Pumpkin Spice Overkill

November 24, 2014

Too much of a good thing when gaining popularity and then randomly applied everywhere…well, that’s just too much already. “Pumpkin spice” is the perfect current example. Starting in September it flavors everything from a latte’ to caramels to anything that doesn’t move and back again. Nothing  has missed being hit. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, just a hint of the aroma could trigger a bit of nausea. Let’s keep the warm Autumn spice thing going and yet reel it in simplequietmodern  style, editing the spices down to one….say Ginger. Fresh, dried or candied…Ginger can add its distinctive spicy warmth and sweetness to cocktails, desserts or savory dishes alike without being cliché.

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Top to bottom:

Whole hands of fresh ginger root might add additional interest to your bountiful tablescape this Thanksgiving. I think I’ll pick up some extra myself to compliment my arrangements of Bosc pears, mixed shelled nuts and oak leaves.

During the weekend a bit of ginger will elevate the pears poached for another dessert from everyday to holiday.

Ginger syrup made from fresh or crystallized ginger can be added to a glass of Prosecco, Cava or Champagne for a gingery pre-dinner cocktail or added to a glass of soda for a delicious home-made ginger ale.

Home made fresh cranberry sauce could not be easier. Adding a little grated fresh or minced crystallized ginger  to the mix brings a fresh unexpected note.

Crystallized ginger presented alongside dessert allows even those who are too stuffed to indulge a little something  sweet that also acts as a perfect digestivo. A couple of pieces with coffee is just enough sweet for me after a Thanksgiving feast. You might even try dipping candied ginger into dark chocolate if you’re in the mood to gild the lily.

 

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I can’t hold out…

January 16, 2012

any longer. I was gifted this holiday with a HUGE basket of homemade preserves, salsas and sauces, each one looking like a jewel as the sun shot through each jar.  These are not your grandma’s canned goods…no way. Modern combinations like Blueberry Lime Jam, Raspberry Mango  Jam …and my personal favorite…Ginger Pear Marmalade, will have you running for a spoon.

With goat cheese on an artisan bread, spread over pancakes or eaten directly from the jar…all are winners. I’m a lucky lucky boy. Thanks L.

 The recipes were extracted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving…it can’t get more simple and classic than that.