#70 - "Mmmm, I'm
gingerbread!" That is a direct quote from Celeste of Munnsville,
NY. She wrote to
us after last week's VIC Pictorial
newsletter where we dropped the gingerbread hint.
Right she was. Today, we have literal gingerbread, illustrated
gingerbread, historical gingerbread and competitive gingerbread.
Celeste has more to say later
about the literal gingerbread.
Special Edition of The
VIC Pictorial is fresh out of the oven with:
Let's get crafting...
- A FREE Victorian Santa
image with his gifts of fruit, nuts and gingerbread!
- Extreme gingerbread
houses in sticky competition.
- Gingerbread that William Wordsworth would have loved (and may
have) from Sarah Nelson's Grasmere
- A simple gingerbread recipe
(to quote Celeste) "to die for."
FREE Victorian Santa
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/r5q7zy
If that link doesn't work for you (it is a very large file, so it might
take a minute or two), you can try this alternate link: http://www.sendspace.com/pro/r5q7zy
Gingerbread. A bread containing ginger and other spices, usually
sweetened with molasses. Just like Santa, it shows up at Christmastime
all around the world. In
Germany, it is called Lebkuchen. In France, pain d'Úpices. In England
it can be called Parkin and it's as crisp as a cracker. In America, it
soft like cake. Norwegians know it as brittle little biscuits called
Pepperkaker. Poland loves Pierniki, while Russia loves Tula
gingerbread. And Croatians bake Licitar in the shape of little hearts.
It can assume the shape of cake, crackers, hearts, elaborate houses or
little men with frosting hair and raisins for eyes.
story credits the Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, with
introducing gingerbread to Europe in 992. He traveled from Armenia to
France, where he taught gingerbread cooking to his fellow priests. By
the 13th century, German immigrants brought the gingerbread tradition
to Sweden, where it was the perfect accompaniment to coffee. A 1444
document describes Swedish nuns baking gingerbread as
a digestive aid. Soon, it was a favorite across Europe and has remained
so for more than 1,000 years. Which is just a little shorter than the
shelf-life of those dry little gingerbread biscuits from England.
Lest we forget, fancifully decorated gingerbread also gave
us the name for this other Victorian treat - architectural gingerbread.
Gingerbread un-Real Estate
Gingerbread houses are both a culinary effort
and a craft. The Brothers Grimm may have written the first description
cottage fashioned of gingerbread in their 1812 Hansel
and Gretel, but the tradition is far older. Today,
gingerbread house exhibitions are held around the world, the
most famous being in Bergen, Norway. Our own Port
of Bellingham had
its annual community display last week, and we ran right down with our
There were dozens and dozens of mind-bending
feats of edible engineering. We saw entire farms of gingerbread, towns,
igloos, mobile homes, Santa's workshops, firetrucks, ski resorts,
and vampire coffins. Our three favorites are pictured here.
The elaborate showboat is by the Miller family. The Bahee family
created the detailed replica of the Washington State Capitol. And the
sweet little clump in the foil box was
assembled by Everly (at 20 months old!). She won a ribbon for it.
Do you want to share in all the decorating fun, but with a fraction of
effort? Build little "gingerbread houses" out of square graham crackers
glued to cardboard. Then break out the icing, gumdrops and Necco
wafers, and decorate a special house for each place setting at your
Historic Gingerbread at Today's Prices
Grasmere. A quaint village in the Northern English Lake
District. We were there to see the historic home and grave site of the
great English pastoral poet, William
Wordsworth (1770-1850). We came
away remembering Sarah Nelson
(1815-1904) and her Grasmere Gingerbread.
Poor Wordsworth spent his time wandering "lonely as a cloud that floats on high
o'er vales and hills" when he should have been
enjoying Sarah's spicy, crisp gingerbread biscuits just
down the street. Honestly, we stood over Bill's grave, nibbling Sarah's
biscuits and saying, "We really hope you tried these!"
You can order Grasmere Gingerbread online, and it comes in
a quaint tin box! The shipping cost to the US is steep, but once a year
it's worth it.
Bonus Recipe for Christmas!
Here again, we quote our ever-quotable friend, Celeste. We asked her to
preview this recipe, and she promptly whipped up a batch. She wrote
back to us the next day, "These are
to die for. I ate one without the maple syrup and then later one with
maple syrup....OH YEAH! Gotta use the syrup! My house
smelled wonderful while they were baking too!"
Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup solid pack pumpkin (about half a 15oz can)
2 tbs molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbs confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square pan with nonstick
Beat eggs with electric mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Add brown
sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add
pumpkin, molasses and vanilla. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes.
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger; stir to blend. Add
to pumpkin mixture, stir well, and pour into prepared pan. Bake 20
minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool 10 minutes in the pan; invert onto platter. Sprinkle with
confectioners'' sugar. We like to drizzle some warm maple syrup on top.
How about that? No fat!! Healthy carotenoids (the good Agent Orange),
potassium, iron, riboflavin, folic acid and vitamin C!
Recipe from the Bellingham Herald,
Jill Wendholt Silva.
We're expecting an e-visit from that most famous holiday figure - Carol
Duvall. She sent a note with her travel plans for the holidays, and a
lovely Advent Calendar from Jacquie Lawson! We hope to
pass on her holiday wishes to you next week!
Visit Victorian Embroidery and Crafts! You will love
Mary's pages on Victorian Christmas decorations (like the strange
ivy-ribbon). She researches original books, magazines and sources, and
transcribes the texts and illustrations. From Mary's website, you can
faithfully reproduce a Victorian holiday scheme, or just enjoy it in
Don't forget, these
are the final weeks for the 30% Off Sale for subscribers only. Our
e-book, "Ten Vintage Christmas Greetings to Make" has
everything you need to make classy Vintage-inspired Christmas cards
that will amaze your crafty friends. Take advantage of this
limited-time offer. To get your 30%
discount, enter this code during checkout:
And be sure to make a couple of Vintage Tag Christmas Cards for your "scrappy"
Next issue - do you smell Plum Pudding?
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