Freeze it! They said.

6 May

IMG_4049It turns out that I like cooking.  I like cooking dishes from scratch, not just opening a jar, frying off some meat and heating a sauce – which is what I used to do.

I use a lot of herbs and spices to add flavour to my food.  My favourite blog for inspiration is Thermofun and is run by a husband and wife team who are now my online friends.  Leonie is the one responsible for my herb pantry having well over 50 jars of necessary spices and blends.

A lot of the recipes I like use fresh ginger.  I have discovered that it does need to be fresh, powdered ginger does not have the same taste.  So I head to the shops, buy my fresh ginger, use what I need for the recipe and then put the rest in my cute little ginger jar for next time.  I’m sure you know where I’m heading here, the next time I need ginger I have a dry, shrivelled root that is no longer edible.

One day I put my search hat on and checked what the great big book of google had to say about freezing ginger.  Yes, was the answer.  No, you don’t have to peel it.  No, you don’t have to slice or grate it.  Just freeze it whole and use it as you need.

So I did that.  Froze it whole.  Now, I did need to use some and I broke off the little bit I needed and all was well with the world – until yesterday.  Yesterday the recipe needed about half of what I have frozen.  This is where panic started to set in.

Long story short, I invited a friend up for a late lunch and while the chicken was marinating I needed ginger for the sauce.  Except all I had was a hard lump of frozen ginger that no knife could cut.  The day had already been one of ‘those’ days and my brain just shut down.  Did I think of shaving off slivers? No.  Did I think of grabbing the microplane? No.  And to be honest both those options would probably have ended in blood.

Usually, I just leave out something if I don’t have it.  But seriously, Masala Curry needs ginger.  Then a light bulb went off.  I have a collection of essential oils that I use a lot in cooking but usually the fun ones, like Wild Orange or Peppermint in Fudge.  Or Lemon in icing.  Or Basil (because I can’t grow that no matter how hard I try).  I had a bottle of ginger (for travel sickness), why not use that?   So with much care and calculation I decided to add two drops.  I wizzed up the onions, garlic and ginger oil, did a sniff test – this is the official scientific approved method of does it smell good and can I smell a bit of everything – continued with my cooking, and voila one yummy chicken masala.

 

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