Tuesday, January 31, 2006


"It's an excellent recipe," she said. "I had it from King Alfred the Great. He burnt his other cakes, you know, but never his gingerbread."

Mary Poppins In The Kitchen by P. L. Travers and Maurice Moore-Betty
Alas, this super little "cookery book with a story" is out of print. I picked up a copy from the school library to read to my daughter who loves Mary Poppins (the movie) to introduce her to the book version. The premise is the Banks family cook and parents are away for a week and Mary Poppins must manage the children and the cooking. The book is 30% story and 70% recipes. The recipes are very simple and right out of my English childhood - jam tarts, apple crumble, rock cakes, bread sauce, trifle, welsh rarebit, and, of course, tea.
Gingerbread is the name for both cookies and cake.

Here's a recipe for gingerbread (cake):
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of ginger
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of molasses (treacle)
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the flour, allspice, baking soda, and ginger. Melt the butter and sugar together over a low heat and allow to cool. Add the molasses and beat with the flour mixture and the beaten egg. Butter and flour an 8 inch cake pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes.

Here's a popular recipe for gingerbread snowflakes(cookies).

Vegan? Here's a vegan gingerbread recipe from Jennifer's Vegan Lunch Box. (If you haven't visited The Vegan Lunch Box before, you're in for a treat. This is a wonderful blog and you don't have to be vegan to appreciate it.)