Monday, December 27, 2010

and the weather outside is - well, you know.

 Welcome to winter. We're knee-deep in this winter business here, and the wind is amusing itself by carving pretty patterns in the evidence - once it's turned our cheeks the traditional cherry-red, of course.  The boys tucked themselves up in my bed, with a library's worth of books and a grandparent, while my shovel and I worked on a peace treaty. Preferably before the ice sets in, making negotiations impossible.
Whoo, said the Toddles, watching the steam rise from my hair. It must be cold out there.

After two hours of being one with the snow shovel? Um. Yes.

Inside, however, we were warm. And, where that warmth needed a boost, there was a recipe for crystallized ginger. And oh, ginger has such a fresh, springtime scent when peeled, that it was just what we needed, while the wind roared past the windows. Fresh, crisp ginger peeled from the mandoline, and steamed its way to tenderness.

A half-hour later, the ginger had simmered in sugar water, mellowing into translucence.
Admittedly, the first time I'd made this recipe, I had managed to make a delicious crystallized ginger. This time, some quirk left us with a ginger-embedded toffee. Which, surprised, I poured onto a baking sheet and let cool. The piece that clung to my thumbnail, trailing threads of toffee, was fiery and sweet and wholly impervious to the carving, cold wind outside.
But I'm gonna need a hammer to crack anything off that mass in the baking will be worth it, the grandparent predicted. And proved herself right.

Note: the boys would like you to know that they are too wise to touch the stuff. Instead, they ate their body-weight in oatmeal coconut cookies (the recipe simplified by an all purpose GF flour mix) and considered the warming merits of a justly waged war. They took this photograph to illustrate, complete with the shadow of the Toddles, who was experimenting with the Dark Side of the Force.

And yet, outside, it was cold.

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