The polar caps are receding at a terrifying rate. I think I know where all the ice has gone, my fridge. Today was the day of the big defrost. This needs to be done so we can fit some food into it for the Christmas period. Something has gone amiss. Not only is the freezer ice-bound, so is my fridge. In fact there may be more ice in the fridge than in the freezer. Possibly a gumbletock has blown. Or the like. A shiny new (properly regulated) appliance is planned for the new year, until then we will have to make do. With no exaggeration (moi?), so frostbound is my fridge-freezer that members of the British Museum are standing by in case I uncover a woolly mammoth in its icy depths.
In the past few weeks I have been attempting to empty the freezer, all that was left was a tub of Madagascan vanilla ice cream and a bag of peas. These I gave to the safe-keeping of my neighbour. Now I am wondering if I should have got a receipt. For the peas. She would never eat the ice cream. Surely.
Whilst the slow thaw proceeded, I thought I would try my hand at making some crystallised ginger. After a little research, thanks Admin Annie, I found a couple of recipes on line. Really it didn’t look too tricky. As I haven’t shared any of my recipes for a while, I thought this the ideal opportunity, think of it as an early Christmas present.
As always, the recipe is in normal font, my interpretation in italics.
300g of ginger and 300g of granulated sugar
Eeeek! That doesn’t sound very healthy. Choose to ignore the fact.
Peel ginger using a spoon
You are joking right? A spoon? OK, I’ll give it a go. Actually this working out quite well. Who would have thought it? Smells lovely.
Slice thinly with a mandolin
A mandolin? I may have a tin whistle somewhere, but not sure I have any stringed instrument at all. I am going to go off piste here and use a knife and be really really careful. Most pieces seem to be quite thin and even. The odd bit is a little rustic. Rustic is good, right?
Place in heavy based pan, cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes until tender
Heavy based pan. The pan I have will have to do, heavy or not. Simmering. All is well. Set alarm. Realise I have to pop up the post box so turn the hob off, just in case. Return in the blink of an eye. Turn the cooker back on. Might have lost a couple of minutes. Check fridge, little change. Keep simmering ginger. Stab after 35 minutes. Tough as shoe leather. Turn up a bit. Check fridge, might take a while. Complete a 1,000 piece jigsaw. Check ginger again, what exactly is tender? Test a little. Ouch. Who wrote this recipe? Fridge still Narnia. Read War and Peace. Check ginger, surely that will do, getting bored now. Remember why I am not a home baker.
When tender, drain ginger and weigh, reserving a little of the water. Return to the pan with the same weight in sugar and three tablespoon of cooking liquor.
Did exactly as instructed, except I added a bit less sugar and more water.
Bring to the boil and stir often until translucent.
It is boiling away nicely, although perhaps I shouldn’t have added the extra water. Why did I do that? Idiot. Check fridge. Shackleton would have felt at home. Oops better stir. Looking hopeful.
Turn heat down and stir continually until almost dry.
Almost dry, what does that mean? I know, it means, until you lose the will to live. What do I do now? Bit of a gap in the instructions. Luckily I am an expert at making things up as I go along. I will turn it out onto baking parchment (still a mystery as to why I possess any of this stuff) and spread it out until cool.
When cool dust with more sugar.
No I won’t, so there!
The fridge is still not done. The mummified half lemon has been extracted and disappointingly the British Museum are singularly uninterested.
The ginger is rather lovely, extremely fiery. I have forgotten about all that sugar already.