After writing the post on Candied Wild Ginger, I couldn’t help but make some for myself. Partly because I am a perfectionist, and had to make sure the recipe worked properly, but also because the thought of making another mouth-watering batch was too hard to resist.
I also wanted to see exactly how much I would end up with if I used a 50 gram package like the standard size I sell in my shop. It wouldn’t hurt sales to show folks the result. What these dry but fragrant sticks can transform into with a bit of kitchen Alchemy. It does yield more than one would assume.
Basically 50 grams dried Wild Ginger gave me 250 grams of reconstituted material, and once candied, the quantity increased further. I also made a batch from 100 grams dried Wild ginger. Unfortunately I didn’t hide it well enough, it slowly diminished, a bit, daily, almost hourly, so I couldn’t get an accurate photo of how much Candied Wild Ginger 100 grams gave me.
I don’t begrudge anyone in the house,(Currently 5 roommates), it really is a challenge to walk by and not take just one little piece that no one will notice.
If you figure everyone does it a couple of times a day,,, well you can guess the result. I am happy it is such a success and that I at least got an exact photo record of how much one gets from 50 grams. Needless to say the recipes were perfect. It takes about one full cup of white sugar to coat each 50 grams, and after packing all the Candied Wild Ginger in a nice jar, you add the leftover sugar to your syrup and give it a 10 minute boil before bottling it up. There is an elegance there that appeals to me.
P.S. For all of you in the physical ,(Hamilton Ontario Canada) neighborhood, tomorrow (Saturday), morning from 9:00 AM till Noon I will be at the Apothecary’s Garden at the Teaching Gardens in Churchill Park, along with anyone who can make it for our first Saturday Workparty of the season. We will be opening the gardens for the season, preparing for the plant giveaway, and making plans for how to best take care of the “Plant Lovers Garden” till we can organize an official renovation with the city. Hope to see you all there.
As promised, I am adding the first recipe for Wild Ginger. I will copy it to my Recipe section for easy future reference.
Candied Wild Ginger is probably one of my favourite Wild Ginger recipes. This recipe yields two separate products, candied Wild Ginger and a delicious syrup used for pancakes and ice cream, added to shakes and smoothies, drizzled on Yoghurt and fruit salads and added to dressings and sauces. In my mind I can almost visualize its spicy sticky sweetness part of some kind of Cinnamon bun recipe. I am sure those of you that are much more accomplished than I at the culinary and confectionery arts could work wonders with it. I have used powdered Wild Ginger with great results in ginger snaps chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, but haven’t explored baking to as great a degree as others I know.
I would Love to hear any tips, ideas or Wild Ginger recipes you might have. Or questions, so please, don’t hesitate to leave a note in the comments section.
Candied Wild Ginger
1.5 cup granulated sugar
2.5 cups water
50 grams dried Wild Ginger broken into 1/2″ to 2″ pieces.
Extra sugar for coating when done.
Bring the water to a boil,
Give your dry Wild Ginger a quick but thorough scrub in cold water.
Add Wild Ginger pieces to boiling water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in sugar till dissolved and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Set aside to cool down to room temperature
Once cooled, put it in a jar and let it sit for 2 days in a covered non metallic jar.
Drain all the liquid and let the Wild Ginger pieces stand in a colander till they stop dripping.
Take 1 cup of sugar for each 50 grams of original dried Wild Ginger, mix the sugar and Ginger in a bowl till the ginger no longer picks up sugar granules.
( I often let the moist Wild Ginger sit for a few hours in the sugar.)
When you are ready, put your candied Wild Ginger loosely into a well sealed glass or ceramic jar to keep for future use .
WILD GINGER SYRUP
Add the sugar-water back to a pot with any sugar left over from coating the candied pieces, heat and stir.
-When the new sugar dissolves, strain your syrup through a fine sieve, return to the pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
-When cool, bottle in clean or sterile bottles.
– This is your Wild Ginger Pancake Syrup. You can either keep it in the fridge for a few weeks,(6?), or “Preserve” it in sterile bottles and keep it longer.
If you would like it thicker, either add more sugar or boil it down till it thickens further, (or both)! I am sure there are some other culinary tricks for thickening a sugar syrup, but these are the ones I know of. Candied Wild Ginger will last a very long time if not gobbled up as is usually the case. A few years ago I made the mistake of hiding my treasured jar of candied Wild Ginger so well, that I forgot all about it for a couple of years!!. It is now almost 4 years old and is still preserved perfectly and just as mouth-watering as the day it was made!! (see photos).
A closing note to everyone. Though currently, in our area,(Southern Ontario), Wild Ginger is not a protected plant, nor is it on any kind of endangered list. If you already have made its acquaintance, and know where to find it, please treat it with respect and care, it is a privilege.
Give a little something back, either before or after you harvest!
Harvest in a way that is in harmony with the plant and its growth patterns. A way that will encourage its natural propagation and growth, and not be harmful to the plot you are harvesting from.
One way of doing this is to harvest the more mature “Nodes” as I call them. These are the central points or “Hubs” from which it sent out shoots in past years, which in turn rooted and sent out their own shoots and runners the next year etc. This removal of the center pieces not only gives the harvester prime herb, a higher yield of roots, but it is no longer needed by the offshoots and I believe will actually stimulate them to grow well and establish themselves as new “Parents” or central nodes for more runners or shoots. It is more in harmony with its natural growth patterns, ( and ours,) as it reminds one of the child leaving home, becoming independent and getting well rooted on its own, then becoming a parent, (Hub) itself as it sends out more of its own shoots to root and grow.
However you approach and engage plants, it is always a relationship. The only choice we have is what kind of relationship it is going to be. Though Nature seems passive and yielding to our choices, whether to her benefit or detriment, there is, I believe, a lot more going on in forest and woods than meets the eye. She is not as defenseless as we may think.
So, if you get whipped in the face or tripped unexpectedly by a branch for instance, consider them polite hints, by a gracious host, and at the very least, stop, and be still for a moment, contemplate, your actions and choices, and just Listen.
Herbal Apothecary, Wildcrafter, Sculptor, Craftsman.
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