Today my house smells of ginger and sweet annie! Yum!
Yup, I’m in the kitchen making ‘candied ginger’ – a special request from my son (who’s a freshman away at college..the big M!). During cold season ***also good for anything that ails you*** we like to have lots of fresh ginger root on hand to brew a soothing cup of tea, or to eat – hence, the candied ginger. Ginger is a herbaceous herb that has an aromatic rhizome (or ‘root’ similar to an iris) that is used fresh, dried, pickled and preserved. It’s essential to Asian dishes and used elsewhere in desserts and cordials. Crystallized or infused ginger suppresses nausea, a steam inhalation treats colds and lung infections, a tea eases indigestion and flatulence and reduces fever. One drop of the root essential oil in a massage oil blend helps relieve muscular pain and fatigue.
To make crystallized ginger you’ll need fresh ginger root found in the produce section at your local grocer. Peel the root ( save the peels to brew yourself a cup of tea before adding them to the compost pile) and slice fine into coin-size slices – OR – I like mine julianned, that is, cut into fine ‘shoestring’ strips.
Next, place the ginger into a saucepan and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Simmer on low, uncovered, until the ginger is translucent and tender… and the water has reduced into a simple syrup. Drain the ginger on a wire rack (save the drippings) and sprinkle with sugar. Store in a glass jar. Use the syrup over pancakes, in yogurt, as a topping for ice cream or add some syrup (to taste) to a glass of club soda for your very own ginger ale!