Thursday, 9 December 2010

9: Political gingerbread gone mad

Day 9 in Advent picture terms, and I find myself up against a gingerbread ceiling.

Gingerbread formerly known as man.
There are a gazillion ways to serve up Christmas sugar. Most of them are included in the American cookery bible, 'The Joy of Cooking'. Papa and I received a copy as a wedding present, and it has lived, much-loved and very food-spattered, in our home ever since. The cookbook's status as the yankee kitchen manual of choice obscures what is, to my mind, the greatest joy of the book: its thorough eccentricity. For instance, in my 1997 edition, there is a reduced fat (a joyless 90's fad) recipe not for gingerbread, or gingerbread men, but for 'gingerbread people'. There is a handy illustration of a 'gingerbread person' to drive the baking appropriateness point home in case you were too busy making/consuming cookies to ponder their inherent gender-neutrallity. 

Walk gingerly and carry a big stick. 
There are a hundred other delightful oddities contained in the book. More on this later, since I don't currently have time to dissect it recipe by recipe in the manner of Julie Powell and Julia Child (or The Joy of the Joy of Cooking, a blog on a similarly ambitious and thorough foodie mission as the Julie/a's). Instead I offer you Berlin's answer to the gingerbread person: the Ampelmann cookie cutter (see above). I plan to make a full-fat batch of Ampelvolk today and I expect the whole family, girls and boy alike, will be much more joyfully ample after eating them. 

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