Caller signing off.

For the PDF click here: Infused Oil

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The Gentleman’s Marmalade

 

The Gentleman Caller’s Orange Marmalade

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Ahhh, the annual tradition of harvesting the oranges and turning them into sweet, sweet marmalade. It’s become something I do every single year, and seemingly can never make enough to get the family and friends in supply until the next harvest.

Now, marmalade wasn’t something I ate as a kid, but once I discovered it as an adult, the fire was ablaze. Citrus has such a different tang than most other fruits, and with crusty bread and a dollop of good butter, you simply can’t beat it.

So here is The Gentleman Caller’s Magical Marmalade.

What you need:

  • 5 high quality oranges
  • 2 high quality lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 – 1.75 ounce boxes of fruit pectin (I use Sure Jell)
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 oz Cointreau or other good orange liqueur
  • 8 – 1 cup jars with unused rubber ring lids and the rings

Fill a stock pot with water. Immerse jars and bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes to sterilize. Remove and allow to cool on a clean towel. Keep the water in the pot on the stove.

Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, take the outer skin off of the fruit. Chop into thin ribbons, no more than 1/16th inch wide by 1 inch long. It will look similar to a chiffonade.

Put 2 1/2 cups water into a sizable saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add the chopped peels, 1/8 tsp baking soda and cover. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

While the peels simmer, use a serrated knife to remove the white under skin from the fruit. Then segment and chop the fruit into 1 inch pieces, reserving juice that may escape.

When the 20 minutes has elapsed, add the butter and the chopped fruit and juice to  the cooked peels. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.

Add the pectin. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.

Once rolling boil is attained, add the sugar.

Bring once again to a full rolling boil for exactly one minute. Remove from heat. Add liqueur. The mixture will give a sizzle when this is added.

Heat the water in the stock pot. Add the rings and lids to the hot water so the rubber can get warm and create the seal on the jar.

Fill the jars carefully to not burn yourself! Wipe any spilled liquid off the rims. Allow a 1/2 inch reserve at the top of the jar. Swiftly affix a lid and screw a ring tightly on top.

Place lidded jars into the stockpot of boiling water.

Process for 10 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. The liquid will thicken as the mixture cools. Do not invert the jars in this process or there will be marmalade on the inside of the lid (unsightly).

You will hear a  little pop when the seal takes.

Enjoy!

That’s all for now.

The Gentleman Caller

Clickable PDF here: TGCMarmalade

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The Gentleman’s Momma’s Holiday Hot Chocolate

 

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Wow, it’s coming fast, kids. We’re just ripping those doors off our advent calendars at breakneck pace!

Today I got a great big package from Alvin, Texas and I was perplexed as to what it might contain. So I FaceTimed with Momma so she could walk me through it in case I wasn’t supposed to open something from “Santa Claus.”

To my delight and surprise, it was filled with homemade cookies, fudge, citrus from mom’s backyard trees (standby for The Gentleman’s Winter Marmalade Recipe…), and this enduring classic: The Gentleman’s Momma’s Holiday Hot Chocolate.

Every year in December mom would make this beverage powder, and divvy it up into decorative containers, mugs, and jars. Then she would gift it to friends and relatives. This tastes like my childhood.

Here’s what you need:

Don’t you love when the recipe is in the hand of the person from whom you receive it? 

  • 1-8 quart box powdered milk
  • 1-1 pound box of Nestle Quick (it’s now branded as Nesquik and has a big rabbit on the front)
  • 1-1 pound box powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces powdered creamer

Combine all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl.

In a kettle or the microwave heat water or milk. Add 1 cup of liquid to 1/4-1/2 cup dry ingredients. Add marshmallows. Add a peppermint. Add Baileys and look at the tree.

Make all your friends happy by sharing your concoction. Or drink the whole damn batch yourself!

More later.

The Gentleman Caller (+ Momma)

THE GENTLEMAN’S MOMMA’S HOLIDAY HOT CHOCOLATE

The Gentleman Caller Custom Candle

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Ok, people. It’s a week out from Christmas and we ain’t got a second to waste. I am going to spit this one at you so fast your head will spin.

This is part one of a two-parter. The complete idea is a holiday window spray with custom candles and pine boughs. However, you can make these candles as gifts and things. They are very pretty and not labor intensive.

Let’s do this.

What you need:

  • pillar candle (wax, not soy)
  • wax paper
  • scotch tape
  • iPad or other device or a printer
  • tissue paper that matches your candle
  • piece of holiday ribbon that sheds glitter like crazy or actual glitter (the thinking behind this being that if you use the glitter from your ribbon it will match the ribbon in the spray exactly. This will make more sense in part 2.)
  • blow dryer
  • Sharpie

There are a plethora of sites that allow you to create a monogram in different fonts. Find a combination you like. Size it to scale for your candle. There isn’t a right and wrong here. Use your eyeballs and your noodle.

Either print a copy or just lay a piece of printer paper on a mobile device and trace.

Lay the tissue paper on top of the design. Tape the edges to avoid slippage. Trace the design again.**

**For a VERY refined design, you can get an 8.5″x11″ piece of card stock and tape a piece of tissue paper on that and run it through your printer. I think it’s fun to do the work by hand. Machines are clinical. Beyond that, you could do ANY design this way with a printer, including photos. For now I am doing a monogram.

Cut the design out very close to its edges.

Center it on the pillar candle. Be certain it is straight.

Pull enough wax paper off the roll to cover the circumference of the pillar. Tape tightly into place. VERY tight.

Put your blow dryer on high heat. Hold the dryer very close to the candle, allow the two surfaces to bind together. You’ll see ripples in the wax paper as the wax melts. If you don’t see ripples, it’s not hot enough.

Peel away the wax paper. The design should be firmly stuck to the candle.

Embellishment time! Get another piece of wax paper. With your hands, simply rub the glitter off the ribbon you’ve selected and allow it to deposit into the waiting wax paper.

Roll the candle up in the glitter paper tightly. Repeat the hair dryer step. This should leave your candle all glitter-ized.

Now give it as a gift or enjoy yourself.

And don’t forget, Santa is watching, you bad children.

All for now.

The Gentleman Caller