On Monday’s post I mentioned that I’d talk about my problems with falling in love. Yes, yes, eye-roll, blah blah Valentine’s, everyone is obsessed with love and has excessive PDA. But if I’m going to ever talk about my issues with falling in love, it might as well during this time of year. You see, I am a hopeless romantic. As much as I think I’ve outgrown 14-year-old-romance-obsessed-Lisa, I find moments where I’m caught up in a whirlwind romance. Now it’s not just people I fall in love with. Sometimes it’s food, like these chocolate dipped oranges.
During my undergrad, I would pick up random seasonal jobs, like counting traffic, or during the holidays, I’d work for Edible Arrangements. I quickly fell in love with chocolate and the contrast it has with fruit. On pineapple, strawberries, bananas. But my favourite?
Chocolate covered oranges.
They’re the most tedious to cover in chocolate. If you accidentally break the little pods of juice, the oranges are wet and chocolate doesn’t stick to anything wet. It’s like oil and water, because chocolate is mostly cocoa butter, which is an oil/fat, so it doesn’t mix with water at all. If you have wet oranges, blot out as much moisture as possible with paper towel to get chocolate to stick.
For best results, find the oranges with a thick pith, but yield a bit when you squeeze them. They’ll be fresh and juicy, but they’ll also have a flexible pith that easily peels away to give you dry, pieces of orange that are perfect for dipping in chocolate.
Peel as much as you can without breaking the skin, and dip into the chocolate. Wiggle the slices a bit in the chocolate to make sure that it sticks, and then shake off as much chocolate as you can. I love watching the chocolate drip off into a little pile. When you’ve shaken off as much chocolate as you can, set it on the tray and secretly hope for a dribble of chocolate on your finger to lick.
If you pick the right orange, and dip it with just enough chocolate, you’re rewarded with the satisfying snap of the chocolate as you take a bite, followed by a wave of fresh citrus. Their sunny flavour is contrasted by the bittersweet tones of dark chocolate. I fall in love with each bite, but then I’m left empty with the lingering flavour of oranges as I swallow. I reach for another and my eyelids flutter as I fall in love again with another piece of chocolate dipped oranges.
But it’s not just food that makes me feel this way, sometimes I fall in love with perfect strangers. Once on the subway, the guy sitting across from me had these brown eyes. They were a milk chocolate brown, and they had this wise gravity to them. Our eyes met for maybe a fraction of a second, my heart fluttering as we both immediately looked down into our laps.
It’s not the kind of love that I pursue, it’s just that chance meeting, the feeling or rush you get when you notice someone looking at you. You feel that warmth that flushes at the back of your neck and travels past the ears and seeps into your cheeks. It’s like the spark of potential that makes my heart pound a little harder in my chest. Not necessarily the reality of the situation, I mean, I’ve been with Chris for almost 5 years now. I’m not looking for love.
Yet still, I find myself falling in love with people. Like when I first hear someone’s laugh. Or when I catch a glimpse of a cute stranger who stands behind me in line. Or accidental brush of someone’s hand against mine as we reach for the same thing. When I catch someone in the middle of deep thought and they have a curious look on their face.
And lately when I witness a random act of kindness, especially for a child, I find the pit of my stomach takes a little leap. I think it’s the baby-obsessed part of me who thinks for a moment “Oh-my-god, please-father-my-children”.
Do you ever fall in love with the little things that people do? Maybe I’m just super sentimental. Or just hopelessly in love with love. In any case, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s full of love for food and people.
- Peel the oranges and arrange them on a lined sheet (I use a silpat, but parchment paper also works). If any are wet, use a paper towel to pat them dry. Chocolate will not adhere to the wet parts of the orange
- Either in a heat-safe bowl over a double boiler (medium low heat) or by 30-second intervals in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Dip the orange slices into the chocolate, and wiggle them a little bit in the chocolate to create a smoother line of chocolate against the flesh of the orange and to make sure that the chocolate sticks. Gently shake off as much chocolate as you can (about 1-2 tbsps) or else you'll have too much chocolate on the orange piece.
- Place on the lined sheet, and gently push the orange slice forward (in the direction of the chocolate-dipped side). This creates a cleaner dipped look because it moves the little pool of chocolate underneat it.
- Let cool at room temperature for about 5 minutes, then put in the fridge to set (about 10-15 minutes). Enjoy cold! Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days otherwise the orange will dry out.