Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ginger Bread

Shuffling through my Great- Great- Grandmother's recipes I found two different recipes for Ginger Bread. It seems like I rarely see it anymore, even around the holidays, as most folks seem to think that Ginger Bread means cookies with frosting and red hots. Not that there's anything wrong with gingerbread cookies, but Ginger Bread seems a lot more homey to me than Gingerbread cookies

Mattie Stipp Weathers' Recipe
The recipes are similar, and I have no idea where one of them originated, although the other is attributed to a Mrs. Sam Weathers, whose given name was Mattie Stipp, sister in law to G-G-Grandmother Ida Mae. The three Stipp siblings (William, Mattie, and my G-G-Grandfather John Bowen) inherited farmland from their parents, Benjamin and Sallie, and lived one right after another near what is now Iron Works Rd outside of Paris, Kentucky. My father talks frequently about going out to the farm to work when he was growing up, and even today, what his regrets most about living in the suburbs is the lack of acreage to grow things.

Ida Mae's Recipe

While both have the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, molasses (Sorgum) and baking powder that you would expect, they vary in the amount and types of liquids added to the batter. You might also notice that they both fail to mention what sort of pan to bake the ginger bread in, in addition to temperature and length of time. I guessed that 'Moderate oven' would be about 350 (always a good guess, right?) and a quick call to my Nana (Grandmother) confirmed that a cake pan would be the best bet, I opted for a 9x13. If your pan isn't non-stick, you might want to butter and flour the pan.

I decided to go for the second recipe, mostly because it had a few more directions written out and any recipe where booze is involved can't be too bad, right? Hopefully I'll be able to make Mattie's recipe soon (I doubt that this cake will last too long as i've already eaten a good portion of it myself!) I opted to make Ida Mae's Ginger Bread with soy milk instead of regular milk, subbed in Gluten Free Flour for the regular, and decided to go for the Brandy instead of coffee. The result is a light cake, richly spiced with a kick of brandy to go along with the tingly sensation from the ginger. It isn't too sweet, so you can easily eat a lot of the cake. My Nana remembers eating this with whipped cream or a brown sugar sauce, but it's also pretty great to just snack on by itself!


Ida Mae's Ginger Bread

1 stick of butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Molasses
2 Tablespoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Cup Milk (warm)
1/3 Cup Brandy or Coffee
3 Eggs, Beaten
3 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Orange, Juiced
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda dissolved in tablespoon of water

Sift flour together with Cream of Tartar, set aside. Beat eggs until thick and light, set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar together, add molasses and spices, mix well and add Milk and Brandy/Coffee. Alternate adding flour and eggs. Add in orange juice and mix well. Finally, add in Baking soda and beat until light. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes in a 9x13 inch pan.

No comments:

Post a Comment