Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gingerbread and Family Traditions.

With the beginning of the holiday season comes all the gingerbread stuff which reminds me of my experience of baking gingerbread cookies for the first time. This is a blog from December of 2006:

Before Thanksgiving I was reading a magazine and there was an article about people's favorite things about Christmas. One woman wrote that there was nothing better than the smell of Gingerbread baking. I have never made them. My family has never made them-at least not when I was around. I decided that I was going to start a new Culp Family Tradition for Christmas-Baking gingerbread men (and women).

About a week ago I was talking to my sister Fish on the phone and I told her about my newest tradition. She asked me if I had ever tried them and I said no. She laughed at me and suggested that perhaps I should try them before I decided to make them a tradition. I told her that I just didn't care. I liked the idea of Gingerbread men(and women) being a Christmas tradition for my family; that Brooklyn would one day grow up and make them for her children and that the smell of them would bring back memories of Christmas Past. I even told her that even if they were nasty I would make nasty cookies every year because it was a tradition-I think I may be a little stubborn:)

Today I drove to a couple different stores looking for the cookie cutters...the gingerbread man shaped one was everywhere, but I couldn't find the one shaped like a woman-with a skirt as opposed to wearing pants as if that really indicates the sex of a cookie, but it was the principle. I finally found her in a 20 pack of christmas cookie cutters at Bed Bath and Beyond. Score!!! I went to the grocery store and got all the ingredients that I would need to bake gingerbread cookies as well as sugar cookies. I pulled out my cookbook and flipped to the recipe so excited to start my great new tradition. I made the dough for the sugar cookies and put them in the fridge and then I started on the gingerbread. Halfway through the mixing I noticed the nastiest smell but ignored it hoping that it would get better-it just had too! When I finished mixing the dough the smell seemed even worse but I thought, "Well, it is supposed to be refrigerated for at least two hours, maybe the smell will be not so bad then. Or maybe it smells oh so much better once it's baking in the oven. That is what that lady in the article said....that the smell of it baking was wonderful."

Fast forward a couple hours.....I finished baking the sugar cookies-yummy!!! Now on to the gingerbread!!! I pulled the bowl out of the fridge and opened the lid expecting to inhale this heavenly scent-despite the fact that three hours prior the smell had made me want to jump out a window. What I smelled hit me like a brick wall and sent me into a gag attack that would make any bulimic proud. It was even nastier then before! All I could think of was the poor woman whose fondest memory of Christmas was the stench of this wretched stuff baking. Oh the poor woman! What kind of torture has she endured in her life to make this seem pleasant? Once my stomach stopped turning I laughed at myself and dialed my sister Fish. I knew she would get a kick out of my new "tradition" and what a flop it had turned out to be. We laughed and then I would smell it again(out of morbid curiosity-you would too)and then the gagging would start again which would make Fish laugh harder. I threatened to smear some on a card and mail it to her so she could share in my pain, but decided that the postman did not deserve that. Needless to say Gingerbread men will not be a Culp Family Tradition, but this story will be told every year at every family gathering and pretty much any time gingerbread is mentioned.

1 comment:

~Laura said...

I just read this... and you made me laugh so hard, imagining you and Fish talking and gagging over the dough!!!! :) You write so well! Thanks for the laugh!

The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
~Jill Churchill