Monday, April 26, 2010

Gingerbread Holiday.

Today is a public holiday here in Australia – the one we are ‘owed’ because Anzac Day (yesterday, the 25th) fell on a Sunday. As (a) I plan to have fun for the day, away from the computer, and (b) I am all out of pre-prepared blog posts, this will be short – but very sweet.

I wanted to give you something relevant for Anzac Day, and have chosen a recipe from a World War II Australian cookery book. I have not added anything to the gingerbread archive for some time, so this just fits that bill too.

Feather-soft Gingerbread.
Cream two-thirds of a teacup of margarine with a teacup of sugar. Beat in one egg and add two thirds of a cup of golden syrup. Mix well. Then sift two breakfast cups of plain flour with a teaspoonful each of ginger and mixed spice (or any spices available) and one small teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Add the flour to the syrup mixture, moistening with a teacup of sour thick milk. Beat all thoroughly. Stand a few minutes before turning into a deep well-greased gingerbread tin. Have oven well heated. Put in cake. Lower heat to moderate. Bake about an hour. Don’t hurry it!
Leave in tin for a few minutes when it comes from the oven as it is very soft and easily broken.
Wartime Cookery, by Sarah Dunne of The Herald, Melbourne.

Quotation for the Day.

Yet the boy was patently fallacious; and for that matter a most unsympathetic urchin, raised apparently on gingerbread.
Robert Louis Stevenson, in The Silverado Squatters.


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, thank you so much for your fascinating posts. I was surprised to see Gingerbread on here this week, my grandmother, 94 and I just had a conversation regarding it. She said this is the time of year to make gingerbread, and every spring they had to eat it for health reasons. When I asked why, she said she had always since a girl and thought it was for the "iron"?? Are you aware of any reason for gingerbread in spring?

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Anonymous. I dont know of any particular reason for advising gingerbread in spring, but ginger and other spices certainly have a long history of medicinal use (and perhaps the treacle in the 'modern' version.) Certainly the perceived medical value would hav predated the understanding of iron in the body - an example of an ancient concept being re-explained, I guess. What an interesting question you have posed: I must look into it!

Anonymous said...

Me again, I apologize for posting anonymous but am on a secured computer. Over the weekend I found a bit about "spring tonic" using molasses & sulphur. Maybe gingerbread was my family's way of making this tolerable...

here is a link



The Old Foodie said...

Hello bbrye - interesting idea. I wonder if the sheer blackness of molasses made people feel its strength, as they emerged pale and wan from a long winter? Like a dose of iron?