Proceed gingerly

Last night, at the cooking show, Chef Steve Petusevsky used ginger in one of his recipes. I’m not making that recipe tonight – I ate supper at church tonight, actually – but as he threw little knobs of ginger out to the crowd I was reminded that I’d been wanting to make some crystallized ginger (a/k/a candied ginger) again. I’ve made it once before, and it was wonderful.

So when I had to stop at Kroger tonight, I ended up picking up some fresh ginger.

Making candied ginger couldn’t be easier. You peel the ginger and then chop it up. I’m going to use it as a sweet snack, so I cut the finger in half lengthwise and sliced it into little half-moons. If you wanted it for use in cooking or baking, you’d probably want to dice it a little smaller.

You mix equal parts of sugar and water on the stovetop and heat it up until the sugar dissolves, forming a simple syrup. You then cook the ginger in the syrup for about a half an hour until it gets tender. You strain the ginger – but don’t get rid of that now-ginger-flavored syrup, which is wonderful for things like sweetening tea. I have heard of people who mix it with club soda to make a sort of homemade ginger ale, and that sounds delicious.

You dry the ginger until it’s just a tiny bit sticky. Normally, you’d just let it air dry, but since I have a dehydrator it would be a shame not to use it. Then, you toss the ginger in a little bit of plain sugar to give it its crystallized, finger-licking coating.

I need to take this to work tomorrow just so that I won’t eat it all on my own (although, with it sitting on my desk at work, I’ll probably still end up eating the lion’s share).