--- Isaiah 40:31
I recently attended a Christmas tea party at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. One of the dining room decorations used gingerbread men, and these sweet little men reminded me of the gingerbread men that I’ve made with my son and daughter ever since they were toddlers. I’d love to share my recipe with you!
Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies by Cynthia Howerter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses (I use either Grandma’s or Brer Rabbit mild flavor molasses)
Combine flour, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder in a bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream shortening, sugar, and egg until fluffy. Add molasses; beat well. Stir in half of flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Add remainder of flour mixture, mixing with wooden spoon or hands until dough is all one color. Shape into two balls, wrap each in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Remove one package of dough from the refrigerator. Allow dough to stand until the dough is easy to work with – about 10 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out dough about 1/4-inch thick. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the men. Place on prepared cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.
After gingerbread men have cooled completely, ice and decorate. You can use either royal icing or a buttercream, and cinnamon candies, raisins, gumdrops, and thin licorice for edible decorations.
To God be the GloryRead More
Last week, my husband and I enjoyed Thanksgiving at Colonial Williamsburg. What a delightful surprise to see the beautiful Christmas wreaths as we strolled through the eighteenth century capital. Join my tour of the doorways of houses and shops on Duke of Gloucester Street all decked out in Christmas splendor. And I can’t wait to introduce you to several well-dressed colonial ladies as well. Please join me at Colonial Quills today and enjoy the tour!
Click here to go directly to Colonial Quills –> Colonial Quills Website
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Thank you, everyone, for making Elaine feel so welcome with your comments.
And a special thank you to Elaine for appearing on Soar With Eagles and for generously giving away a copy of her new book!
And now, without further ado, the winner of an autographed paperback copy of Fields of the Fatherless is Sue Craig!
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Don’t forget to enter the Book Giveaway Contest for Elaine Cooper’s newest novel Fields of the Fatherless. The Book Giveaway Contest ends Monday, November 25, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. with the winner to be announced on Soar With Eagles that day.
Author Elaine Cooper is generously putting up one autographed copy of her newest novel, Fields of the Fatherless, for Soar With Eagles’ Book Giveaway Contest. To enter a chance to win this book, you must: 1) be a Soar With Eagles subscriber, and 2) you must also leave a brief comment.
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Please note: due to the cost of international mailing, the author regretfully must limit the book giveaway to people living within the United States.
Thank you so much for your interest in Elaine’s wonderful new novel!
To God be the Glory
Through the lace curtains at my kitchen window, I watch the first snowflakes—as big as goose feathers—fall from the gray November sky. Scents of cinnamon and pumpkin waft through the room when I open the oven, and when my eyes catch sight of the oil lamp on the cherry farmhouse table, my thoughts follow the curving lane to the old farmhouse where Alice and Ed, my maternal grandparents, raised their children during the Great Depression.
Although my parents moved hundreds of miles away after their marriage, my mother’s thoughts frequently traveled to her childhood home. She loved nothing better than to gather my siblings and me next to her as she told us about her childhood on the farm near Muncy, Pennsylvania—stories I treasured and passed on to my own little ones.
Mother spoke of a life filled with an abundance of indoor and outdoor chores and of nearby relatives who frequently stopped by on Sunday afternoons to visit.
When harsh winds rattled the shuttered windows and blew swirling snow across the barren fields, it was the kitchen that was the center of Mother’s family’s life, mostly because it was the only room in the house that was heated. Family and guests gathered there, the old single-pane windows covered with condensation as much from conversation as from the heat of the wood burning cook stove where a chicken roasted in the oven.
The old farmhouse, which originally belonged to Ed’s parents, had no electricity, indoor plumbing, or central heat. Bathtubs, toilets, and even a kitchen sink were non-existent. Things weren’t any better outside. Three Belgian work horses—Fred, Maude, and Prince—pulled the plow and heavy wagons. Faith and a person’s own strength and determination kept the farm going when the economy and adverse weather interfered. Although parents and children worked hard from early morning to evening, my mother’s stories were never ones of complaining.
The day before Thanksgiving, Grandma Alice, bundled up against the raw wind, killed and dressed well-fed turkeys for customers from town who gave their orders weeks in advance. Once all of the poultry orders were filled, Alice killed the turkey she would cook for her own family. After Grandpa Ed finished the outdoor chores, he opened the old dovetailed chest in the guest bedroom and pulled out his hunting clothes. After dinner, he sharpened his knife on a stone and cleaned his gun. The days immediately after Thanksgiving were hunting days and Ed needed to hunt game to help supplement his family’s food supply.
The Great Depression was in full force and money was scarce for my mother’s family. Mother often said that while she and her siblings were growing up, they never realized how primitively they lived on the farm. A person can’t miss what they don’t know, she explained.
Something inside my heart was soothed when Mother spoke of the contentment that was felt at the end of each day when the family gathered at the dinner table and her father thanked the Lord for His generous provisions. Grandpa Ed and Grandma Alice made it clear to their children that, but for the Lord’s benevolence, their harvests would be small and their needs large.
My grandparents have long since gone to be with the Lord, and their farm has changed hands several times since they sold it. But my mother’s stories taught me that when a family realizes that they’re dependent upon the Lord to provide for all of their needs—as well as their blessings—every day is thanksgiving day.
May your Thanksgiving Day be joyous, may you be surrounded by your loved ones, and may you give thanks and praise to the One who provides for your every need.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10 (NIV)
To God be the Glory
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