3/16/2007

I "heart" gingerbread

In all modesty there are a couple things I'm good at: 1) I make The Girl call me Mrs. Parker when we're out in the car because I am so darn good at finding great parking spots. Even in Manhattan. I don't have to worry about alternate side of the street parking, but I know where the goods spaces are and when they're likely to be available. 2) I know how to use the web generally (and Google, specifically)really well. I do all kinds of crazy searches to satisfy my quest for mostly useless information.

It's the latter skill that has failed me today.

Once I had little heart-shaped baking dish: glazed inside, unglazed outside. It was just the right size for MFK Fisher's wonderful gingerbread recipe in How to Cook a Wolf. My memory is that it was made by a Marin County company called Amnion Ware, but when I google that I get all kinds of hits about amniotic fluid or pet medication.

I've looked at all kinds of heart-shaped baking dishes and none are the right size (about 6 inches tall and 2 1/2 inches deep). I'm beginning to think I made the whole thing up.

Still, it's a snow day, and what would be better after dinner than some spicy gingerbread?

Here's the recipe:

Edith's Gingerbread

1/4 C shortening
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C molasses
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C boiling water
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 beaten egg

Cream shortening and sugar. Sift in the spices and flour and baking powder together. Beat the 1/2 tsp. soda into the molasses until it is light and fluffy, and add to the shortening and sugar.

Add the 1/4 tsp soda to the boiling water, and then add it alternately with the sifted dry ingredients. Fold in the beaten egg when all is mixed well, pour into a greased and floured pan [preferably a heart-shaped pan bought in Berkeley over 20 years ago], and bake about 20 minutes at 325F. This mixture will seem much to thin to make a cake [she's absolutely right!], but do not increase the quantity of flour, as many doubting cooks have tried to do [Not I Mary Frances. I always take you at your word!]

2 comments:

Ken Sternberg said...

I am a ginger fanatic and will do most anything for it. This recipe looks delicioous, although for a true diehard like me I think more than 1 tsp of ginger is needed.

deejay said...

Well Mrs. Parker, when I read your recipe my mouth started to water and I could almost taste...not just the gingerbread but also the lemon sauce my mom used to make and serve with her gingerbread. That combination seems like one of those forever lost heart-shaped things to me.