Sunday, April 03, 2005


On Friday The Man and I were in Osaka, and went into Seijoishii to get some spices. While we were wandering around the aisles looking at what was on display, The Man said, "Hmm. Golden Syrup. I wonder what that is?" and I snatched the bottle out of his hands.


He looked startled.

"Why?" he asked.

"Because... er... because my Edmond's Cookbook is unusable without Golden Syrup," I said. "How can I make gingernuts?"

He looked at me sideways and said nothing, but I could see he was thinking, What are gingernuts?

Tonight I decided to make gingernuts.

Cream the butter, sugar, and Golden Syrup, said the recipe, and I did. It's a long time since I did any baking, and my arm was tired when I'd finished. I licked my fingers. Then I accidentally stuck my finger in the mix and licked it again. A couple more times, actually.

Then I followed the rest of the recipe, not forgetting to add extra ginger powder the way my mother used to.

I got the oven going. This took a while, as we don't use the oven very often and it is old and temperamental. (And small. Let's not forget small.) This involves turning the timer and temperature knobs around to the setting you want, then holding down two levers while holding the door open, listening to the gas hiss in the back of the oven, closing the oven door, waiting a little while, then letting the levers go and standing well back. This starts the fan in the back, and after the fan whirs for a while there is a click and theoretically there is a whump! and the gas lights.

I say theoretically because this doesn't usually work until you have followed the procedure four or five times. By the fourth or fifth time you are so nervous you let the levers go and make a dash for the door, expecting the kitchen to blow up. So far this hasn't happened, but the whump! is sometimes worryingly loud.

Eventually I got the oven going, and it took about five minutes to heat up to the desired temperature (about 10 degrees C less than the recipe said, because I know our oven is HOT). I put the two trays in the oven, and sat down to wait the desired 20 to 25 minutes. After 15 minutes I couldn't resist looking to see what they were doing. They were starting to burn already, so I took them out. Then I burned my finger as I was putting them onto a rack to cool.

Finally they were ready. They looked JUST LIKE the ones mother used to make. I made a cup of tea, sat down, and helped myself.

What a crashing disappointment! They had no ginger taste at all. This puzzled me until I checked the ginger powder jar, and noticed the expiry date on it: 27 January 2001. I knew we hardly ever used ginger powder (we use fresh a lot, but not powder), but I hadn't realised it had been QUITE that long.

I'm looking on this as a learning experience. The next time I make gingernuts I will know to use FRESH ginger powder. I think they could have been quite good if they'd actually had a ginger flavour.

The Man can't understand what all the fuss is about.


Anonymous said...

So is it a type of cookie? I guess it must be. I used to make cookies all the time, then stopped when I got healthy. I never realized just how much work they take until I made a batch again a couple of years later that just about made my poor arm fall off *lol*.

Carrie (queenoframbles)

Badaunt said...

Yes, a kind of cookie (if you're American) - and my wrist still aches.

I'm wondering if the birds will eat them if I put them out on the wall.

Lippy said...

Oh dear, never mind. Get fresh ginger powder and try again. Failing that, try the Hokey Pokey biscuits from Edmonds. The best bit is dipping a fork in water, then white sugar, and 'stamping' the tops of the biccies with it. For that authentic hokeypokey touch... yum!