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!