Monday, December 22, 2008

Nibble, nibble, like a mouse...

Today's Wonder of the World is...Gingerbread Houses!

Gingerbread house by Sam
This season always makes me long for the smell of just baked gingerbread in my kitchen.
So I light a gingerbread candle and open up the gingerbread house kits I bought at the craft store! Woo hoo!

Do you know where gingerbread came from?
Gingerbread became popular after the crusades, when ginger was brought to Europe. People went crazy for the taste, and soon gingerbread fairs started popping up in Germany and spread all over Europe. In France they call gingerbread pain d'epices.

Flickr photo by daveleb
No, that's not nature bread. Nature means plain in French.
Even plain and unfrosted, it's oh so good!

But what about gingerbread houses?
Do you know who had the very first edible house?

It's the witch in Hansel and Gretel--the one who said, "Nibble, nibble on my house, Who is nibbling at my house?"

Before the Brothers Grimm made the German folk tale famous, there were no gingerbread houses. There were also no little girls with stop sign glasses who were afraid to open the oven door just in case any lurking bad guy might creep up behind her, pop her into it, and cook her to a golden brown when no one was looking.

But back to gingerbread houses...
Maybe it's my sweet tooth talking, but I think a lot of German houses look like gingerbread houses.

Dusted with powdered sugar snow!
And pagodas look like gingerbread too, apparently!

Flickr photo by tamyleino
A gingerbread pagoda! Tamyleino took that photo at the Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition Festival over the North Carolina border from us in Asheville. We went one year to see it and were all completely awestruck. And hungry!

You want some food for the soul? How about a gingerbread church?

Flickr photo by abra cat
Or maybe you're just in the mood for a gingerbread mansion.

Flickr photo by supersugarsnaps
So pretty!

Speaking of pretty, look at the fine threesome of gingerbread house decorators in my kitchen!

It's a family tradition at the Ramsey household. After school lets out, we put on the Christmas music and let the frosting fly! And yes, sometimes that really does happen!
And when it does, guess who's the happiest?

Tanner the Slobber Dog, of course.
Here's our finished products. It's a gingerbread neighborhood.

From our house(s) to yours, we wish you the merriest of Christmases!
I'll be taking a little blogging break until the new year, so give yourselves a hug for me. I'm so grateful for your friendship and count you amongst my dearest blessings! I hope your holiday is full of joy!
Love, Becky

PS. If you're as amazed as I am that some folks don't buy their gingerbread houses from the craft store, watch the creation of this beauty!


Suzie said...

I never made a gingerbread house. Looks like fun though

Attic Rat said...

I wish you a very wonderful Christmas!


Angela Recada said...

Just found your blog. This is a great post. Thanks!

Happy Holidays!

Susan said...

Looks fun and yummy. I have not made one either. All I can think of is the clean up. Maybe next year.

LW said...

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!


caren said...

I haven't ever made a gingerbread house - I can't even make gingerbread men, much less their house.

Merry Christmas to you.........

May Vanderbilt said...

HA. My mom is neither crafty nor into baking so I have never, ever done this. But I would love to.

Maybe one year I'll just give it a whirl.

TattingChic said...

Those were some spectacular gingerbread houses! Thank you for sharing those photos. One of my most cherished CHristmas memories is making a gingerbread village with my nieces and nephews. What a fun experience that was!

It's snowing in Southern California! Can you believe it!?! Come on over to my blog and see for yourself! ;)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Beautiful. I prefer gingerbread to the cookie version--it's rare to find and so divine.

jama said...

What a delicious post! *munching on some of the houses*

Love the helpers in your house -- they all did a great job!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am in Asheville (though originally from Spartanburg) and thought I recognized the houses on display at Grove Park as I scrolled through. Found you through a comment you left somewhere. Just knew that had to be the Gaffney peach! Merry Christmas!

Silicon Valley Diva said...

Making gingerbread houses is a wonderful tradition. I do the easy kind--we use graham crackers and frosting. I feel bad because we skipped it this year, but next year I plan to do it again with the kids.
Happy Holidays!!!

Marie Antionette said...

OMG!!!How grand these houses look,Wouldn't want to eat them.Wonderful post as usual.Merry Christmas Rebecca.Hugs Marie Antionette

ParisBreakfasts said...

Can you love gingerbread too much?
I do and can not let it into my house (which is not made of gingerbread by the way)
Quelle triste...
I love the smell and that I can manage without eating the dough raw.

Renee said...

Rebecca the most beautiful house of all that you showed us was the one with your gorgeous children in side.

Merry Christmas.

Love Renee

Linda Crispell said...

We have an annual gingerbread house decorating party!
Have a wonderful holiday.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have never tackled a gingerbread house, although I have been tempted by folks like you, and Martha Stewart!! Maybe next year!

Susan Sandmore said...

Your family is just so adorable! Merry Christmas, Becky!

serenity said...

Becky, your comment on my blog made me smile so big. Merry Christmas to you too!

Rosemary said...

Merry Christmas Rebecca!!
Have fun with your family.

CC said...

Those are awesome. And inspiring. I made a gingerbread train from scratch a few years ago. Not doing that again!!!!

Alex said...

Merry Christmas, Rebecca!! Thank you for the card.

*hugs* :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

As you might have guessed, I'm loving the gingerbread pagoda. Happ Christmas to you and yours. And thanks so much for the holiday card - we have an ornament with Santa on the Great Wall. Loved it!