Is it possible to be addicted to ginger ?

Dinosaur left to keep an eye on Mummy and make sure she doesn't eat the biscuits

Dinosaur left to keep an eye on Mummy and make sure she doesn't eat the biscuits

I know that chillis are supposed to be addictive, there is some chemical which not only makes them hot but does something to your brain to make you feel happy – but does ginger have the same properties?

I just wonder as I appear to have used ginger an awful lot in the last 4 months if my past postings are anything to go by…

If I do a quick stocktake in my cupboards I have at least 5 sorts of ginger: root ginger, powdered ginger, crystallised ginger (covered in chocolate), preserved ginger and this mystery bottle labelled “ginger essence” which is the same size as a food colouring bottle and is as yet unopened – I have no idea where it came from. I also have in my bathroom a bottle of ginger bubble bath…and the only time I go to Starbucks is at Christmas when they go their gingerbread latte…

I think I may have a problem!

I am looking for something to do with the ginger essence, I may try a sponge cake…open to suggestions as I honestly have no idea how you are meant to use it.

Yesterday I tried some cooking with Spider, proper cooking, not decorating a pre-bought item or using a packet mix…it was not exactly a success but for different reasons than before, mainly lack of planning by me.

Decided to make gingerbread men, mainly because I’m trying to run down my spice cupboard (some of the bottles in there are vintage). We followed a recipe in Apples for Jam: Tessa Kiros and having been prewarned by Lacers Life that it may be a bit runny I added some more flour – at least I think I did, I’m not sure…you see the battery has run out on my scales so I tried to convert the gram measurement into a cup measurement when I noticed that the recipe in the book gave a cup measurement of 2 cups which was twice the amount I’d just worked it out as being.

Second problem was I didn’t have enough butter (so added a small bit of soft margarine) and then I discovered I was running out of plain flour so made the difference up with buckwheat. Then I discovered I’d thrown away my baking sheets and had yet to buy replacements…not that it mattered as by that stage I’d reached the bit in the recipe that says “refrigerate for 3 hours”.

At this point Spider got bored and went back into the living room to play “knights and castles” – informing our guests later (luscious Lulabelle and her daughter Lulabud) that “We haven’t got any biscuits because Mummy can’t cook”.

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RECIPE: Cut out Cookies (susan austin)

The recipe is almost the same as the pervasive Nigella Lawson version, but I prefer these because they are ok without the icing…and they freeze well which as a (now) full time employee and Mummy is essential for me. The recipe in the book Frost Bite gives a recipe for icing as the intention is that these should be iced, but I don’t always want to be that nice a Mummy !

Ingredients

100g butter (softened)

100g caster sugar

1 egg

0.5tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour

40g custard powder

0.5tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 deg. Line 2 trays with baking paper

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add vanilla and egg. Beat again

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and custard powder. Add to butter mixture. Gently stir until combined. Add more flour if mixture feels too sticky.

3. You can freeze the dough at this point and take out later to defrost and cook when you are ready. Alternatively you can roll out the dough to 2-3mm thick and cut out with cookie cutters to required shape. (You can freeze when cut out by placing trays in the freezer and putting frozen shapes in boxes)

4. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or so, until lightly browned in at the edges. Leave to cool and ice as required.