Sunny Anderson Was Right, Low and Slow is the Way To Go when roasting Pork

The recipe is simple.

The night before, marinade.

I used a half of a bottle of store bought Barbecue Sauce to 2 1/2 pounds (1 KG or so) of Pork Loin that was thawed.  Lets call that about a pint or a half liter of sauce.  Pick one you like, we won’t judge.

Place all that in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and allow to sit overnight.

The next morning, or about 5 hours before the meal, pour your marinaded pork into a baking pan, uncovered, and make sure the marinade gets into the pan with your pork.

Slide in oven and cook at 250F/120C for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours per pound.

Cook until tender, however I cooked to 175F/80C internally and got THE BEST PORK I EVER HAD.

So that back story.  There’s always a backstory.  And if you’re looking for a recipe, you probably don’t care, huh?

You see, Dad cooked Pork Chops when I was a child.  I could have used them to resole some work boots.

Shake and Bake coated, Dry and Hard, horrendous.

But that was normal back then.  You HAD to cook pork well.  There were parasites back then.  The rule was cook it well, and hope for the best.

Or so I remember from the bad old “analog” days back when dates started with a 19.  You know, when I was a kid, everything was black and white, and my pet was a house sized Triceratops named Trixie?

According to popular theory (word of mouth, maybe a lot of crap),  Pork wasn’t a very clean food.  I suspect that someone in the back woods somewhere got sick and it became A Thing that you had to do.

Since then, The Pork Industry cleaned up its act.  So much so that the USDA has lowered the temperature that you cook pork to from 165F/75C to 140F/60C with a 3 minute resting time.

There are supposed to be no more parasites in USDA inspected Pork than there are in Beef, and that is at 1/3 to 1/4 the cost.

If cooked right, Pork Loin is tender and mild flavored.

So I have been thinking that I should get some of that pork loin out of the freezer and try again.  While I was planning this meal, I heard that bubbly TV Personality, Sunny Anderson say “Low and Slow! Low and Slow is the way to go!” over and over and over in my head.

I had tried making this recipe in a crock pot, and it was much better than Dad’s Pork, but it could be better.

I wonder should I try Low and Slow in the oven?  Can I Do it?

I started researching recipes.  Some cooked low at 225F, some as high as 300F.  I settled on 250F because it seemed to be what the majority of the web pages cooked at.

That was the Low.  The Slow makes sense.  The longer amount of time the meat takes to get “done” the more likely that the muscle fibers will break down.

That’s what we call “tender”.

Since there was a lot of marinade and a lot of humidity in the environment, and the lower temperature, I did not expect it to dry out.

Barbecue?  I have a lot of recipes for this, but I wanted just to make it easy so I used a commerically prepared sauce I liked.  I do have a couple different recipes on this blog for

Barbecue

Carnitas

and Chinese Barbecue

But I wanted quick and simple and I wanted something that I couldn’t mess up by adding too much of something in it.

I dumped that half bottle in the bag, sealed it the night before, and cooked in a slow oven starting at breakfast.

Yes, 6:45 on a Sunday Morning, I was making Lunch.

The alarm went off on the electronic thermometer around 10:30 when the internal temp hit 165F.

But it stayed there for the next hour.

I was watching that temperature closely because I was basting this meat in Barbecue sauce from the pan every 30 minutes to an hour.

When it hit 175F, it was just before 12 Noon.

I poked that meat with a steak knife.

The knife went into that meat like it was butter.  Plunged right into it.  The last time I saw something like that, I was in a beautiful Polynesian restaurant and paying $26 for a Pork Tenderloin dinner that was perfectly and artfully made.

Mine was Pork Loin, a lesser cut, and this was as good as that meal.

I was able to hand slice that meat down into “Cold Cut Thin” slices.

The proof was in the tasting, this was awesome.  So good that Rack the SuperDog (TM) was hovering around asking for some.

Rack liked it too!

So Sunny Anderson, you were right, Low and Slow!

The Sandwich I made from that meat the next day was just as good.  I had a winner of a recipe.

Here it is, story and all, I saved it for my family, myself, and you all.

I am thinking this “process” should work on Beef Brisket as well, but that’s a task to research for later.

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Peanut and Banana Sandwich by Squirrel

To quote a wise man from San Juan, Costa Rica:

We live in the tropics.  If you drop a seed on the ground, it will grow.

I noticed that here years ago when I moved in.  People have plants dripping with plants dripping with more plants.

If you don’t want a giant mess in your yard, if you’re looking for something a bit groomed, don’t blink.  That “clean” look takes a lot of work here in Florida.

I could go a while before weeding my backyard in Philadelphia.  The soil was somewhat fertile, but things took their time to grow.  Sun angle up there is 14 degrees lower at any given moment than it is here so it will be proportionally less effective, proportionally less bright.

I have a yard inspection every morning, on a clear morning, at 7:30.  I have to inspect the irrigation systems, clear out the palm fronds, remove any debris that falls from the trees into the pools, and basically police the perimeters of the yard.

I have help with me.  Mr Dog, my one and only Dingus, Rack the SuperDog (TM)  will follow me around the yard, and go into places that my own nearly two meter height will not fit.

I found out that he will answer to Dingus because when someone does something a bit wrong, a bit silly, and a bit dumb, I have a habit of calling them a Dingus for doing it.

I am not exactly sure that it is even officially a Word according to the O.E.D., or Webster, or anyone else, but I use it.

Frequently.

 

So much so that my Dog adopted it as one of his names.   He figured out that he is Mr Dog early on, so why should I be surprised?

Stepping outside, we hear chattering and rustling in the Utility Easement behind the property.  It is, predictably, very thick with plantings, even though Rack goes back there for relaxation.  Yes, we shall call it Relaxation.  As in Rest Stop at mile marker 108.

I see something grey flash in my right eye and go on about my own business.  Spray the Milkweed for Aphids.  Wiggle the drip-feed water bubblers to clear them from any debris inside that blocks the flow.  Inspecting the pots in the backyard is a daily occurrence.

I get to the banana tree that I have been babying and think “What on earth is going on back there” when I spot that the tree had been planted itself.

 

There was a peanut.  Wedged deeply enough that it would have to be removed or else I’d have a Peanut and Banana sandwich there about chest height.

Then I woke up.  I realized what was going on.  The chattering got more insistent, so I walked to the corner of the yard.  Deep Jungle, or what passes for it here in Florida.

I had Squirrels.  Arguing.  Loudly.  For dominance.  Who knew?  I thought they were a peaceful species.

Squirrels arguing was like a pillow fight with Marshmallows.  Nobody really was going to get hurt but they were really going at it full blast.  It looked like a Cartoon.

I threw that errant peanut into the corner hoping the squirrels would break it up and move on, but it wasn’t enough.  I was within a yard of them as they’re running up and down the telephone pole and the palms and the bamboo back there.

Realizing that I am taller than my banana tree without the peanut, I had to back up.  They were running on the outside of the plants back there instead of back in the brush, and I was concerned that they’d mistake my own self for a tree.

Luckily I was dressed in Blue, not Green.  Squirrels are not terribly smart.

Shrugging, I thought to get involved.   I clapped my hands loudly.

They stopped for a second.  Then I got cursed out in whatever Rodential Squirrelish Language that they use here that I am not aware of.

Back to it they went.  Running up and down the pole when one of them, the smaller of the two, ran back to the other side of the yard, up my banana tree, looked around then ran off into the distance.

Argument was over.  It was now about time for the drip-feed irrigation to stop for the day.  Today’s Squirrel War had ended.  Who knows who was victorious, whether it was about a Peanut and Banana Sandwich, or whether anyone really cared.

Peace was once again supreme in my strange little yard full of constrained banana trees, Bonsai, and cultivated plants.  Rack got to my side, leaned into my right leg, and looked up.

“Yes, boy, it’s time to go inside.  Coffee is calling.”

Using Aftermarket 18650 Lithium Batteries in a Rechargeable Garden Tool

Let me start out with saying the lawyer words:

This is at your own risk.

The batteries I am using are Lithium Ion batteries scavenged from (one or more) laptops.  If you puncture, overheat, or otherwise damage one of these batteries it is possible that they may catch fire.

Do not short circuit these batteries.  Use a charger designed for these batteries specifically.

This is at your own risk.

The Science Words:

The batteries were scavenged from laptops, and you can get 18650 batteries online that will be of full capacity.  I am using scavenged batteries because I had a couple old laptops that were going to be recycled.

From what I have learned, you can not charge these Lithium batteries in series.  Connected as a block, the batteries will overheat when charged and they may catch fire.  The circuitry in a laptop will charge the individual cells separately.

They are 3.7 VDC cells, which makes them attractive for this project.  The saw took 14.4 VDC which is four cells.  I had 4 2 cell blocks which gave me more amperage to push into the saw.

I get around all the warnings doing it this way because the cells can be removed, and charged individually in a charger made for 18650 Lithium Ion batteries.

Or so it says when I bought it from a Chinese Supplier – and we all know how trustworthy Chinese Suppliers can be.

Or not.

Sarcasm aside, here’s how I did it.

I had a Saw that was given to me as an oddball item.  No battery pack, No Charger.

I had all these batteries.

I ordered the battery holder (that black thing with the blue cells in them) for emergency purposes.

Connecting four batteries gives me 14.4 VDC so I was able to test the saw by connecting the terminals directly.  The motor worked.

Waiting for a reason to heat up the hot glue gun, I decided to do this one sunday morning.  It took me about an hour.

Step 1 disassembly.

Remove all screws and set the mechanicals aside.  I was lucky that the parts did not fall out onto the table when I went to open the saw, and nothing was plastic welded together.

Luckily, the electronics were simple, and the plug into which the original battery pack was to fit was obvious.  I could slide that connector out and solder my battery pack to that connector permanently, glue the battery pack in place, and screw things back together.

The placement of the new battery pack was by eyeball, and made sense to me.  Your placement will probably vary.  See my last picture for what I’m getting at.

Step 2 solder the connection.

I realized I could thread the two wires from the battery pack through the air vents in the side of the saw without drilling holes.  Of course, if you are modifying a different tool, your placement will vary.

Using Hot Glue, I was able to attach the battery holder to the side of the saw and only covered up one of the multiple screw holes on the side.

When that was placed, then I could connect the block’s wires to the Red, Positive connector to the Saw’s Electronics with Solder.  Red-to-red – to keep the polarity of my connections correct.

I then did the same for the Black, Negative connection.  Again, Black-to-Black to keep the polarity of my connections correct.

I did a test to make sure that the wires were soldered to the connector block like in the picture above.  The motor groaned to life, the wires held, and I noted that the batteries needed a charge.

I then disconnected all of the batteries and wrangled the connector block back into place, seated the wires, and screwed the Saw back together.

Step 3 the finished product.

Once I seated the wires inside the saw back in their original channels, I could close the unit up back as normal.

After it was placed back together, I tested the saw once again and everything worked.

Great!

Step 4 Why I did it this way instead of getting a battery pack.

So yeah I could have thrown money at this saw.  The thing was that I knew that I would not need it much.  Having a lot of these batteries around, as well as the battery packs from last Hurricane Season, I knew that I could rig a lot of this sort of thing together.

I had a couple of other tools in the shed that I could have done this with, but the Saw was the only oddball that ran at 14.4VDC.  The other tools were powered by 18VDC and we had gotten a charger and a battery for them.

So my red saw being the only odd man out was going to get “hacked”.

Safety would dictate not doing it this way, but I do have the batteries, and I did have a little better than basic knowledge of electronics being able to replace individual components on an electronic appliance.

“I do board level repairs” on electronics, when they are readily apparent as to what needs to be replaced.  This kind of a mod is trivial.

It rendered it “more safe” because the batteries are taken out of the unit and charged separately.

But ultimately this kind of thing is at your own risk since it is what a pharmaceutical would call an Off Label Use of the product.

But really ….

The Colder The Weather, The Tighter The Dogball

Cold is relative.

No really, it is.

You ask someone who lives in a place where they get wild swings of temperature when you don’t, they may tell you you’re crazy.

But if your dog gets cold, it gets cold, no matter where you are.

In my case, my dog got cold, and so did my relatives.  Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM), handles it in style.  He simply rolls up into a dogball and parks himself in the corner.

He does it wrong, but he doesn’t care.

Last night, watching an old sitcom, I saw the ritual of the nest.  I’ve got a mat for him to lay on to protect him from the cold slab that the house is built upon.  Yes, I know, Cold is Relative.  In this case, it’s relative enough for me to be wearing a pair of Doc Martins any time I am not in bed, or a shower, or shaving in front of a mirror.

But that’s normal for me.

The one time I tried to put my own Docs on my dog’s feet, he looked up at me with all knowing brown eyes and basically told me I was an idiot.  Taking one foot out of each shoe, he slipped away.

Good for me, I was able to finish dressing.  Sitting on the edge of the bed means that I generally have a 46 pound, badger black and white dog weaving his frame in and out of my legs.  Like a cat.  Which I can’t.  I’m allergic to cats.  That’s why we have a dog.   A Good Dog indeed.

Who’s a good boy?  Hmmm?  You are!

So as he’s pawing on a mat that has to weigh as much as a bag of flour, not having much luck, and basically making a mess, he manages to roll it up into a ball.  Then, Plop! He’s settling in next to it to sleep.

That Dog Sniffing His Tail position that McNab Dog owners are so familiar with.  The tighter the dogball, the colder the weather.

But cold is all relative.  My relatives.  One in the Philadelphia Area, My Sister Pat at least doesn’t laugh at me when I tell her it’s cold out.  She does remind me that while I may be feeling cold and it’s 50, I also went to Kelly Drive and would have a skate workout when there was ice on the trails in a T Shirt and Boxer shorts with a sweatshirt if it was windy.

Just a short workout, mind you, only 9 miles, but you can do it too.  Come on, it was only 25, and I wasn’t crazy.  Really I wasn’t.

The other one is in the middle of the great plains.  The Middle of Nebraska.  Les Nessman’s dream state.  Where it was minus-freaking-25 Farenfreakingheit.  Too Freaking Cold.

So cold that it doesn’t make too much sense to take the effort to convert the temp to Celsius because it is roughly the same.  And my mind may be going from all that cold anyway because I could be getting the temperature wrong, oh never mind, let me have my damn coffee, it’s too cold to think about that!

Replace Freaking with whatever intensifier you wish.  I have one in mind.  Four bold letters.  Describes the situation perfectly.  Survival gear to go to the mailbox cold.

No.  Just No.  I’ll take solace in that it will only get colder here, and we’re expecting two degrees above freezing.  Yes, 38F or 2C.

So this is the dry season.  How I know is that it has been raining for two days in a row, and my banana tree sprouted a flower that just popped open.  Just in time for near freezing temperatures.

The storm forms in the Caribbean, where the water is still warm, relatively.  It does that pirouette dance to spin up into what my Sister will be calling a Nor’Easter, and wondering if it will get above freezing before the storm hits there.

Dunno, Pat, I remember once riding my motorcycle this time of year through the NJ Pine Barrens with just a T Shirt and Jeans because it was 70 with snow banks on the side of the road and ice patches in the shadows.

Dress for the Slide, not the Ride.

So it’s all relative.  I will hide from my cold.  You hide from your cold.  Here, have some coffee.

Did I tell you that the freeze line is 8 miles north of me?  Yeah, Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton according to the National Weather Service is as far south as freezing temps get.

Take that Boca!  Hah!

Four Paws and Bored? What do you want, Rack?

I putter in the yard a lot.

When you have a string of pots with 25 species of plants in an average sized suburban yard, it tends to take a

little bit of time to do a yard inspection.

I’m out there twice a day, at least, and every day regardless of the weather.

Ok, there really are exceptions.  I don’t think I went out there that day that Hurricane Irma was blowing her nasty head all over the entirety of the Florida Peninsula, but cut me a little bit of slack.

We have, all over the perimeter of the yard, plantings.  They have been discovered by my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), as well as Lettie who proceeded him and came down here with us from Philadelphia.

The plantings have also been discovered by the creatures that are trying to live in this yard.  We’ve got two species of lizard here on a daily basis.  They’re small enough to be entertaining and not a threat.  There have been rare snakes, opossums, raccoons, iguanas, and of course neighbor’s cats that come through here.

The cats don’t belong.  If you want a pet, keep them safe inside your home or on a leash.  Can’t manage that, don’t have one.  It keeps them alive longer.

For the most part whenever Rack explores, and I rattle around the plants, we don’t see anything out there.  They hear us and move away.

With all this propagation going on, I’m kept entertained.

Monarch butterflies spot the Mexican Milkweed and eat it all to sticks.  When the sticks get long, and begin to re-leaf, I take cuttings and stick them in pots.  If I get seeds, the park gets them scattered there to return the favor of the original milkweed plants from years back.

Orchid pots are designed to rot away so that the plants can eat the nutrients.  When they do, they need re-potting and you can split the plants into two or more.

Banana trees constantly regrow and are bursting through the pot I have them in.  I’ll need a better solution but frankly unless you want to live in a banana grove that won’t happen.  Pots it will be.  Bananas are growing too, so I’ll have a treat further down the line.

All the while that I am doing that I am being watched.  Granted, there are flocks of feral parrots that fly overhead screeching their call to flock, and a random scrawny squirrel that dines on Palm Nuts out of the trees on the property.  Those squirrels would be laughed at up North.  They’re about half the size of the ones up there.

No, I mean by my own dog Rack.

You see he goes through and does his own plant inspection and waters pots too.  Thankfully not my food crops, but he does have his spots behind the hedges and under the Podocarpus.

Sometimes he’ll want to start running around so I’ll get distracted from considering the pruning of the Condo Mango tree that isn’t supposed to get more than 10 feet tall but is getting close.  Usually we’ll get into our dance where he’ll run around like crazy to burn off steam.  When he does, he will make these sharp turns around the obstacles in the yard at a speed that a hockey player would only dream of, and with grace a ballerina would aspire to.

In a short blast of air, he vanishes into a wormhole and visits his alternate family in the alternate universe.  Coming back out of warp, he slows down to conventional speed and will run around some more.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone back to being boring and puttering around the yard.  Fretting over the black mold that will grow on the concrete in cold seasons, or debating whether to break apart the Lemongrass that is now over 8 feet tall and swaying in the breezes making me want to make Thai food.

This is when I will feel the weight of his eyes.  He will appear.  He will tell me that he wants something else.

Inside.

You see, instead of having a kid running around screaming at me, I have a four footed McNab Dog staring me down.  Smartest of all breeds, along with all the other smart ones, he knows how to get his point across.

If I ignore him, I do so at my own peril.

He was mistreated before I got him.  Most likely removed from his mother too early, and then the first owner tried to convince him to be a hunting dog, he was an owner surrender.  I would say that his allergies to grain and poultry based food had a lot to do with that.  He came to us with worms that had to be treated three times, and a crushing fear of everything that he still shows from time to time.

However, I am his main person.  Wherever he is, he is watching me, or at least where I am.  If I am doing something and he wants a change, I find two brown eyes staring holes through my soul.  He will sit at my feet and block me from moving on.

That is a herding behavior, modified.  As a result of his rough start, his play drive is warped as well as his herding drive.  If we are out and not going where he wants us to, he circles in front of me, looks up, and blocks my path.

Usually I give in, but that cuts my own walk short.

In this case, we’re in the yard. I’ve bored him.  Plants are for peeing on, not for propagating to make fresh herbs for a pizza.

Come on, lets go! I’m Bored! say the brown eyes.

Just like a kid.  “Ok, Rack, Show Me!”.

He trots to the door with a smile on his face.

“Show Me” is something I have always taught dogs.  They can’t talk but they surely are expressive.  They will take you to what they need or what they think you need.  It isn’t always treats, it can be just the door or the leash.  This makes things simple.

It also stops the bored dog by giving him a hand in what he wants to do.

Show Me, indeed.  “Ok Boy, I’m coming, let’s go in.”

“Anybody want to go for a walk?

Twice Baked Potatoes – When A Recipe Is Not A Recipe

The deal with Twice Baked Potatoes is that it isn’t this big fancy thing.

You see first, you make too many baked potatoes.  Everyone does it now in the age of the microwave, has a dinner, makes too much and they sit in the fridge until  someone nukes a leftover and … well you know what I mean.

A Microwaved leftover baked potato is not terribly appetizing.  At least to me it isn’t.

I don’t want to run the big oven for just one potato.

Recipe for that is simple.  Scrub the skin or peel it off.  450F/230C oven.  Rub spices and olive oil on the outside of the potato.  Puncture the skin.  Wrap the potato in foil.  Cook for 75 minutes or until tender.

Now you either have leftovers or you just made one.

Let the potato cool.  You need to handle this thing with bare hands.

Now, when you go to eat it you tend to add things to a baked potato, right?

Butter, cheese, chives, dill, onion, bacon…  A long list.  It is what YOU like.

Guess what.  The recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes reads like that.  Granted you add a few drops of milk but there isn’t much more.

First, Slice the potato in half lengthwise.

Second. scoop most of the potato out of the skin, leaving enough that the skin will stand on its own.  Less

than a Centimeter or a third of an Inch will do it.

Third, place those insides of the potato in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor.

Finally, add to the bowl your own mix of spices and cheeses.  I recommend using cheese, it helps keep it all together.

Specific amounts for this step:

  • 3 Potatoes – about 200 grams average each or about 7 ounces.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of room temperature or melted butter.  About 22 grams.
  • 1 ounce or 28 grams of sharp Cheddar or any other easily meltable, although I use Parmesan.
  • Add Ins:  Get creative – I dusted mine with Dill Weed.  You can add bacon. Anything you like.

See?  I told you it was simple.  Now…

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients to the potato insides in the bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until fairly smoothly incorporated into an even mixture using potato masher or food processor.
  • Scoop the ingredients into the potato skins.
  • Bake for 20 plus minutes at 350F/180C moderate oven until the tops begin to turn brown.
  • Just begin to turn brown… don’t go too far.  This always takes more than 20 minutes for me, sometimes as much as 30 minutes to cook.  Check every 5 minutes or so after 20 minutes.

Bottom line with this is that I tend to make things ahead.  I tend to bake these until I spot a little caramelization in the tops of the potatoes then quit.  Since I will be re-reheating this stuff, I will toss it inside the toaster oven.

Can you tell, it’s a very forgiving recipe?

Variation?  Yes.

The proportions are simple.  For each mid sized potato it is 1/2 Tablespoon (7g) of butter, 1/3 ounce (10g) of cheese, everything else is To Taste.

The cheese will bind this stuff together when it gets hot.  Think of mortar holding bricks together.

Growing Ginger in Containers or How We Stumbled Upon A Thing

I say Stumbled Upon because like a lot of my ideas, it was due to a rapid fire exchange of ideas with a good friend of mine up in the Atlanta suburbs, Craig.

800px-ingwer_2_fcm
Picture from https://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/ginger

You see Craig and I have been exchanging ideas on what to plant for a while.  The Climate there is about the same as I had in Philadelphia, Zone 7a or 7b depending on whether you live on the East or West of Philly.

When I lived there, I would fill my back deck with dozens of pots that would all march their way indoors by Halloween or whenever the first cold snap into the mid 30s would happen.

That would be a low of 2 or 3 C for the Fahrenheit Impaired.

Apparently with Ginger, you don’t have to be so concerned.  The plants will die back in colder areas and Zone 8 should be fine – that’s 10F or about -7C.  Colder than that and it’s a container plant.

I had mentioned that we were given a pot of Variegated Ginger and wondered if it was the same “stuff” that I use when I stir fry chicken.  He said No, but you can grow that stuff from the stores.

We banged it back and forth and the method we put together was this.

  • First, get yourself a piece of ginger with a lot of “fingers” on it.
  • Select a finger about the length and size of the first joint of your thumb to the length of your thumb.
  • Wash all the pieces you wish to plant in Dish Soap thoroughly.
  • Don’t bruise the skin while washing the pieces.
  • No, you didn’t wash it enough, repeat the wash another two or three times.
  • Plant in well drained soil, or a pot, and wait.
  • Water periodically and hope that the Squirrels don’t put peanuts in the pot.

The reason why I mention those damn Squirrels is my neighbors feed them raw peanuts.  They grab the peanuts and bury them in my pots.  I have peanuts growing in about a quarter of the pots I have out back.

It is the same thing with me, I guess.  I’m the kind of guy that throws pieces of tomato or fruit that is past its prime in the garden and watches to see if it grows.  Win-win, if it doesn’t I get fertilizer for this beach sand we call soil here.

I had actually forgotten that I put those thumbs in the ground in my front garden because when I walked out there one afternoon, I noticed that two ginger plants were mixed in with all the other confusion that I have out front.

I dug them up and then put into a pot, minus the peanut plants, so I could watch over them.

Ginger does not seem to mind being crowded in a pot, so you can plant it and grow it “Up North”.

Now, if you live in a zone that is on the edge, like my sister does in Zone 7b Cherry Hill, NJ, you may be able to “get away with it” in the ground.  Find a south facing wall of your house.  Plant close to the foundation because the sun hitting your walls will warm the soil just a few degrees, and it may be just enough.

Here, 8 miles south of the freezing temp lines, I don’t have to worry at all.  But as always, your mileage may vary.

Why would you bother?

My friend Craig got further along than I did with this.  Of course you can go to your favorite market and buy ginger root, that’s not the point.  The point is that the flavor of absolutely fresh Ginger Root is much more complex than some that has been shipped, treated with anti-growing chemicals, and sitting in the store waiting for you to use it.  Any natural product will taste different depending on where it grows.  In fact, certain plantings in certain fields in certain farms will yield different results.

Oh and the green parts of the plant?  You won’t find those in stores, but Ginger Greens and Stems are edible as well.  They can be tough, so you may limit that to tea or used in soups or stirfry but it’s worth a shot.  You may find a new favorite. Chop fine until you realize your own way of using them.  You will have a lot since the plant grows waist high.

That is called the “Terroir” by the French and is used to describe the effect of the environment on the grapes that go into the wine.  Similar effects happen with Coffee where one specific estate on one specific mountain will taste different than the adjacent field because there’s just a tiny difference in the amount of water or sunlight or …

Well you get the idea. 

So give it a shot, the worst thing that could happen is that you get a “pretty plant” and a great story to tell the nosy neighbors.