Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ginger, Oranges & Me

Spent my morning multi-tasking myself to distraction. I do my laundry every Saturday morning, but I seem to have so much more of it now that I'm stinking up all my gym clothes. (I don't know why I felt the need to share that thought!)

What I came to post about has nothing to do with laundry. I wanted to share my recipes for a couple of little concoctions I came up with. (And lemme stop lying; I didn't come up with a dang thing. What I did was add my own twist to something I saw online.)

This is a recipe for candied oranges.

I'm not as into candied oranges as I thought.

This is a recipe for candied ginger.

What I meant to search for was crystallized ginger, which seems to be candied ginger with a coating of sugar. ~shrug~

Okay. In the madness of all my screw-ups in finding recipes for candied and crystallized oranges and ginger, I went all ADHD in the kitchen and decided it would be nice to have some kind of sweet, sticky stuff to add to my sparkling waters and teas.

Since I already had made quite a mess of the counters, I went ahead, put on some music, and did my own thing.

This is what I came up with for orange-flavored syrup:

  • Orange peels (can include mandarin, navel, etc.) 
  • Sugar (I use raw sugar or honey and raw, but white table sugar is fine)
  • vanilla (opt. If you can get hold of the bean, perfect!)
  • vinegar (opt)
  • water 
  • Preferable, but not necessary, to soak the peels for a several hours or overnight in cold water and vinegar to soften and leech any chemicals out.
  • Use a knife to cut away all the white from the inside of peels. Cut the peels into strips
  • Boil peels in plain water, draining and boiling at least 3 times. This is supposed to get rid of any bitterness.
  • When finished with initial boilings, add equal amounts water and sugar (make sure water covers peels), and let simmer. For thicker syrup, more sugar and longer simmering time.
  • You are going to keep the peels and syrup together.
I also like to add some vanilla extract (or natural vanilla bean) to the cooling syrup. Store in a tightly-lidded glass container in fridge.

This is my recipe for ginger-flavored syrup:

  • Ginger (fresh, peeled)
  • Sugar (I use raw sugar or honey and raw, but white table sugar is fine)
  • Water
  • Slice the ginger in slivers
  • Cover with water in pan and add equal amount of sugar
  • Simmer until syrup begins to form
  • After about an hour & a half, even with a thin syrup, the ginger will have flavored the water enough
  • Keep ginger and syrup together & store in tight-lidded container in fridge

I like to add the ginger syrup to my drinking water after my workouts. My older brother just likes the syrup in any type of fizzy water.

Adding a couple drops of either syrup to sparkling water or tea (whether hot or cold), makes me feel like I've done something my mother and grandmother would be proud of. Besides, I know for a fact that ginger is good for upset tummies. Oranges are, well, just tasty.