Free samples are one of the happy perks of any job. I showed up at The Alley in Oakland the other night with a bag of salted caramels, hazelnut bonbons and big slabs of chocolate studded with candied orange peel and almonds, just because we'd been rotating the display boxes at the chocolate mines and there were loads of extras in the big "eat me" box behind the counter. Everyone needs some sweets to go with their cosmos and French fries. (Of course, when you work for, say, Goldman Sachs, these free samples are called "money", that being the stuff they rotate around. But I digress.)
And now, doing some freelance writing work for an organic produce distribution company, my perks come in the form of bunches of asparagus, bags of kumquats, a cherimoya or two, and most exciting of all, a Buddha's hand! Do you know the Buddha's hand? A very trippy citrus, like a citron made up of a dozen curling fingers covered in bright-yellow, intensely aromatic peel. No real pulp to speak of; it's all about the zest. What to do with it? I'm going to my favorite resource, former Chez Panisse pastry chef, Parisian homme-about-town, and cookbook author, David Lebovitz. His book "Ripe for Dessert" is a fantastic resource for fruit dessert-making, and his citrus-prosecco gelee was a huge hit at the PQ family Christmas dinner last year. So, David, qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire avec le main de Buddha?