Wow, I can’t believe how close Christmas is. With less than ten days away, I can practically feel the excitement in the air.
My entire family has been super busy, not only with Christmas preparations, but with a whole bunch of fun pre-Christmas events.
In my family, only a part of Christmas is the actual Christmas day. So much of the holiday season revolves around fun Christmas traditions that my family does.
As I was thinking about my Christmas traditions today, I realized just how much they revolved around the use of food.
I think you don’t always realize just how much social gatherings and activities revolve around food until the food itself becomes dangerous. My mom told me when I was four and I was first diagnosed, she would panic before every party. No matter how much you try to explain a food allergy there is always going to be the relative that insists on bringing their own cookies or cake to the party. Pretty rough when you are a kid and that cake looks good. Thankfully there will hopefully always also be that relative like my Aunt Susan that practically sends a hazmat team into her kitchen before Thanksgiving and then greets my mom at the door with a bag of safe labels to “double check, just in case”. I guess my point is there is always going to be food at gatherings, but usually everyone tries really hard to make everything safe for you.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is my family’s gingerbread party. My mom loved decorating gingerbread cookies as a kid, and she wanted me to be able to do the same thing.
Unfortunately, most gingerbread house kits are unsafe for an allergy child like me. So about twelve years ago she started making them from scratch. LOTS of them! Every year she makes about 20 to 25 gingerbread houses from scratch and then assembles them. Then my friends and family come over and we all decorate our own. It’s so much fun!
She even gives me and my sister gingerbread cookies to decorate with frosting.
It is probably my favorite part of the Christmas season, maybe even more so than Christmas itself!
Since Christmas is almost upon us, I decided to share the recipe my mom uses to make her special gingerbread houses! The recipe will make about two houses and some extra cookies. She makes twelve batches each year before the party. As always, double check to make sure the ingredients are safe for you, and check with your allergist if you are still unsure.
Makes Two Houses And A Few Men
1 cup crisco
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup molasses
2 tablespoons vinegar
5 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Cream crisco, sugar, salt.
Mix in egg, molasses, and vinegar.
Sift dry ingredients together and add sift into molasses mixture.
Roll, cut, place on parchment or a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for about 6 to 8 minutes (depending on cookie size).
That’s it! Enjoy!
Until next time!