101 Ways With Fresh Ginger

If there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s the reduced sections at the supermarket. I also can’t resist gin, but let’s stick to the story! The other day I was stocking up on veg for the obligatory January health kick – I’d got a recipe for a carrot and cabbage asian style salad (from a friend, but I think it’s a River Cottage recipe) and what do I spy in the cheap section…fresh ginger! Not just one root. Not a couple of roots. No. It was over half a kilo. For 35p. I needed a ‘thumb size piece’ for my recipe but the bargain-grabber in me just couldn’t resist this huge bag of gingery fabulousness. There were actually TWO bags of the stuff, but I thought buying both would be ridiculous (bah!!). I also got 6 red peppers for 45p! So off I trot to the till, chuffed to bits with my bargains, but not a flipping clue what to do with it all.

ginger-rootTruth be told, I’m not a massive ginger lover. A hint, yes. In cakes, definitely. Ginger beer….urgh no! So quite what possessed me, I’m not really sure.

So, what does someone who doesn’t really like ginger do with all that fresh ginger root? Freeze it, for starters. Give some away to some ginger-loving friends. And then do what I do best…research. A quick search of tinternet gave me a few ideas. Obviously cake would be a good option – dark chocolate and ginger is a taste sensation. Biscuits – citrus and ginger would be lovely. Soup – classic carrot and ginger. Stir fry and asian style salads.

If you’ve got any ideas about what I can do with all my ginger, please do let me know! But as I experiment with it all, I will write up my recipes, and if you ever find a huge bag of ginger with a yellow sticker on at your local supermarket and want to know what to do with it, perhaps I’ll be able to give you a bit of inspiration!

And maybe, just maybe, at the end of all that ginger I might start to like the stuff. I wonder if I can put it in gin….

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Let’s talk about cake

Cake. Bloody marvellous invention. If you’re going to be a regular reader of my blog (and I hope you are) you’ll be reading a lot about cakes. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. Hang on, isn’t that coconuts?

It’s only fitting that one of my first blog posts be about cake, and more specifically, cake club. Clandestine Cake Club. You may have heard of us  – we’ve been on the telly (The One Show, more than once), the radio (local and national – even made it to Woman’s Hour!) and newspapers (those paper things that some people still read). As a group, the Clandestine Cake Club is only two years old but has seen a huge following develop in that time, which goes to show just how much people adore baking and are taking the simple pleasures to heart.

It only took one meeting to get me hooked and I’m now an organiser for the Manchester North group. We hold gatherings approximately every six weeks at a range of locations throughout North Manchester. We ask people to bake a cake on a theme, bring it to the venue (which is only revealed just before the meeting…that’s the clandestine bit) and then we eat and talk about cake. You don’t need to be an expert baker, just enthusiastic and hungry!
I’ve made some great new friends through it, and would love to share the simple pleasures with more and more people around Manchester (and beyond, obviously!). Please have a look at the site, register as a member and join a local group or two to find out more about it.

Here are the links for more information:

Clandestine Cake Club

Manchester North Group page

Our next events are on 27th October (An Autumn Feast) and 26th November (Cocktails and Mocktails)