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Candied Ginger

Ginger is a wholly unique flavor. It’s both tangy, spicy, fruity, and slightly sweet. Wester cultures use it mostly in sweets and desserts and Eastern cultures use it in savory dishes. You can make/flavor beer, wine, and liqueur with it. And, above all else, it can gently soothe an upset stomach. However much I love ginger, I realize that it falls into the same category as cilantro– the “love it or hate it” category. Candying ginger is easy to do and delicious to eat– it also mellows the flavor significantly, making it suitable for even the ginger-weary.

Candied Ginger

Ginger is a root that originated in Southern Asia and is now grown many tropical or subtropical regions of the world. Ginger’s fascinating flavor was at one time a rarity for Western cuisine and reserved only for special occasions or holidays. Americans and Brits love it in desserts of all types and bring it to the coveted realm of “tradition!” when we make our beloved gingerbread at Christmas.
Indeed, the smell and taste of it always reminds me of Christmastime and I don’t think that association will ever escape me– nor would I want it to. I make an adapted recipe for gingerbread from the Middle Ages that is nothing more than honey heated with ginger and spices and then mixed into breadcrumbs. This thick pot-pourri plaster is then rolled into balls and dipped in superfine sugar to create a frosted effect. They’re delightfully chewy and perfect with my mulled wine.

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If you’ve never done it before, I don’t know if I could properly tell you how incredibly fulfilling it is to candy things– lemon rind, whole kumquats, etc. It is very easy and the results are that rare combination of beautiful and enjoyable. Candied lemon rinds or candy ginger look like a million bucks scattered on the top of a cake or cookies and could be blended into any sugar cookie to add a blast of refined flavor.

 
As I said, I know that ginger is a cultivated taste and you can even use the best pasta maker machine to prepare the form of your candies. But, candied ginger seems to bridge that gap. The texture of the root is turned dense, each pale sliver glistens with sugar, and every bite runs a full course through sweet to spicy to sweet again. These are ideal to put out at a little get together, in a pile on a nice dish these take your party from fun to classy.

 
If everything else about candied ginger doesn’t please you enough, consider that you get an amazing by-product from the process: ginger syrup. It’s perfect for mixing into a cocktail and tea or pouring over vanilla ice cream on a hot day for a refreshing treat.

 

Candied Ginger

Don’t discard the leftover syrup the ginger cooked in! Use it to glaze cakes, mix into cocktails or iced tea, or to pour over ice cream. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup sugar for later
  • 1 cup waterInstructions

The skin is very tough and fibrous on ginger, so gently peel it but try not to waste a whole lot of it.Once it is peeled, cut it into either little rounds or coins or into matchsticks. Whichever shape you use, just make sure to make the slices on the thin side. Combine the cup of sugar and the cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, gently add in your ginger and then reduce the heat to low and let the pan come down to a simmer. Let the ginger simmer for a half hour– no real need to stir unless a piece is stuck to the side or isn’t covered with the syrup.

 

After the half hour, turn off the heat. Line a baking sheet or large cutting board with parchment or wax paper (this makes clean up easier!) and put a cooling rack (the same you’d use for cakes or cookies) on top. Remove the ginger from the syrup and arrange the pieces on the cooling rack. Allow the pieces to cool and dry out for about an hour or so in a dry place. When they are almost dry, roll each pieces in the 1/2 cup sugar.

 

Remove the parchment or wax paper from the sheet or cutting board and put down a clean piece. Arrange the now candied ginger on the board and all them to rest again for another half hour or so on the board in a cool and dry place. The candied ginger should be firm and thoroughly crusted with glistening sugar. Place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks and snack on them at will… or every time you raid your fridge looking for something sweet.

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Run, run as fast as you can…

So after receiving a rather frustrating phone call the other day, I decided to go to the gym and try to calm myself, not think etc. There I am running on the tread, earphones in and in my zone, when I notice something out the corner of my eye. Some guy was speaking to me, his mouth seemed to be moving quite abit, obviously he did not notice my earphones. I jump to the sides while the tred is still going, pull off earphones and pantingly ask whats wrong?

 
To me, if someone is ‘running’ on the tread and obviously in another space, the only logically reason to disturb them would be if someone was wrong and they needed to be made aware of immediately. This was not the case, zone broken due to a cheesy pick up line…”have I seen you here before?” My mind was rapidly trying to make sense of this. The absolute last thing I wanted to hear or to happen was this. Got me out of nowhere. He continued, trying to make ‘friendly’ conversation and all I wanted was to get back to my run, to the extent that I plugged in my earphones again but there he was still speaking. Urggggghhhh.

 

 

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Eventually I somehow brought that convo to an end and moved to a different area of the gym. Guess who was there? I’ve made bad male choices in the past and many of my friends say give people a chance, be nice, tolerant .. to a point. I have been considering their comments and always remember them when someone new approaches, hence I tried being polite. Why ‘o why did I even bother? I honestly did not expect to hear the crap that came out his mouth. I made it clear from the beginning that I was not interested in dating or anything romantic, he asked so I answered, remember I was practising the polite thing.

 
I knew from the start when he disturbed me and figured out his intention that this guy is not my type. I rather not waste his time and mine , further to him telling me about himself, which I didn’t ask, I thought even a friendship isnt going to work, he was obsessed with himself. Having confidence and knowing your strengths is good but the line is fine between those and over confidence and showing off.
Each time I told him that I do not want to meet him for coffee etc, it was like an invisible trigger for him to sell himself more based on his material possessions and job. I had to eventually laugh about it although I didnt at the time, he ruined my space.

 
Is it so wrong to have a type and know what you want and don’t and shouldn’t people respect that? Sometimes people aren’t playing hard to get or being full of themselves if they say no, they are just being honest.

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Cannabinoid Medicines May help Schizophrenia

I remember when I was in junior high-school and they made us watch Reefer Madness . For those of you who aren’t familiar with this hilarious attempt at propaganda, it was the straight world’s attempt to convince teens that smoking marijuana led to murder, rape, suicide, and eventual madness. My friends and I used to get stoned and watch it, laughing hysterically the entire time. Now, many years later, I am pleased to discover that not only did marijuana not drive me or my friends to crime or insanity, but recent studies have shown that marijuana has useful applications in psychiatric pharmacology.

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The uses for marijuana in healing are many. I have written about marijuana saving children who suffer from extreme forms of epilepsy, as an analgesic for people who suffer from chronic pain, and used topically to help with arthritis and skin diseases. Medical marijuana is routinely prescribed to help cope with stress and anxiety. All this is true and interesting, but a recent study read blew my socks off.
For years, marijuana has been linked to schizophrenia in a negative way, pseudo-sources claiming it has a causal relationship. A recent study at Harvard has debunked this urban legend, and other studies have suggested that some elements in marijuana could be helpful in treating the disease. There are many obstacles in the way before a definitive answer can be had. Marijuana is a complex organic substance with hundreds of elements and cannabinoids. Part of the problem is that marijuana has been cultivated and bred for years, with a preference towards strains that are high in THC. The element that may help with mental disease is CBD, and the more popular strains are very low in that.

Of course, these tests are still in the very early stages but the research is essential. Schizophrenia is a devastating disease and the drugs used to treat it are frequently harsh with drastic side-effects. And, of course, there are those for whom the usual treatment has proven to be ineffective.

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He stressed that they are not producing medical marijuana. He differentiated their product by noting that medical marijuana is simply an organic product grown for medical purposes, escpecially when smoked through a vaporizer such as Arizer Extreme Q. They grow specific plants in laboratory conditions and extract precisely the chemicals they need for their purposes. G W Pharmaceuticals produces many cannabinoid medicines including Sativex, which is successful in treating spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.
Other studies have indicated that cannabinoids may be useful in treating anxiety, bipolar affective disorder, depression, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Beginners Guide To Setting Goals

Setting Goals successfully is about taking the time to get clear about the what, why, when and how. By achieving goals you can improve your performance and self-confidence as well as a great sense of achievement.    Breaking your goals down into specific steps makes it much more likely to succeed…

New to setting goals? Here’s a checklist to get you started….

  1. Start With A Finished Picture
    Knowing where you are going is a necessary plan for setting your goals.  A powerful technique is to create a picture of your future in your mind and hold it there…. Be imaginative, engage all your emotions and senses. Each day vision yourself taking a step closer to your ultimate goal….and make it become your reality.

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Another great idea and motivator is to create your own mind movie or vision board with pictures of your dream house, holiday, car….whatever your heart desires!

  1. KnowWhyYou Want The Goal
    Be sure they’re really your goals and that you’re not living someone else’s dream.
  2. Express Your Goals Positively
    Always be positive and express your goals positively. You’re more likely to achieve your goal if you state your destination as though it were already a reality.
  3. Create a Plan – List Your Goals – Your Goals Must Be Specific
    What does achieving your goal look like?  Writing down your goals is powerful and gives you an action plan to follow with clear instructions to work with and to focus on.  Writing your goals down strengthens your commitment to make them happen.

Be precise when setting any goal rather than setting vague and general goals.  With clear instructions, your mind will work faster and more efficiently towards achieving your goals. Look at the whats and whys you’ve written down, choose the one objective that you know you really want the most and that gets you most excited. This is the one to work on as your priority goal.

  1. Your Goals Must Be Realistic
    Unrealistic goals can set you up for failure. You’ll also find it beneficial to break you goals down into manageable stages. To set a realistic goal means to set a goal that you can achieve in a reasonable amount of time…realistic yet challenging.
  2. Plan Your Tasks
    Write down exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals. You may need help from others if you cannot perform these tasks yourself.  Don’t let the fear of asking for help hold you back.
  3. Strategies For Potential Obstacles
    Another great strategy is listing potential obstacles.  This helps you develop strategies for overcoming them when they occur…… We all face challenges… but it’s the way we handle them as to the outcome of our strategies.
  4. Set Time Schedule For Your Tasks
    Setting a time schedule each day for your tasks helps you to be disciplined.  Consistent effort will help bring you closer to your dream goal. Find your prime time that you’re the most productive and when you work your best…this could possibly be early morning.
  5. Importance of Reviewing  & Tracking Your Goals
    Reviewing, measuring and tracking your written goals also influences your subconscious mind and helps you to keep on the right track. Breaking your goals down into manageable stages and seeing progress at each stage will help keep you motivated and to stay connected with your goals.
  6. Support… Family, Friends and Mentors
    Having a support structure is very important…. A question to ask yourself is….who or what is going to help you to achieve your goal? A mentor and support structure can help you be more accountable as well as supportive.
  7. Motivate Yourself
    Mix with positive friends or mentors who have already achieved their goals.  You can learn so much from them and you can see what can be achieved…And you won’t look back and wonder…. “If only I dared!”

There will be times when you will become discouraged.  Don’t give up on the first try. Before you consider ‘throwing’ in the towel… STOP and think for a moment at how much you’ve already accomplished…. as quite often success is just round the corner. Your mind movie or vision board will also help keep you focused.

  1. Taking Action
    Taking action immediately and consistent daily action will see you achieving your goals much sooner. Using a whiteboard, notebook or journal to record your progress each day will help you keep track of your progress.  At the end of each day, write a list of  tasks you need to complete the next day. Cross off tasks once completed.
  2. Avoid Distractions
    For many of us it’s easy to be distracted from tasks at hand. Being busy does not necessarily mean productive.
    You’ll be more productive by turning down the ringtone on your phone and only checking emails later in the day.

14.The Final and Simplest Step….Take ACTION and Just Get Going!

As Mike Litman says….

“You don’t have to get it right,
you just have to get it going”!

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Goal setting successfully is about getting CLEAR as every goal is woven around an action plan that can lead to your success. Your actions will line up with your focus and take you closer to achieving your goals.

Run your dream through your mind to remind yourself of what it is you want and why you want it… Set yourself SMART goals and dare to live the life of your dreams…and then Take ACTION