With temperatures steadily dropping, particularly overnight, frost has started to make a few appearances in my backyard, which means that my potted tender plants have been indoors for at least a week now. The two lemon seedlings went directly inside, just after making sure that there were no dissembling passengers with them (AKA bugs). For the ginger, I loosened the dirt in the pot outdoors first, and pulled all the plants out very gently, to assess the harvest. Because of the relatively cold early summer we had, my ginger crop was not nearly as big as last year’s, but neither completely deplorable, and on the bright side, it looked very healthy:
The smaller stalks and shoots were reserved for re-planting; in the photo at the top of the post, for example, the three plants on the right were separated for that purpose, and the one on the left was chosen for the kitchen. All the plants were brought inside; the ones selected for re-planting were set in a clean pot with fresh soil, which will stay cozy by a South-facing window until next spring:
The plants for cooking were dusted, roots removed, then washed and dried. One plant at a time, the rhizomes were separated from the stems and leaves, then trimmed:
I used to discard the leaves and stems (ugh!), but recently I read a very useful post at Kunstkitchen detailing how to use them, such as for tea, or as flavouring agents, so I will keep them and try out a few of the suggested tips. As for the rhizomes, some were packed and stored in the freezer right away; I will be able to grate or slice them, as needed, to use in stews and soups throughout the winter, and possibly even until I get my next crop. To take advantage of the rest while still young and fresh, I thought it would be nice to prepare a batch of Japanese pickled ginger, as well as a couple of recipes involving Canadian and Mexican elements, which turned out to be a little bit of a challenge, as I will explain when I share my findings in future posts.