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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday May 23rd 2024

Food obsession: Gingerbread

By Jane Thomson

Note: “Food Obsession” will be a column written by Jane Thomson often, if not regularly, in The Alley.

I am not a “foodie”, but I like to eat and am also a constant dieter ”“ thus the obsession. I welcome anyone else”'s sending in his own food article, perhaps focusing on informed healthy eating or on world hunger (as related to neighborhood action), subjects which I am not exceptionally well informed about.
Focus on gingerbread: Such a recipe calls for ingredients that are often already on hand, so you can make it on impulse. “Gingerbread” is also the word used to describe the wooden trim often seen on Victorian houses in the Phillips neighborhood.

The first recipe is for a classic gingerbread. Clipped awhile ago from The Star Tribune, it is called “Gingerbread from 1930”. When you make it, you should be wearing a cotton housedress, an apron, thick cotton stockings, and tie shoes with Cuban heels ”“ all well worn and mended. I do not necessarily recommend this costume for male cooks.

1/3 cup of butter, softened ”“ (it helps to have all ingredients at room temperature)
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
½ cup of molasses
2 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon; ginger; nutmeg; cloves; baking powder; baking soda

Grease and flour a 9” x 13” pan and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Mix together eggs, milk and molasses. Sift all dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with liquids. Bake in pan for about 35 minutes, testing to see if the cake is firm and done in the middle. Gingerbread is good with lemon sauce. Would you like cream cheese with that? Thin the cheese with cream or milk. Or you could have a wholesome dessert by topping the cake with lemon or vanilla fat-free yoghurt.

Blueberry Gingerbread is somewhat like a pudding.
1 box of gingerbread mix
1 pint of fresh blueberries (I suggest substituting mulberries. More about that another time.)

Thoroughly grease two coffee cans. Make gingerbread mix as instructed on the box, omitting eggs. Fold in blueberries. Spoon the batter into the cans. Put the cans on top of small racks or cookie cutters in a very large pan. Put water in the pan high enough to submerge the bottom of the cans. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat; cover the pan and simmer for two hours. Be sure the water does not boil away. When the gingerbreads are done and cool enough to handle, either turn them out onto plates, or just serve from the cans. This is good enough for a holiday dessert. For topping see above; or have ice cream or whipped cream.

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