Monday, December 21, 2009

Gingerbread

Gingerbread has been around since ancient times.  It can be made as a cake or cookie with ginger and molasses as its main flavor.  It is thought that the Crusaders brought gingerbread to Europe during the 11th century.  It became so popular during medieval times that people held gingerbread fairs.  The English added bread crumbs to their recipes, often quite stale bread crumbs, with many spices added to hide that fact.  This led to the distinctive flavor of the dessert.  Some recipes add pepper, raisins, nuts and spices to the batter.

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Did you know that Nuremberg, Germany was once known as the gingerbread capitol of the world.  It was not made at home, but exclusively by master bakers known as the Lebkuchler.  I’m glad that here it’s a popular home baked Christmas treat.

 My grandsons build a gingerbread house each year with their Aunt Cynthia and look forward to this Christmas tradition.  It’s a simple project if you use one of the many gingerbread house kits available at this time of year.  Unfortunately, unlike homemade gingerbread,  it’s usually not edible, especially after sitting around as a decoration for a while.  The boys do pick some of the candies off and eat them. 

When I was a child, my Mom always baked (made from scratch) gingerbread men at Christmas.  She would use icing to dress them, some with pants and some with skirts – they were so cute, and delicious.  Once I baked chocolate gingerbread men that turned out really well, but I haven’t had much luck with gingerbread cake.   

Do any of you bake gingerbread at Christmas? 

5 comments:

Marilyn said...

No I don't bake gingerbread. My mother use to make it and then add a wonderful lemon sauce. Oh that was so good.

For many years I made gingerbread men, but with no little ones in my life I haven't made them for several years.

Love the gingerbread house. What a fun tradition for your grandchildren.

Angela McRae said...

I've never made gingerbread of any variety that I can recall, but I do have a hankering to make a pretty gingerbread house one day. I love the ones that kids make! So much character, plus they just look FUN!

Steph said...

Happy holidays to you!

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Ahhhh.....how sweet.....I'll bet your grandsons look forward to the tradition!

I've never made a gingerbread house, but I remember my Mum making a really fancy little number out of sugar cubes when I was just a kid... :-)

My daughter's dad's family was from Nurumberg....sp?.....


Have a wonderful Christmas dearheart!

Hugs,
Spencer

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling, I thank you for your love and support this past year when I needed it most. Your kindness has left me feeling blessed. You have made my first year of blogging a memorable one!! I am certain that 2010 will be an amazing year for us both. Enjoy the last day of the year and have a marvelous 2010 full of good health, happiness, prosperity, love and blessings.

Love & Hugs
Duchess

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