Books, Spice, and Everything Nice: Ginger

For 2022, the Berryville Library is hosting its own Books, Spice, and Everything Nice spice club. Stop by the library to get the spice of the month and then stop by the blog on the first Tuesday of the month for recipes and more information on the featured spice. We’ll also be adding monthly posts about cookbooks in our collection. For February, our spice is ginger!

As previously noted, we wanted to ensure that this program would be accessible to a wide range of cooking abilities and interests. So, feel free to try some or all the recipes we provide, as well as experiment on your own with ginger. There’s no right or wrong way to use the spice or the accompanying handout as long as the results are tasty.

Ginger has a long history in many cuisines, though European and American recipes tend to use the spice for baking while Asian cuisines often use it for savory dishes. The mix of recipes this time are a balance between sweet desserts and savory main dishes.

One of the challenges we ran into is a lot of savory recipes for ginger call for fresh ginger and warn against substituting with ground ginger. Well, we don’t have the storage capacity for fresh ginger at the library–this is why we need a new building!–and didn’t want to tweak the recipes, so we stuck with ones that called for ground ginger originally. Definitely feel free to experiment with fresh ginger, though. It’s very tasty! 🙂

If you’re looking for a quick, easy meal for dinner, try the easy ginger pork stir fry. Or if you don’t mind something requiring a little more time and effort, try the spiced apple-glazed pork shoulder.

Not interested in meat or just pork? Try the hot and sour soup instead. (And if you’re not interested in a vegetarian dish, try the hot and sour soup but substitute meat for the tofu.)

Want to be a little more flexible in your ginger use? Whip up the mild curry spice blend and use it as your heart commands.

Have a little more of a sweet tooth? Try a couple of European holiday favorites–it can be Christmas any time of year, right? And why limit yourself to scrumptious speculaas (Dutch shortbread cookies) and pierniczki (Polish gingerbread) only once a year anyway? You could also try the ginger candy recipe.

If you want something soothing instead, make the quick and easy ginger tea.

Prefer to wing it? Just follow your heart–and the flavor profile suggestions on recommended uses and pairings.

Not a cook? You might still learn something (and be amused) with the history and trivia about the spice.

Please be sure to update us about how you used ginger in February. You can tell us in the comments here on the blog, share them with us on Facebook or Instagram with the #bplspice hashtag, or stop by the library.

Still looking for some ways to use ginger in your kitchen? Even though I ultimately didn’t include them in the handout, I was intrigued by English parkin cake, Canadian-Chinese ginger beef, and a Japanese spice blend called shichimi togarashi during my research.

Recipes in handout lightly adapted from originals in Taste of Home, Spiced, New York Times, Gimme Some Oven, Fine Cooking, and Spruce Eats.

Download PDF here.

What’s your favorite recipe that uses ginger? Which recipe are you most excited to try? What spices do you use the most in your cooking? Tell us in the comments!

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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