It never fails - whenever there's a gathering involving food, there always seems to be the quintessential fruit platter. Often, there's more than one, since several well meaning guests pick up a pre-cut tray en route to the party as a kind of hostess gift - but sadly the delicious looking produce is usually passed over in favour of the "real" dessert plates (especially at Christmas, when the cookies are plentiful and varied!). Of the next day leftovers, the first to go with my family are the berries and kiwi (Sunday morning pancake toppers), then the lunchbox-friendly grapes and stir-fry perfect pineapple.
But nobody here is a huge fan of the melons. Whether honeydew, cantaloupe, canary or Santa Claus, they just don't rank up there in our top 10 fruit choices. Then again, my mom and I are loath to throw anything edible out (particularly higher priced items like fresh fruit), so when she had to leave on business for a week right after Thanksgiving (leaving half a gigantic honeydew, amongst other leftovers, in the fridge) I knew I had to do something to preserve it for later use.
Lucky for me, my stepfamily are skilled cocktail makers, and while they usually use juice or seltzer as a mixer having a simple syrup on hand adds an extra element of variety - as well as opening up the possibilities of homemade sodas and shaved ice. True to their name, simple syrups are easy to do as well - with this one, it was a case of pureeing the fruit, lightly cooking it with water, sugar and ginger, then stirring in a touch of acid and straining it. While I kept some in an old jam jar for home use, the rest I poured into a clean wine bottle and stashed in the freezer for Christmas gifts. It's a great way to keep the holiday party going the rest of the year!
Shared with Gluten Free Fridays
Honeydew - Ginger Simple Syrup
Makes about 4 cups, 32 (1 fl. oz) servings
½ large honeydew melon, rind removed
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp lime juice