It was not the last post on the weblog either (see Last Post?). And the home-made products are increasing.

Just imagine yourself in Tesco, on the Friday before Christmas. It’s absolutely packed, with people trying to buy things they usually never buy. One of these people is me. We’re having our annual Christmas get-together.

Open house 2017

Being Dutch I always try to make some old-fashioned (60s-70s?) Dutch snacks. Like cheese cubes with a silver skin onion on top. This year I want to make cheese cubes with stem ginger on top as well. So here I am, trying to find stem ginger.

It’s not near the home baking stuff. And also not near the silver skin onions. So I have to ask somebody. The Tesco lady knows exactly what I want, and takes me to the home baking section. And then to where the silver skin onions are. Without any success, of course. I follow here to find someone else who might know where to find. At that point another shopper asks: “Where do I find stem ginger?” Two people answer at the same time: “Just follow the queue!” She, and her daughter, do just that.

We find another Tesco lady. “Yes, I know where it is.” And off we go, five people in a line, to the home baking section, and, yes, you guessed right, to the silver skin onions. Still no stem ginger. A guy from Tesco now joins the group. He has a smart phone, and, on that, he finds out: They are on the top shelf, near the cherries (I haven’t seen cherries so far, but everything is possible…).

Here we go again, now six people in a line. The cherries are where the silver skin onions are, and where the stem ginger definitely is NOT. Then the fourth Tesco person, one with a head phone, manages to contact the manager. And then, finally, we learn where the stem ginger is: GONE..!

So in the end I have to buy a piece of fresh ginger, and try to make my own stem ginger. Hopefully the internet has a recipe.

Later today
Stem ginger. I never paid any attention to it. I knew it was made of ginger, but how? You just bought it in the supermarket. It always came in a hexagonal container, either made of glass, or made of green, glazed pottery.

Ginger Pot

And after you used some of the ginger, your fingers would stick to everything, thanks to the sugary syrup.

Luckily the internet has a recipe for stem ginger. And no, I won’t be able to make it. Because it’s made from the choice pieces of the underground stem of the ginger plant, which are then preserved in syrup. Pieces without the fibers you find in a fresh piece of ginger root.

But of course I’m going to try it!
I cut the ginger root in small pieces, boil them three times for 15 minutes (renewing the cooking water every time). Then I try a (small piece) to see if it’s edible.
It is…, but it nearly blows the top of my head off! What a taste!

The final step is boiling the ginger again, now in a sugar syrup. So new water (again), sugar added, and on the fire (to save gas). The end result is indeed a bit fibery, but tastes absolutely delicious.

Stem Ginger

And so I keep increasing my home made stuff. Bread, yoghurt, sauerkraut, and now stem ginger. As if I live somewhere, far away of civilization.

But I definitely must live in a strange country. Today I also try to buy baking paper. I find some in Aldi. As always I read the label before I buy anything. And what does the label tell me?

It’s flammable!

I have to keep it away from naked flames. How can I do that in a gas oven? Do I miss something here?
Unfortunately the whole story with the stem ginger makes me forget to look at baking paper in Tesco. So some of the snacks on Boxing Day will just stick to the baking tray (not a problem, Lawrance has to do the dishes anyway…).

The other thing I find out today: Aldi’s decorated kitchen roll is right handed.
I never buy decorated kitchen roll, except for Christmas. And this year is the first time I have to use the kitchen roll holder the wrong way around (for me, that is). Just look at the picture.

Right Handed Kitchen Roll

Of course I can turn the kitchen roll upside down, and use it left handed. But that means upside-down Christmas trees, and ditto gifts, polar bears, and snow men.

Isn’t life full of surprises?

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