It was my first year at a new job. I had been there about 3 months when a gingerbread contest between the departments was announced. I volunteered to make the submission for my department.
Instead of the usual house, I decided to depict an emergency room similar to my workplace made entirely of edibles. My creative juices were flowing.
My gingerbread emergency room had cookie people in scrubs matching those we wore. The gingerbread wheelchairs had both large and small Oreo cookies as wheels. The floors were black and white fondant tiles that rested next to gingerbread walls covered with royal icing sponge-painted with food color that matched the wallpaper in our ER.
To say I immersed myself in this project would have been an understatement. I not only enjoyed the process, but the many compliments that came after. I was confident we…or rather, I would take the contest prize.
BUT, those who were in charge of the judging never declared a winner. It was reported that the ballot box was tampered with, so no prizes were awarded. What? After all the accolade, no prize?
That contest became a sore subject with me. My co-workers even commented, “Please do not even mention gingerbread to Sue!” They said it jokingly, but there is truth in jest.
I HAD taken something enjoyable and inflated it with a prideful spirit. When things didn’t turn out according to MY plan, discontent moved in and complaining became my companion.
However, I learned something from this situation. Talents and abilities can be used to encourage others IF we can keep our focus off SELF and resist the thinking that we are “all that and a bag of chips.” (Credit to my daughter for this phrase which means thinking more highly of yourself than you ought.)
I’m sharing today the recipe I used for my gingerbread creation. It’s sturdy and will hold up to decorations. I recommend my gingersnap recipe for the pleasure of eating. Find it at my web site, www.Confectionatelyyours.info. — Confectionately Yours, Sue
6-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 c. light corn syrup
1-1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 c. margarine
Stir the dry ingredients together. Combine the corn syrup, brown sugar, and margarine in a 2 qt. saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until margarine is melted. Pour the syrup mixture into the flour mixture. Lightweight mixers cannot handle this dough.
Use a heavy duty mixer only. Chill the dough for 1 hour before rolling out to 1/8” thickness onto parchment paper. Using cutters or paper patterns for a gingerbread house, cut out the pieces. Remove the excess. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the pieces 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Smaller pieces should be baked separately from the larger.
When baking is finished, slide the parchment withe the pieces onto a cooling rack, making sure all the pieces lie flat.
Sue Murphy is a Xenia resident may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Christian radio segments share about her journey and her passion for baking. Find other recipes and more at www.Confectionatelyyours.info. Find her cookbook at Parker’s General Store on the courthouse square in Xenia.