Monday, June 2, 2008

Pop! Fizz! How Sweet It Is.....

I think I am going to name this summer of 2008 Project Summer. A time of risk-taking and experimentation, giving my family the opportunity to try new things.
Some will be hits and some will not. I have already had my share of both. Herbed cheese- a hit. Fruit cheese- not so much. Steak and egg fritatta- a hit. Grilled pizza- a hit.
Well, I guess I'm doing better than I thought.
Today's experiment was inspired by an article I read in a magazine. Don't ask me which magazine, because I cannot remember. I did remember the quantities of ingredients though, so pulling this off was fairly easy. So, veg peeler in hand, ginger root, a pot of water and some sparkly sugar, and I was ready to make.....Ginger Syrup!
Why ginger syrup? To make ginger ale, of course!!
This is a pot with 2 cups of peeled and sliced ginger, 2 cups (or so) of water and 2 cups (or so) of sugar. Simple, eh?

Simmer these ingredients until the liquid is reduced by half. You can also use a candy thermometer and gauge your temperature. A syrup is made at about 200-230 degrees F.
Once the syrup is reduced, strain it into a large jar. I used a wide-mouthed canning jar. Do not throw away the ginger. You will need it for something yummy later.

Isn't that pretty?
Now, take the slices of ginger and toss them in a bowl of sugar. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake them in a low oven (about 200-225 degrees) for 2 1/2-3 hours. It depends on the humidity really. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place in an airtight container.

To make ginger ale, pour 2 tablespoons ( or to suit your taste) of syrup in a glass. Pour 8 ounces of chilled club soda over the top and add a bit of ice. Decorate the rim of the glass with a slice of candied ginger.

This glass does not have its decorative ginger slice because I ate it. I couldn't help it. It was calling to me.
But still, is that not a lovely thing to behold? The taste is very different from what you buy in the grocery store. It is lighter and a bit less sweet. As it rolls over your tongue you get that pleasant bite that only fresh ginger possesses, without the heat. You may want to enjoy the candied ginger as you sip.

Another project completed today was the hanging of the tomato plants. Upside down, hanging on a shepherd's hook, they stayed in their buckets just fine. Now we just have to wait for them to begin producing tomatoes. I think this is going to be a very fun summer!!

I hope that you have one too. :)


The Feathered Nest said...

You are so brave sweet friend!!! I'm not a fan of ginger ale but hearing you describe this makes me want to try it! Keep us posted on the tomatoes ~ I've heard of this technique ~ you go girl!! xxoo, Dawn

Fete et Fleur said...

This looks like a wonderful recipe. Ginger is wonderful for you too!

xx Nancy

amy said...

well, guess what i will be picking up at the grocery store today?

meg said...

I love ginger ale & this sound up my alley :-)
I've been reading articles about hanging tomatoes; I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Looks delicious!
Good luck with the tomatoes, too.


Anonymous said...

I will have to make some for Bill. Ginger ale is one of our favorites. But I wonder, if I can make a sugar free version for me?

Regina said...

Your project summer sounds fun!
I love ginger and ginger ale and dried ginger - I once made my own ginger syrup, putting it to ice cubes. Very practical, guess I have to get some ginger roots soon ;-)
Hope to hear soon more from your tomatoe project!

Utah Grammie said...

Wow - you are the little adventurer aren't you? This looks good - and Martha Stewart has NOTHING on you! I may just have to try this...

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Hi Karin!

I LOVE Ginger Ale! Brings back memories from growing up! My DH juices ginger with other vegetables & fruits. As you know, ginger is good for ya! Great recipe Karin! Thanks Bunches!