Gingerbread that our family made last week really is perfect. Their color is golden, they are glossy, puffy, soft and taste just little sweet, exactly as we like it. Sweetened by honey and without wheat flour. Shapes are recognizable, there are almonds in the middle. Yum.
In Slovak language we call these “medovníky” which could be freely translated as “honeybread”. They definitely contain less ginger then gingerbread, but other ingredients are more or less same. Most recipes for “honeybread” include just a little honey, which is replaced by sugar. As our family tries to avoid sugar I found an alternative recipe with honey. However, as we reduce wheat flour use, I altered that for a mixture of buckwheat, oat and millet flour and tapioca starch. Then I added baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, black pepper, honey, eggs and butter. After a while of kneading the dough the consistency was just right. Then it was time for B. to cut shapes with cookie cutters. It went really well, we enjoyed it. We spent quality time together, Christmas music was playing, we sang songs. Oh, and that warmth and smell…
What an idyll, right? Uhh… Not really. Some time later B. lined cookie cutters in a row and then he decided that cookie cutters are not interesting enough any more. So he started to throw small pieces of dough on the floor. Then he asked for water, sipped and pretended to pour it into a big flour jar. If I did not stop him, we would have a jar full of dough… So I sent him to wash his hands and play. And yes, I shouted too. I was busy, I tried to finish everything before B.’s bedtime and enjoy it too. I forgot to drink water so I was dizzy but still working. After I calmed down I invited B. back to the table again and the idyll continued. B. needed a break too.
And it was not so perfect with “honeybread” either. As I did not use wheat flour, many pieces broke when I tried to take them of the baking pan.
And although many pieces kept their shapes they were not intact – on the back side…
And also we run out of eggs so I did not have enough to spread on top of all “honeybread”. So instead of glossy some of them were mat. (Just two of them survived until I took a photo of them.)
And regarding the shapes… There were beautifully cut shapes, random torn shapes, shapes decorated with several gentle presses of cookie cutter.
Many people would not allow children to bake because they would expect horrible results… Of course, if you expect perfection, it is often not there even when you cook it yourself. At least it is my case. However, I am intentionally starting to learn how to look for positive aspects in all situations and this one was an easy one. We spent so much time together, it was a great activity for motor development for B., he learnt about a tradition of baking “honeybread” for Christmas, it was an unusual interesting activity, we baked something we could eat. I would not hesitate to offer “honeybread” from the last picture to any visitor.
But maybe many people feel insecure to show how their real life looks like. This is our everyday life, it is not perfect and it does not have to be. Sometimes, when I browse social media, I have a feeling that everyone’s life is perfect but mine… I am proud about where I got in my life. Sometimes there are difficult times when I do not feel proud, then I work and try to become proud!