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Dec 22, 2010 05:27 AM

Something spectacularly gingery!

Hi everyone,

My mum is one of those people who is very hard to buy for. She is getting old, doesn't do much, has everything she needs or wants... well, you get the idea.

But she does love ginger!

So I had a brainwave. I need to find something spectacularly gingery to make her for Christmas. No need to be shy with the flavour, she has been saying that nothing tastes the same as it did when she was younger... so gingery flavour explosions are welcome because I think her taste buds don't work as well as they used to.

If it helps, she loves hard candy, like peanut brittle (just an idea, but do share your non-hard-candy-ish ideas as well).

It's kind of bittersweet, as she is showing the signs of dementia, and it's been progressing at an alarming rate the last couple of months. So this may be the last Christmas I have where she can enjoy such a gift... I don't know... but nonetheless, I want to make it special, just in case.

Many thanks in advance for any ideas you might have.

And may you and yours have a wonderful and blessed holiday season. x

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  1. I'm sorry to her about your mom's condition. I think it's very loving for you to consider the time you may have left with her to make something special she'll really enjoy.

    The most gingery confection I've had is bittersweet chocolate dipped candied ginger slices, very spicy, gingery, sweet, and a good foil for the chocolate. Only bittersweet chocolate will do.

    Another candy I've had is ginger flavored caramels, which were essentially a caramel with fresh ginger slices infused in the heavy cream for a few hours, then strained, before cooking to caramel stage with the sugar/corn syrup and butter. Use your favorite caramel recipe and add a few cinnamon sticks along with the ginger to the heavy cream infusion for more spice.

    May you also have a wonderful holiday season.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Trader Joe's used to carry dark chocolate covered crystallized ginger that was REALLY delicious and addictive, if you don't feel like making it yourself. If you do want to DIY, you can make your own crystallized ginger and have ginger syrup leftover, which is super delicious in cocktails, tea (ginger tea with ginger syrup, OMG!) and drizzled on many foods.

    2. I really liked this last year, and I even added more of the three different types of ginger than the recipe called for (i.e. the recipe is forgiving, and you can use more ginger with good results):

      Triple ginger cookies:

      Does she like Thai food? Our local Thai resto makes really good vegetables in ginger sauce (you can really taste the ginger, and there are not too many other competing flavours). I found several Thai + ginger recipes online, I don't know if any of these will appeal:

      There are also zillions of ginger chutney recipes on line (from different countries and different flavour profiles, I don't know what your mother may like; some are savoury and others are more sweet/spicy).
      If you search, you will be sure to find something that looks good to her. The chutney may be a good idea because she can use it in so many ways: spread, dip, etc.

      I wish you a joyful holiday season with your mother. So sorry to hear about her diagnosis, and I hope you and she can savor the days to come as much as possible.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rasam

        I was just going to say Triple Ginger cookies too, every year when I make them I am amazed at how gingery they taste. My Mom is the same way, about ginger and healthwise, and I love to give her a burst of ginger whenever I can. She also loves the Ginger People candies, if you can find throw a few of them in there too.

        1. re: Rasam

          I just saw this link for ginger candy. The recipe looks rather imprecise, but it also looks delicious. Maybe you can get it to work?


        2. Tom Goddard's Ginger-Brandy Tea Cake is outstanding:

          The crystallized ginger they sell at Sundial Gardens is also outstanding...and they do mail order. Tom and his wife are the proprietors--it's a very special tea shop just one town away from me:

          So very sorry about your mom. Sending you strength and a hug,

          1. I was going to recommend Ginger Spread, from The Ginger People.

            But your profile says you are in Australia. Fortunately GP has a OZ page

            1. Thanks so much for all the lovely thoughts and gingery suggestions folks - I think I'll do a few of these :)