Cherry Saturday, December 14, 2019

. Today is Gingerbread Decorating Day. Since I love gingerbread, I’m all over this one, although I do prefer ginger cake, still warm, with whipped cream dolloped on top. And ginger cookies, those are good. And ginger in my stir fry. And ginger tea . . .

(That glorious ginger cookie is from Spruce Eats, which has a History of Gingerbread posted. You should read that.)

Happy Gingerbread Decorating Day, even if you decide to skip the decorating and go straight to the eating part.

31 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, December 14, 2019

  1. The best ginger cake recipe ever is by the fabulous Laurie Colwin, whose book “Home Cooking: A writer in the kitchen” is one of my favorite books about food. My copy is tattered, having been read many times over. I am, quite coincidentally, making it tonight, as it is my daughter’s birthday and she requested this cake, served with brandy cream. Yum!

  2. I will never forget when my sons begged and begged to get some big, fancy pretty gingerbread people for Christmas a few years ago and then acted like I had personally played a prank on them after they actually tried them. Ginger and molasses did not suit their kid palate. Oh well, I enjoyed them!

    We make soft gingersnaps in our house with real bits of crystallized ginger inside, so not very conducive to decorating. But they’re my favorite Christmas cookie and I love handing one to someone who has never had them before. They look kind of dull and unassuming and then people take a bite and go “oooh.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ooooh, those sound absolutely luscious โ€” is the recipe a family secret or can you share?

      1. Hah, they are delicious if I do say myself and definitely not a family secret. It’s just the recipe that came with the container of crystallized ginger. Google “Pennant Gingersnaps” or look on the Paradise fruit company website and all shall be revealed. ;- ) It’s a very simple recipe, but it’s just about perfect.

  3. As of yesterday I’ve finished all my holiday commitments (don’t hate me — I did it by essentially saying “no more presents, no more fuss, no more anything”), so now it’s all about playing. I’m still doing essentially the same things I was doing before (writing and quilting), but it’s on projects that aren’t commitments, so there’s no pressure.

    I think this is the first year since college that I’m not planning to make ginger crinkles to give away. It feels weird. But also freeing. Like it’s now a choice to make them (or not), rather than an obligation. And I’ll still be making other baked goodies, just not the crinkles. This year. Maybe next.

  4. I’m planning to make and decorate gingerbread cookies tonight, as a matter of fact. While drinking ginger tea.

    1. And then you should have a ginger bath! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Grated fresh ginger (in a big tea ball), in the tub. Supposedly, it helps draw out toxins, but I love it because of how it makes my skin feel; and the scent! It’s amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. My favorite gingerbread cake or cookie is Apple Spice Cake (Ukrops deli/bakery).

    Okay, it’s bad enough that after reading all the pie posts, I went on Amazon and bought the Kindle version of Elegant Pies, knowing full well that with only a small toaster oven there was no way I was ever going to bake a pie. The book is be-you-ti-ful, although I have to hold the Kindle in landscape instead of portrait to get the max benefit. Anyway, I’m not buying any more cookbooks or drooling on my keyboard surfing gingerbread sites.

    Speaking of Christmas food, some of you may remember I said I was putting containers (mouseproof) of candy under a 9″ tree at work? When I returned to work after a long weekend, the contents of the containers were gone. My cowoinkers had consumed everything except one (1) M&M with peanut that had escaped a bag – even the not-so-popular sugar-free candy. I checked the tree for tooth-marks. They had just that much restraint.

    So today I refilled the containers. The top (smaller) container has a mixture of regular M&Ms, Skittles, and Reese’s Pieces. And a spoon, so nobody sticks their fingers in ’em. Because those flavors go so well together. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The bottom has a layer of root beer barrels at the bottom, covered with peppermint striped hard candies, topped with atomic fireballs (I love the cinnaminamum smell). All of these are individually wrapped, so no spoon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I chose candy that I find completely resistible, and I bought enough to refill the containers twice. Maybe it will last until Christmas.

    I know me. If I owned an oven, I’d be baking stuff – maybe not pies from scratch – and bringing it to work. The candy is a compromise. When I had a bread machine, I used to make one or two loaves every day and bring those to work. I baked in my oven then, too. Some breads do not enjoy the bread machine treatment. The house smelled so good!

  6. Love ginger, gingerbread cookies, ginger beer, ginger ale, and my mamaโ€™s spice cake. I bought a gingerbread house kit for granddaughters today. Something to do on Christmas Eve afternoon. (In laws get them on Christmas Day.)

  7. Advice needed about how Christmas dinner guests can use toothpicks when one guest is a 4-year-old.

    I’m psyched because new people are coming, along with the regular family (7 adults, 1 four-year-old), to Christmas. One newby grew up in Egypt until he moved to the US as an adult; the other two additions are a sophisticated couple (70s, childless).

    Family includes a pescatarian (who severely limits breads) and a no-mayo-or-veggies eater (NOT the 4-year-old). Egyptian is taking an appetite suppressant; doctor has encouraged him to eat protein. Everyone else can get along with what is offered.

    So, I figured a lot of finger foods would be good, except that some nibbles really need toothpicks and forks. I can’t house the goodies in pastry or on crackers for the sake of the non/low-carb folks.

    I’m concerned about the 4-year-old running around with toothpicks.

    Advice? As I said, I’m excited about all the folks coming. I want them all to feel that eatable food is available. By the way, the mains are standing rib roast and lobster tails.

    Thanks in advance. I hope this is suitable to Cherry Saturday. It’s a call for help.

    1. I have no useful advice. Everything I thought of – little plastic cocktail swords, kabob sticks, popsicle sticks – ran aground on the shore of “4-year-old.” That’s a reef that can sink many an idea. That leaves me with little spoons? Or feed the kid and put them to bed.

      Maybe you could wrap all the finger foods in seaweed like sushi? Use chopsticks? Present them in those cup things like tiny cupcakes? (Those have a name. I forgot it.) Good luck.

        1. You are quite welcome! Those cupcake things I was thinking of are:

          Mini Baking Paper Cup 400-Pack Brown Cupcake Liners
          Great for cupcakes desserts, cookie, hot and cold appetizers, candies, nuts and other party snacks.

          All your wraps are mouth watering. (And probably better than seaweed.)

      1. Maybe also crackers made of beans or lentils? You might want to experiment with a few to check flavors.
        Also depending on how many foods you plan to offer not everyone has to be able to eat everything. Labels are good.

        1. Thanks to all! I will look for a small plastic holiday ramekin for the 4-year-old. He’ll be able to fill it without needing toothpicks and it will be especially his. Looking for crackers made with legumes instead of wheat flour hadn’t occurred to me.

          This is all very good.

    2. Ask the four-year-olds parent.
      Alternately, ask the four-year-old what she wants and put the toothpick stuff in a bowl after removing the toothpicks. Four-year-olds consider everything finger food anyway.

  8. Mid-week I brought my friend along to a Holiday Tea, a long-running tradition of one of our city’s oldest garden clubs (our own Association – 1907 – is the oldest). Holiday-themed floral designs made by group members and hand-crafted decorations on offer. When you’re finished browsing and buying, there’s a room-spanning table laden with home-made goodies both savory and sweet and tea being poured at each table end from gorgeous silver tea sets. For two hours, friends and friendship abound in a scene conjured from the 1950s. I look forward to attending all year.

  9. How about a non-cookie form of ginger dessert? One of my favorite cookbooks (Cooking with Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey) has recipes for both Ginger Cheesecake and Gingerbread Pudding with Dark Beer Sabayon. The puddings are like a cross between a souffle and a pudding and can sit in the oven for 10 minutes after baking without falling.

  10. David Lebovitz has a terrific gingerbread made with Guiness Stout that is rich, dark and luscious. Is it in Ready for Dessert? His books are in our bookroom down the street, inaccessible because of Renovating. So I’ll let you know in February. Or go on his site.

  11. A local cafe does super-rich hot chocolate drinks with a shot of ginger, they’re so good.

    We put ginger in our brandy snaps too. mmmm.

    1. My frustration with the Spruce Eats article, it contains the old “spices (or in this case crumbled gingerbread) covered up the taste of decaying meat”… As a food historian, this information drives me crazy. It has been perpetuated by bad research. People got sick eating rotten meat, and did not eat it, spices or not.

      on a side note, I have made quite a bit of early historical gingerbread, it is quite is yummy and more like candy. Tasty…. if you like spices.

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