Riley is growing so fast. He has outgrown his first wave of clothing. As I put his newborn clothes away, I felt a little sad that time is already going so quickly. At the same time, I am loving the smiles, gurgles and wriggles that have come along over the past few weeks. There is always something new to love about this tiny human that has entered our lives.
While spending time with Riley is wonderful, I still value having time to take a breath and remember that I am still me. Those times are few and far between, but I try to make the most of them when possible. One of the best ways to feel like myself again is to cook. The first time I made a meal after having Riley, I felt like my joints were rusty. I couldn’t quite find the groove I once had in the kitchen. Each time I find myself putting together a meal (rather than having Brad pick up take-out on his way home from work) it feels more and more natural. Still, my time is limited. My recipe choices have therefore become much simpler to help make the most of my free time.
Ginger honey is a great example of something that I can easily make and have on hand for a daily dose of “me time”. My favorite thing to do is to add it to chamomile tea. Sitting down with my hands around a hot mug while I breathe in the relaxing aroma helps me get through the day. There is something so comforting about the warmth that ginger adds to both sweet and savory dishes. Lately, since life has gotten much crazier, I really appreciate simple things that can help me relax.
At the grocery stores here in Tokyo you can find huge jars of ginger honey with slices of fresh ginger suspended in the golden honey. I’ve kept this recipe simple by adding only sliced ginger, but you can bring it to a whole new level by adding lemon zest, cloves, cinnamon…anything you’d like. The honey keeps for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, but if you seal it in an airtight jar, you can keep it for much longer on the shelf until you open it for use.
The honey makes a beautiful and unique hostess gift. Just put it in a small jar, tie a ribbon around the top and you’re all set! Homemade gifts really are the best, aren’t they?
Makes 1 cup
Make sure your ginger is very fresh. It should feel firm, not spongy when you purchase it. The outer skin should not be wrinkly either. This recipe makes 1 cup of honey but it is very easy to make larger batches based on what I have here. I like to leave the sliced ginger in the honey even after it has been infused to make the ginger flavor more intense. If you prefer a lighter flavor, simply pull out the ginger slices before storing.
1 cup honey (any kind will do)
2 pieces of fresh ginger root, each about 3 inches long, sliced lengthwise in 1/4″ slices
Optional: 2 or 3 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, zest from a lemon, orange or yuzu
Pour the honey into a small saucepan and add the ginger and other spices/flavorings if using. Over medium low heat, bring the honey to a slow and low simmer. Don’t get it too hot or it will not have the right consistency. Watching the honey carefully, allow the flavors to infuse for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the honey from the heat and allow it to cool. Transfer to a container for storage and allow it to sit for about 5 days before using. The honey will keep for approximately 2 weeks after the 5 day waiting period.
Drizzle over yogurt, use in your tea, OR wait for my next post on another way to utilize this delicious honey!