So my friend Collette is notoriously cheap -- really, she likes being called cheap, if we try to tone it down to 'frugal' or 'sensible with money' she gets offended. At one Christmas craft show we went to, they had citrus almonds for sale, which we sampled. They were delicious, but she refused to pay five dollars for a tiny little bag of them (even though it was fetchingly wrapped in sparkly gold snowflake-printed cellophane and tied with an adorable ribbon). I, of course, bought the five-dollar bag of almonds, brought it home and stuck it in the cupboard waiting for an occasion auspicious enough to warrant hideously expensive almonds, until they went stale and I had to throw them out. I'm not sure what the word for me is, but it's even less complimentary than 'cheap'.
Can you believe that there is no recipe for citrus almonds online? Well, okay, I'm by far no computer whiz, but I've googled dozens, nay, hundreds of recipes from 'chocolate caramel coconut pecan shortbread' to 'yak in blueberry brain sauce' and always been able to find something at least approximating what I'm looking for. But I googled 'citrus almonds' and nothing. Nada. Niente. I got citrus cake with almonds, almond cake with blood orange sauce and Miley Cyrus sits naked in a tub full of almonds (okay, I made that one up). But Collette winged it and made some that turned out quite well. So today she came over and attempted to walk me through the same thing.
I'm not what you'd call an organized cook. I don't line up my measuring implements, chop things into perfect matchsticks or follow recipes to the letter. When my sister asks me for a recipe she says "and don't do that thing where you say 'add a bit of this and then smell it' -- I need exact quantities!". This took even my style to an extreme. So without exact quantities, or pictures (because I just didn't think of it), for fun and profit, here you go:
Beat two egg whites with mixer until stiff peaks (hee hee) form. In large bowl, mix together zest of one lemon and one orange, then squeeze the juice out of the suckers into the bowl. Add honey -- lots. Like, squeeze the bear until your wrist hurts and then squeeze a little more. Add a pinch of nutmeg, or maybe cinnamon, perhaps pumpkin pie spice or just something that hasn't been off the spice rack in a while. Throw in some orange oil, or blood orange flavoured olive oil that you bought because that's what you thought Collette meant when she said orange oil, because really, how the hell do you get oil from an orange? Blood from a stone no, but oil from an orange yes? I'm still skeptical. Then move towards the almonds, remember the stiffly peaked (hee hee) egg whites, dump the egg whites into the bowl. I bought one tin of Planter's almonds and one container of Farm Boy Natural Almonds. It was like the townies meeting the rough-hewn farm folk, or private school vs. public school -- those puny little canister almonds looked scared shitless. Toss until coated. Oh, before all this you should have preheated the oven to 350, or maybe 300. Place them on a cookie sheet and stick them in the oven. In a few minutes, your house will be filled with an aroma so foul your children will cover their faces and beg to be sold to the first available passing stranger. The good news is they won't ask to watch TV in the family room which is attached to the kitchen. The bad news is you start to suspect something crawled into your oven and died before you put the almonds in. Be strong -- all will yet be well. Toss the almonds every ten minutes until they look on the verge of burning. Take them out and let them cool. Resist the urge to toss them down the garbage disposal or send them to Afghanistan as a lethal terrorists-fighting weapon. Toss them in a buttload of icing sugar (yes, that is the metric term). Wonder briefly why you didn't just spend the goddamned five dollars at the craft show. Ransack house in vain search for sparkly snowflake-printed cellophane and ribbon. Stick almonds in crappy tupperware container. Tell kids it's safe to come out.