Thursday, December 11, 2008

You Can't Catch Me....




An I had but one penny in the world, thou should'st have it to buy ginger-bread.
" William Shakespeare,
Love's Labours Lost

I found a site that is very popular this time of year,
The Gingerbread Construction Company

http://www.gingerbreadusa.com/

My Niece and Nephews in Texas have a little surprise coming their way....!

Hopefully the little visitor won't run as fast as he can.......

What's Christmas with out the Gingerbread Man..?


Gingerbread Man Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed brown sugar

Directions: Mix 2 cups of the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with the ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. In a 1 quart, wide mouth canning jar, layer the ingredients starting with the flour and baking powder mixture, then the brown sugar, and finally the flour and spice mixture. Pack firmly between layers. Attach a card to the jar with the following directions: Gingerbread Cookies 1. Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to blend together. Mix in 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine, 3/4 cup molasses, and 1 slightly beaten egg. Dough will be very stiff, so you may need to use your hands. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 3. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. 4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven. Decorate as desired.



Gingerbread has been baked in Europe for centuries. In some places, it was a soft, delicately spiced cake; in others, a crisp, flat cookie, and in others, warm, thick, steamy-dark squares of "bread," sometimes served with a pitcher of lemon sauce or whipped cream. It was sometimes light, sometimes dark, sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, but it was almost always cut into shapes such as men, women, stars or animals, and colorfully decorated or stamped with a mold and dusted with white sugar to make the impression visible.

The term may be imprecise because in Medieval England gingerbread meant simply "preserved ginger" and was a corruption of the Old French gingebras, derived from the Latin name of the spice, Zingebar. It was only in the fifteenth century that the term came to be applied to a kind of cake made with treacle and flavored with ginger.

Ginger was also discovered to have a preservative effect when added to pastries and bread, and this probably led to the development of recipes for ginger cakes, cookies, Australian gingernuts and flavored breads.

The manufacture of gingerbread appears to have spread throughout Western Europe at the end of the eleventh century, possibly introduced by crusaders returning from wars in the Eastern Mediterranean. From its very beginning gingerbread has been a fairground delicacy. Many fairs became known as "gingerbread fairs" and gingerbread items took on the alternative name in England of "fairings" which had the generic meaning of a gift given at, or brought from, a fair. Certain shapes were associated with different seasons: buttons and flowers were found at Easter fairs, and animals and birds were a feature in Autumn. There is also more than one village tradition in England requiring unmarried women to eat gingerbread "husbands" at the fair if they are to stand a good chance of meeting a real husband. Of course, you could always visit Elizabeth Botham & Sons, a family-run craft bakery on the North Yorkshire coast of England, and sample some authentic pastries.

If you lived in London in 1614, your family would have gone to the Bartholomew Fair on August 24. Of the special cakes prepared for holidays and feasts in England, many were gingerbread. If a fair honored a town's patron saint, e.g., St. Bartholomew, the saint's image might have been stamped (and even gilded) into the gingerbread you would buy. If the fair were on a special market day, the cakes would probably be decorated with an edible icing to look like men, animals, valentine hearts or flowers. Sometimes the dough was simply cut into round "snaps."

Gingerbread-making was eventually recognized as a profession in itself. In the seventeenth century, gingerbread bakers had the exclusive right to make it, except at Christmas and Easter. Their street cries could be heard well into the nineteenth century, but in 1951, writer Henry Mayhew sadly recorded that "there are only two men in London who make their own gingerbread nuts for sale in the streets."

Of all the countries in Europe, Germany is the one with the longest and strongest tradition of flat, shaped gingerbreads. At every autumn fair in Germany, and in the surrounding lands where the Germanic influence is strong, there are rows of stalls filled with hundreds of gingerbread hearts, decorated with white and colored icing and tied with ribbons.



1 comment:

Thanks for the visit....! I encourage and look forward to your thoughts and comments. Many Blessings...K

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