Friday, July 10, 2009

Fruit salad with ginger infused simple syrup

Today is certainly not Tuesday, most assuredly it is Friday, and I am just now getting this posted. Part of the reason I am free to just sit and post a blog is the mess in my kitchen.

Oh yes, and the lack of cabinet doors there.

Mmhmm, that lack of doors. And a lack of shelving to the far left, which is why I have quite a few appliances and knick-knack kitchen items sitting out. However, it is all for a very good reason.

Oh yes. That, dear readers, is my life saver. A savior for my hands. A water saver as well. That is an absolutely fabulous, unique, and soon to be functioning in my kitchen 18 inch dishwasher.

I have a somewhat vintage house. It has wonderful, original 1959 wood flooring. I have an almost original 1959 kitchen as well. The counter tops may be granite, but the cabinetry is knotty pine, very keen for the era the house was built.

The issue with having these great original cabinets is that in 1959, dishwashers weren't a standard feature of kitchens. And I have been washing dishes since October. And I am done washing all my dishes, especially the silverware. So last month, I rang up the contractor that remodeled my parent's home and asked his opinion on how to get a dishwasher in without tearing up the whole kitchen. If we had to, we were willing to find the money, but with me being in school for another year still, it wasn't an idea we were too fond of.

In came Tom the Super Contractor with the solution: smaller dishwasher. Oh, and he had one his family had used for 2 years before they did their own giant remodel in a house older than ours. Score! The perfectly sized dishwasher at a reduced price. And no giant kitchen remodel. By the end of the day my silverware washing days are over.

On to the recipe! I took this to the barbque celebrating my sister's engagement, I chose it because I had some tuscan cantalope and a watermelon waiting to be used and something that adds a little flavor without adding a ton of junk is always a benefit.

I used a recipe from Epicurious yet again and made small changes: using basil from the garden instead of mint and cutting back on the amount of sugar. I am not growing any mint currently and my husband really hates the taste. I forgive him that since I refuse to eat coconut. And with my Mom and Grandmother attending as well, I wanted to protect their blood sugars, Mom is prediabetic and Gradma is diabetic. Less sugar with the same amount of ginger for a pop of flavor on the fruit. It was fabulous.

Fruit Salad with Ginger Syrup (adapted from Epicurious)

For ginger syrup
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger (1/2 lb; from a 10-inch piece), left unpeeled

For fruit salad
  • 4 cups (1-inch pieces) summer fruit (I used cantalope, watermelon, strawberries and a small handful of kumquats)
  • 3 tablespoons sweet basil


Make syrup:
Bring water, sugar, and ginger to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes or longer, to taste. Pour ginger syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding ginger. Chill, covered, at least 2 hours.
Make fruit salad:
Toss fruit and basil with 1/4 cup syrup, or to taste.

Oh, and yes, the syrup is really good in iced tea. I plan on trying something with gin or vodka and the syrup next.
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