Friday, June 17, 2011
If you're like me, ginger is a bit of a boom or bust thing around the house. Sometimes, I have none. Sometimes, I have so much there seems no possible way to use it all. But, you know me - I hate waste ... so I've developed a few ways to use my ginger up, or store it for when I really need it.
And when - you ask - does one really need ginger?
When you're making Asian dishes. Or want a zing to your cookies. Or you need a soothing, tummy-calming tea. Ginger (with sugar) also makes a phenomenal syrup that can be used on vanilla ice cream or to make fizzy drinks. These are some of ginger's specialties.
1. The best way to keep ginger for when you need it is to freeze it. I don't bother peeling it - just stick the whole knob into a jar in the freezer. I grate it straight from frozen - and unpeeled - whenever I need some. It lasts for ages this way ... don't worry if it gets icy over time. Throw it out only when it starts to smell like your freezer, rather than ginger.
2. I also love doing up a big batch of pickled ginger to have on-hand for random sushi nights, or to toss into stirfries, or (I must confess) even to eat straight out of the jar. And I'm talking about pickled ginger without weird pink colour added ...
3. You could also slice your ginger finely and dehydrate it - either in a proper dehydrator or in a warm (but not hot) oven. This way you can pop it in a jar and use it for tea whenever you like. (Though I do use my frozen ginger for tea, too).
4. Or, you could grind up your dehydrated ginger in your spice grinder and use it just as you would store-bought powdered ginger.
5. And, if all else fails, I plant my ginger. It grows into an elegant, slim-leafed plant and eventually produces - well - even more ginger.
Sigh. Well, at least I don't have to worry about it for a couple months that way ...
Labels: Using Stuff Up