My mom used to make a big jar of ginger tea once in a while. She would peel and thinly slice several ginger roots, rub sugar on them, and keep the mix in a jar overnight to let the ginger slices soak in its own juice and sugar. We'd have ginger tea for weeks by just pouring hot water to a few spoonfuls of it.
When I was about ten, I saw her making the tea one afternoon. I knew about the overnight rule, so I waited until my mom went out to get groceries for dinner. As I was taking the jar out of the refrigerator...I dropped it. My mom's afternoon - sticky sugar syrup, hundreds of ginger slices laced with broken glass pieces - was splashed on the kitchen floor. I was one of those kids with always some smarty-pants things to say. This was one time even I knew I had no excuse to talk back to my mom who was understandably fuming mad when she came home. I felt (and still do) truly bad about what I had done.
That's my first memory of ginger. These days I just simmer fresh ginger slices for about an hour then add ginger syrup or honey at the end for ginger tea. I make something else with ginger once in a while - a dried variation of crystallized, or candied ginger. It also happens to be in a much less hazardous form that's easier to clean up if I ever drop it.
To make ginger strips and ginger syrup) Peel and cut a ginger root to thin strips. Make simple syrup by heating up equal volume of sugar and water over low heat (just enough to completely cover ginger strips). When sugar is completely dissolved, add ginger strips and turn up to medium heat. Once the syrup comes to a boil, simmer over low heat until the ginger strips become translucent. Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered for about an hour. Drain well and save the liquid - this is ginger syrup. Place ginger strips on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and keep in the 200F (~100C) oven for an hour or until dry. Cool on the rack. Keep the ginger strips in an air-tight container.
Ginger strips are not too sweet, good as an easy crunchy snack when you just need one bite of something refreshing. It's also a great garnish as is or finely chopped. As for ginger syrup, I like adding it to my coffee and tea for its bright flavor.