Monday, November 3, 2014

Thoughts While Grating Ginger


I love the stuff.  I even love ginger people.  Ginger People making Ginger would be just beyond cool.

Yeah I know, silly.

But I do love the stuff.   I have gone so far as to make crystalline ginger on more than one occasion and will probably do so again.  Savory, spicy, and sweet at the same time, it's not the kind of candy a 3 year old would like.

Here little kid, would you like some candy?

They'll probably run from the room crying after that. 

I'm that guy who picks the pieces of pink ginger out of my "Asian Inspired" dishes and eats them first.  Or all together, like I do when I get a bowl of Marshmallow Enriched Cereal.

You mean you don't eat all the oats first so you get a bunch of milk soaked, neon colored marshmallow hearts, moons, and stars at the end of your meal? 

You will next time, my friend, you will.

But making a dish with Ginger is one of those things that many people would just simply pass over because of the trouble. 

You have to find it first.  Luckily most larger supermarkets have it in the produce aisle with the other things you buy and let rot in the veggie crisper.  Bulbous and lumpy, with a thin skin, it can be very fibrous.  You may need some help in picking some.  The Ginger we got was slightly translucent but mainly opaque, smelled sharply of warm spices, and was smooth of skin.  Past that, I don't really know how to choose it, I just get lucky.

Then when you find it you will either get too much or too little.  A piece the size of your thumb will grate down to about an ounce.  A piece the size of your palm is a lot unless you're going to use the leftovers to make Crystalline Ginger, then by all means have a blast!

You need a weird looking gadget to grate it.  The one I have is white ceramic and has bumpy bits on the one side to grate with.  The edges are raised and it looks like a small pizza paddle.  Others are round which would constrain me because I'm sloppy.

Then there are rules.  You know, the kind of things that "Experts" say you must do with the stuff.  Peel it or not?  Break a small bit off or use the entire root.

Repeat after me - Whatever Works!  With Cooking, that is my favorite rule.  I find that usually the skin will grate off and is pretty easy to pick out so I do it that way to save time.  Making Crystalline Ginger needs it peeled though.

I trim the end and then rub it on the bumpy bits with some pressure and before I know it, the root has made a teaspoon of Grated Ginger and is perfuming the house with it.  Since I needed more, I kept it up for about another 47 seconds total and had my two tablespoons.

It really is that easy.  Just put a blob on the paddle, rub it on the bumpy bits holding it down with the heel of your hand. 

If it hurts, you're doing it wrong - which really is a good rule for life.

But the thing is that while there are two kinds of people, Cooks and Non Cooks, the difference is whether you try or not.

Or as Yoda said - Do... or Do Not, there is no Try.

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