Frankly, the holidays are one big excuse for me to bake and we can't eat it all. Hence, Secret Santa. We recently moved to this neighborhood and it is friendly and quirky and very community oriented, with regular newsletters and a community garden. Being a renter, I can't put down too deep of roots but I dig it here. On the corner is a halfway house I'm guessing - older dudes sit out on the porch all hours, waving as you go by. They always call out to Simone and watch out for speeders and keep an eye on your car. So I made this:
It's a gingerbread loaf with lemon glaze. (The sprig of holly is from the bush across the way, and I plan to pillage it again soon.) I love this dark, spicy bread. Now we just have to sneak it over to the halfway house, hope they pay heed to the little note and don't just throw it away.
Updated to add: The Recipe!
Which comes from my most beloved cook book, "A Cookbook for Girls and Boys" by Irma Rombauer, author of Joy of Cooking. It has a pink gingham cover and the best silhouette illustrations, including a lobster and a crab having a duel with a fork and spoon.
Place in a large bowl
Beat it and add
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C dark molasses
Place in a cup or small bowl:
1/4 C butter/shortening
Pour over it and stir until melted
1/2 C very hot water
Add these ingredients to the sugar mixture.
2 C flour
1 t cinnamon (I usually make it 2)
1 t ground ginger
1 t baking soda
And beat until blended. Pour into greased loaf pan or square 9x9 pan.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
Sometimes I just serve it with whipped cream and sometimes I glaze it:
3 T milk and enough icing sugar to make a thin-ish glaze. Add in lemon zest and juice of half a lemon.