Walking through Reading Terminal Market this afternoon, I found myself drawn to a table covered in 2 pound bags of ginger, with a sign announcing that each bag was only $.99. I’ve been on something of a ginger kick lately, and so was drawn to these bags of ginger. Admittedly, some of the ginger in the bags looked a little sad, but for the most part it all still looked usable. A bag came home with me.
I decided that I wanted to make a ginger granola, but realized that I would need to candy the ginger before I could use it in granola. I thought briefly of just mincing a bit real fine and throwing it in, but I was afraid that would make the granola inedible, and I hate to do that to good nuts and oats.
I googled candied ginger and discovered that it is really an easy process. You simply peel the ginger and cut it into small bits. You cook it in water for about half an hour until it’s fairly tender (I actually let it go for more like 40 minutes and it still resisted the fork a little. It turned out okay). Drain the water off (I’ve saved it, to sweeten it with some honey and drink like tea) and return the cooked ginger bits to the pan. Add a cup of sugar and 4 tablespoons of water. Stir until the water dissolved and then let cook away, stirring occasionally. I let it cook in the sugar syrup for about twenty minutes, until the candy breaks and it turns back into crystals. Scrap it all out onto a cookie sheet and let it cool.
I’ve put what I didn’t use in the granola into a jar, for another day. I was surprised how simple it was, and how it tastes just like the stuff you buy at Trader Joe’s.
I’ll write about the granola tomorrow, after it cools and I can tell you how it turned out. It’s a recipe my mom has been using for years, so I’m fairly confident it’s going to be good, but I’ve never done it with ginger before, so there’s still a chance that it could be kind of weird.