A lot of holiday recipes call for candied citron. What exactly is it?
Abra Bankendorf, Madison, Wis.
Candied citron is created when the semitropical fruit — similar to a lemon but with thicker skin — is blanched in water, boiled in sugar syrup and dried.
Often called for in fruitcakes, panettone and other such confections, it lends a mild floral note.
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Also consider all the other candied-citrus options: They can be used interchangeably in most recipes, but each shines in a different way. They’re available at specialty stores and online at junetaylorjams.com, or you can make candied citrus at home. Either way, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a month.
Here are some ways to use different types of candied citrus:
▪ Orange slices: They’re great as a decorative flourish on top of cupcakes.
▪ Citron peel: Though the pulp is sour, the candied peel is perfect for baking into stollen or stirring into granola.
▪ Orange peel: Dip pieces in dark chocolate and serve as an after-dinner treat.
▪ Clementine slices: Garnish cocktails with these gemlike rounds.
▪ Citron slices: Serve thin slices as part of a holiday cheese plate.
▪ Lemon rind: Finely chop it and mix into muffins and pancakes for a bright flavor.
What’s the best way to clean and store silverware after the holidays?
Nick Schoeller, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Simply washing the pieces with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid is enough to get silverware clean. But if it’s that prized shiny look you want, then polish them as well with a liquid like Wright’s (from $5.50, jawright.com), using gloves, a cotton cloth and a light touch to remove any tarnish.
Then store pieces in protective flannel treated with a tarnish inhibitor, such as Hagerty Silver Keeper bags (from $8 each, containerstore.com).
Consider doing a post-holiday polish, when things are less frenetic. That way, the next time you have a celebration, all you need to do is pull out your pieces and place them on the table.
My candles dripped wax onto my wooden table. What’s the safest way to remove it?
Zach Vigna, Queens, N.Y.
Scrape off the drips using a credit card, plastic spatula or flexible dough scraper. (Don’t use anything made of metal.) Then buff away what’s left with a soft cloth. To harden soft wax from a fresh drip so you can start scraping, set a plastic bag filled with ice cubes on top until the wax becomes firm enough to remove.
What are some tips for traveling with my pet?
Halie Fayme Griffin, Queens, N.Y.
There are many ways to ensure your best friend is comfortable on the road or in the air. Among others, the ASPCA recommends that you book a direct flight when possible, and purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate (and mark it with proper identification) that allows your pet to stand and sit easily.
Pack food, a bowl, a leash, plastic bags, medication and travel documents, as well as a favorite toy or pillow.
TIP: A recent federal regulation requires that all airports servicing more than 10,000 passengers (including Chicago O’Hare and New York City’s JFK) provide pet-relief areas for service animals.
Address questions to Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 11 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036. Or go to www.marthastewart.com/contact-us-form. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number.
Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate