Some ingredients get assigned to specific uses. Pickled ginger is mostly kept around to make ginger-ketchup sauce. Aki had picked up a few jars with that specific purpose in mind. I got the hint and quickly forgot about it. The jars sat in our pantry. One night I was making dinner and decided upon slow cooked broccoli. I was reaching for the soy sauce when my hand crashed into the pickled ginger. Man, that would be good in the broccoli too. I opened the jar and tasted the ginger. It was bright and tender. I felt the slices would melt away into the broccoli like sliced garlic. As I tasted the sweet and sour flavors, the idea of ginger doughnuts popped into my mind. It is a trained instinct now to see how any idea integrates into doughnutland. (With the addition of American Noodles to our mindset we have added a secondary set of flavor and idea checkpoints. From there ideas get bounced around with set application in mind.)
I made the glaze with buttermilk, a whole jar of pickled ginger, vanilla, powdered ginger, salt, citric acid, and powdered sugar. The glaze is bright and alive. The flavor has a sweet aromatic sharpness. It is exciting to eat a version of gingerbread in an ethereally light form. We are used to the dark and heavy. Here we get the delicate and refreshing. It's delightful how tripping over inspiration can reset our approach.