by Sheila Connolly
Had I but world enough and time...
That's seventeenth-century poet Andrew Marvell's opening line for "To a Coy Mistress." He was writing about what he would like to be doing with a lady love. Me, I'm thinking about food.
We bloggers here have just spent two weeks wallowing in cookies (and I've got a few dozen left—did I mention I love cookies?), and I thought all that sweet holiday stuff was behind me, until I opened the Boston Globe magazine section and found an entire article devoted to gingerbread recipes.
Not one, not two, but six different recipes, and they all sound good! There's even a gluten-free one, and another one includes coffee. I had to laugh when a number of the submitters said that they'd found their recipe in unlikely places, like blowing around a parking lot in the 1970s. I want to try them all, but when do I find the time?
I already told you about my quest to recreate the spicy ginger cookie from my childhood (and that recipe from last week is definitely a contender). But I also remember my mother making gingerbread—I think, I hope, from scratch—topped with lots of whipped cream. I've long since settled on a staple recipe from the classic cookbook, The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Becker (I have the 1975 edition). For me it's definitely a comfort food, a warm and hearty winter dessert.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
|Batter in the saucepan|
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
½ tsp salt
½ cup light molasses
½ cup honey
1 cup hot water
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and let cool. Add the sugar and egg and beat well.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Combine the molasses, honey and hot water.
Add the sifted and liquid ingredients alternately to the butter mixture and mix until blended.
|Batter in the pan|
Pour into a greased 9" pan and bake for about an hour. (Even in a 9" pan, the cake is nice and thick, with a dark glossy finish and a wonderful aroma … mmm, I'm making myself hungry.)
There's another line later in Marvell's poem that sums it up nicely:
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball…
May your holidays be merry, and filled with good things to eat!