06 December 2006

Spell of ginger

On 6th December Polish children wake far earlier than they should on a dark wintery school day. It's all because of "the boots affair". I don't know how the custom originated but somebody succeeded in convincing us that St. Nicholas leaves sweet treats in the boots on his name day. Maybe it was just a trick to make kids clean their shoes as everybody is well aware that you will not find antyhing unless you spend the previous evening on polishing your footwear.

Anyway, 6th December always meant the beginning of Xmass time to me - with all the chocolate flavours, advent calendars and aromatic oranges - so exotic and special in the communist reality. Now that I'm grown up - at least in my ID - I always bake ginger breads around this date.

First there is a nice, shiny, brownish dough that spends a night in refrigerator. I try to put as much spices as possible inside (I never stick to original recipes :)

Then there is all the fun with cutting and filling baking sheets with paper thin hearts, mushrooms, stars, etc. I used to prepare a small gingerbread hut with frosting covered roof and colorful candies as windows. It was so cute nobody wanted to eat it so finally it always got inedible to my great dissapointment.

And it's only like 15 minutes when you feel all home vibrating with cinnamon, ginger, pepper and honey aromas. I'm getting totally Xmass-exhilarated and only wish some handsome Santa would come by :)

Then I make colorful frostings with egg yolk, rasberry syrop, nutella and rum and have my painting workshop going. One day, when I have my own team of little elves (I guess 4 would be enough :)) we'll be doing all the staff together so I know they feel what Xmass is all about - warmth, joy and sociability!


Blogger John J. Goddard said...

Ho ho ho.

What do you think of Indian food? When it comes to the warming spices, sweet is neat, but savory is my, uh... favory.

And now that I mention it, I'm inspired by your post to experiment with hot capsicums in sweet gingerbread. Have you ever had hot chocolate with chiles?


6:26 AM  
Blogger gagatka said...

Well, well my Santa:)
I like Indian food moderately though I don't think I had the best of it so far...
Truly, I adore southern Italian and Provence cuisine - with fresh herbs,pasta, cheese, colorful veggies, garlic, sardines and so on.

And as about hot chocolate with chili - I had it yesterday after riding for 2 hours on a bike in a pouring cold rain. It brought me back to life :)

7:15 AM  
Blogger isabella said...

These cookies smell wonderful ;-)))
but I'm saving room for makowiec!

Btw - what did St. Nic leave you in your boots?

1:49 PM  
Blogger gagatka said...

Makowiec is my mother's speciality so I'll have some really delicious one here. Myself, I'm more fond of kutia so better spare some room for it too!

My ST. Nic indulged me with an opulence of exqusite bitter chocolates (I love them) and a set of amazing scented teas from all over the world. You can imagine how I spend my afternoons now:)

3:19 PM  
Blogger simon said...

I am pleased to find another blog with cooking!

Your other blog ( on the beach) looks cold compared to our beaches here in Australia! :o)
And you ride a bike! Fantastic too!

11:15 PM  
Blogger gagatka said...

Simon the blog is not as much about cooking as about tasting :)Nice to have you here, anyway!

And Polish beaches - well, they are definitely cold but when you have enough hot temper, then it's quite OK:)

10:06 AM  
Blogger simon said...

yes I see! Taste! like the post on honey.. makes sense to me. :o)

We have a Polish man working here.. he IS hot tempered! Top bloke!

10:28 PM  

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