Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I like Ginger and I don't mean Rangas

Sometimes you just go outside because you can. Even though this weekend was totally perfect weather wise (for an Australian I should add), I didn't really spend time outside. Most of my time has so far, not overly surprisingly, has been spent in the kitchen.

On Saturday Marty helped me bottle some Stout that has been brewing away for a few weeks (although I don't quite have enough bottles for the entire batch, so some is still sitting there in the demijohn awaiting the chance to be poured out like its soon to be beloved brethren). I like to sneak a peak now into our "refurbished" pantry, which means I built some shelves for there, just to see my little black babies. I love a good dark beer, and I also have the very few remaining bottles of the nettle beer in there, too. I am noticing that they are really getting better with age, and hence I wish I had of made a lot more of them. Now I have to wait until next year for those young sweet tips to be available again!

Before we started to bottle the beer, I had a little plan. I wanted to make some Crystallised ginger, as it is something I love in Australia simply as a snack, and is also great for an upset stomach or to torment people who hate spicy foods. So I found the above recipe (click the link) and started out.
Of course first things first, you need to turn this, to....
this, and also.....
This. The smell will already be infectious, and not in the sickly bad way either.
Then chop it into the size of pieces that you want to eat and have fun tossing it around in the sugar. Remember, as nice as it looks it tastes horrid at the moment. Except maybe the sugar part.
When you take out the ginger chunks, you get a fabulously flavoured sugar from the ginger juice. So, what you can do is use it for teas or, like I will, for cooking.
Then you get to boil the ginger until it softens and loses the opaqueness and turns a little more translucent.

As this step takes about an hour, it is when Marty and I bottled the stout.
You see now the ginger looks a little clearer, a little less yellow is probably a good way of putting it. It goes from yellow to a rich amber colour.
And it leaves a liquid that smells awesome!
I decided to bottle mine and I will use it as a dessert topping, lemonade flavourer and a tea sweetener if needed. I was thinking I might even use it to make some ginger beer..... we will see.
Which of course leaves us with the ginger which I again coated in sugar. You are meant to let it cool and drain well, but I still coated it when it was a little damp and warm, as I wanted the sugar to stick. I only discovered this was a problem when I went to grab a piece later and all the sugar had dissolved, and it now sits in a pool of its own sugary ginger flavoured liquid. That said, it is fantastic, a lot spicier than the commercial ginger, and for the cost of the root it is amazingly cheaper than in stores.

I don't care if it isn't as pretty as its commercial cousin. This to me is what cooking at home is about, saving money, knowing what went into your food, and getting something that tastes better! Long live the cooks of the house.... what will be next I wonder....

No comments:

Me on Google+