WHEN MAMA’S MAKING GINGERBREAD, AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD #22

“Why do they call it ‘Gingerbread’?

I asked mama one day, “Oh, you know,

it’s just a cake”

“Just a cake, you say?”

“gingerbread” my mama says

is the oldest cake in all the world.

It is believed to have been created by

a Greek in Rhodes, in 800 BC,

and was famous in the Mediterranean area.

The Crusaders brought it back to England

after the wars and by the 14th century

it was customary to make it into fancy shapes

representing men, animals and birds.

Queen Elizabeth the First of England

gave Gingerbread creations to her guests,

But it was the brothers Grimm who made us

Remember Gingerbread for all time by

using it as the material for the witches cottage

in Hansel and Gretel….”

“Oh,” I say, “mama  you know so much!”

And she laughs and says

“You will know a lot more when you are my age,

too, and if you study hard in school and learn everything

the teacher tells you….”

and then she  says, wistfully, “I loved school”.

I am stunned to silence.  I always thought the only

thing mama loved was working in her kitchen and

taking care of me and papa”

 

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted June 26 2010,

Updated October 11, 2018

TO MAKE MAMA’S GINGERBREAD YOU WILL NEED:

1 CUP MOLASSES

1/2 CUP BUTTERMILK

1 EGG SLIGHTLY BEATEN

2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

1/2 TSP SALT

1/2CUP SUAR

1 TSP ALLSPICE

1 TSP GROUND CINNAMON

1 TSP GROUND GINGER

1 TSP BAKING SODA

1/2 CUP (1 STICK) BUTTER, MELTED

1 CUP HEAVY CREAM, WHIPPED (OPTIONAL)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. grease a 9″ square baking p an. in a small bowl, combine the molasses, buttermilk and egg; stir to blend. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda in a large bowl. add the molasses mixture and mix well. add the melted butter and stir until just blended.  pour batter into pan. bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. cool in the pan on a wire rack. serve with whipped cream, if desired

 

 

 

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