filling the empty nest with food

Gingerbread Professionalism

I know Christmas is over and it’s supposed to be time to move quickly on to the next holiday. But I’m still contemplating Christmas and its experiences and meanings–and still eating Christmas sweets!

Making homemade sweets to share with those outside your immediate family has gotten awfully intimidating these days, what with so many professional-looking food photos around. Since we tend to judge things by their appearance, beautifully presented Christmas treats can seem so much more appetizing than homely ones.

Not being all that gifted in the artistic, design-oriented skills, I keep my fingers crossed that the deliciousness of my Christmas goodies will rise above the homeliness of their looks. IMG_1263

When my two older boys were young, I used to take them grocery shopping with me. At the end of the last aisle in the store was the cake-decorating station. We stopped there every week to watch the cake decorator create his magic, piping stars and roses faster than you could blink your eyes. We were transfixed by his speed. And so impressed at how every cake turned out perfectly. Needless to say, after spending so much time watching him, we got to chatting with him and became Friday afternoon friends. One Christmas, I thought he might like some of the gingerbread people my boys and I had made and decorated that year. He seemed to accept them graciously, but a couple of years later laughed about how ugly they had been.

I was stung–realizing for the first time that not all homemade treats are appreciated. That experience has not stopped us from our annual marathon of Christmas-cookie baking, outlandish gingerbread creations, or from giving them as gifts.  We just do it with a little thicker skin.

IMG_1271Appearance has never been my forte, but it won’t stop me from baking.  And I hope it won’t intimidate you, either.



3 comments on “Gingerbread Professionalism

  1. John kremer
    January 7, 2014

    Yum, thanks for the treats!! Looks ain’t everything.

  2. Caroline
    January 11, 2014

    I try to make the two-headed, one-eyed, crazy (etc.) gingerbread men and ladies, too! Gotta have some fun! Plus they DO taste good.

    • Catherine
      January 25, 2014

      Glad you’re joining us in flaunting tradition. The old Betty Crocker gingerbread recipe is the best.

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