Take a few roots of the freshest ginger you can find (here it is is usually straight out of the dirt- I thought for the longest time that when ginger was woody it was just from an older plant. I think I am coming to realize that it is has been sitting around longer above ground and more dried out- or maybe both are correct. Either way, if the skin looks really thin and pale (almost watery) and when you break off a piece you don't see any tough fibers then you have the perfect hunk of candying ginger). Peel the ginger with either a knife or a peeler- if it is rather twisty it is actually easier to use a paring knife. Cut the ginger either into thinish slices or 1/4 inch chunks (I cut mine into chunks). Dissolve sugar into an equal amount of water (I used a cup of each for about a cup of ginger- you want to ginger to be submerged but no more than that). To dissolve the sugar heat over low heat- stirring. If the water boils before the sugar is dissolved you are in big trouble so don't let that happen. Once the sugar is dissolved add the ginger and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the bubbles have turned from big to very fine and in little clusters. If you get a little of the syrup on a spoon and let it drip off the drip should hang for a second in a nice syrup string. Or you can drop a little bit into a cup of cold water. If it forms into a ball when you move it around with your finger it is ready. Don't stir too much now because the sugar will start to crystallize- you want it to stay a thick syrup. Now you can either just leave the ginger in the syrup until you are ready to use it (it should get very thick as it cools) or do what I did. I scooped all the ginger pieces out with a fork and tossed them in sugar and let them dry on a paper bag. I saved the syrup (I watered it down a teeny bit) for...
Squeeze three lemons and two tangerines. Mix with water until it tastes right to you (I mixed it with about four cups of water) Sweeten with ginger syrup to taste (it is always a little surprising how much sweet you need to make lemons less shockingly sour. If you feel like you have used enough sugar but it's still not sweet enough, switch to honey). Serve over ice. Don't forget to save a little of the ginger syrup for....
Chocolate Coconut Ginger Milk
I make coconut milk myself from coconuts we gather down at the beach (either ones already on the ground or knocked down from the trees)- that is also another story and I will tell it again sometime because since I last told it I have developed a new method (much easier of course)
- Two cups fresh coconut milk
- One cup finely grated unsweetened coco
- Half a cup of boiling water
- Ginger syrup