Musings over ginger

I opened a jar of last year’s jam today — a peach, plum ginger concoction that I made just a handful of jars of back in August of 2008.  And wow it was good. It’s a rich wine color, with an excellent set, a slightly chewy texture (from the plums) and a definite gingery bite. (I’d pass on the recipe, but it’s so long since I made it that I have no memory at all of which recipe book I used, or if I just made it up on the fly to use up the ingredients after making things that did need recipes.) But it also reminded me just how good ginger is in just about anything, but especially in things like jams and chutneys. And here’s my first recipe confession. It doesn’t actually matter how much ginger a recipe tells me to use, I’ll double it at least. I mean there are recipes that suggest adding “a quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger”. I mean what’s the point?

My tip for the ginger is to buy in bulk and freeze it. I’ve never read any recommendations about that one, but it seems to work so well that I thought I’d share the concept. Buy the freshest ginger you can find at the market (or at the Indian foodstore), peel it roughly and then chop it in the food processor. Freeze in ice cube trays, transfer to ziplock bags when frozen and then throw a cube into anything that looks as though it needs some gingery help.

As for other gingers, crystallized ginger adds a wonderful bite to trail mix, cookies or cakes, and the powdered stuff fits into anything. I’ve even considered adding it to oatmeal in the mornings, but have so far managed to restrain myself. It could be one of those experiments that’s just not worth trying.

Oh, and not remembering recipes is one of the reasons I started this blog. At least it gives me a chance — and a place — to write things down.

Rating for the jam: 4-1/2 stars (out of 5)

I can’t claim perfection for the first jam I blog about.

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7 Comments »

  1. alliumstozinnias said

    Ginger is an essential foodstuff!!!
    Wish you had that recipe — it sounds delicious. And definitely put it on oatmeal. I’ve added it to granola.

  2. Frances Kerry said

    Quite right about ginger. If you don’t like coca cola or other bought soft drinks, but need a bit of pepping up:
    Peel and roughly cut up some clumps of ginger (to produce about 1/2 cup worth, or more if you like, of course.) and put it in a small saucepan. Add about a tablespoon of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to the boil and let it simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the ginger is soft and the liquid is syrupy. Remove the bits of ginger and throw them away. Cool the syrupy mixture in the fridge.
    Add as much or as little as desired to chilled sparkling water..

    • That sounds awesome. I suppose you could add all sorts of other things as well — lemon peel perhaps. Probably cheaper than buying twinings lemon ginger tea.

  3. Laura said

    I just freeze the whole piece of ginger and grate off what I need, when I need it. Can’t take credit for the idea – a friend suggested it to me. Frozen ginger grates really finely so the fact you still have the skin on doesn’t matter.

  4. alliumstozinnias said

    Here’s a ginger-pear preserves recipe from the Cooking Light site that one of us should try:
    ield: 4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)
    Ingredients

    * 6 cups cubed ripe Bosc or Bartlett pear (about 1 3/4 pounds)
    * 3/4 cup chopped seeded lemon (1 large)
    * 1/4 cup pear-flavored liqueur
    * 1 to 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
    * 4 cups sugar
    * 1/2 cup water

    Preparation

    Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir in sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 12 hours (do not refrigerate).

    Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Place 1 cup preserves into each of 4 sterilized (8-ounce) jars. Cover with lids, and cool upside down on a wire rack. Chill.

    Note: Preserves will keep in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.

  5. […] Did I ever mention how much I like ginger? […]

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