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farmer jo, spice girl
cooking with ginger
by Joanna Piatek | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

I discovered my new favorite thing to make with candied ginger at a local martini bar. The bar is known for creating lovely concoctions with flavored vodkas. One summer day I was introduced to a ginger martini -- it was warm and spicy and flavorful. I knew immediately that I'd have to learn to duplicate this recipe so I could whip one up for myself everyday. Well, fortunately for both my productivity and my liver, not every day. But, I did learn how to mix a great ginger martini.

Ginger Martini
First things first, you'll need to infuse the vodka. Get a pint of the vodka of your choice, not too pricey though, since you won't be drinking it as is anyway. I usually pick off the bottom shelf. 

To infuse:
750 ml bottle of vodka 
˝ cup sliced candied ginger

Pour out about a shot of the vodka. Drink it, throw it out, or save it for later — whatever. Add the sliced ginger. You might have to pull out the plastic covering over the mouth of the bottle. I have no idea what it is for, but it comes in handy later, so put it back when you have added all the ginger. Give the bottle a good shake and put it in the freezer for at least two days, shaking occasionally. I leave the ginger in the bottle until it is empty. After which you can nibble on the vodka-infused ginger.

For the remaining drink you'll need: 
Chilled canned pineapple juice
Whole lemon

In a jar or fancy martini-mixing contraption add one shot of vodka (isn't that plastic thing helpful now — all the ginger stays in the bottle!), one to two shots of pineapple juice, and a handful of ice. Shake. Pour into martini glasses or small tumblers. Garnish by adding a squeeze of lemon and/ or throwing in a small slice. Voila! 

o o o

My absolutely favorite part of the holiday season is gingerbread. For some reason it never occurs to me to make it in August, or even February— it's a treat meant only for the stressful month of December. I first made this recipe about 10 years ago in an attempt at a gingerbread house. The problem was that the bread was too good to be covered with icing and candy, and the house never really went into the final building stages. Architecture was never my strong suit anyway!

this way for the gingerbread recipe!


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