Tag Archives: health

Saturdays With Gingerbread


This is the pen and ink start of an illustration of the novel I am working on, Recipes for Gingerbread Children.

I admit that my obsession with the benefits of gingerbread is mostly in my head.  Specifically, in my sinuses.  I find products with ginger in them, diet ginger ale, ginger teas, and especially gingerbread cookies, help reduce the tightness in my COPD-laced lungs, clear my sinuses, and make breathing mercifully easier.  Gingerbread cookies are also seasonally wonderful in that they are slightly Christmassy and help bring my family together.


So, yesterday, a Saturday, my daughter the Princess and I executed a perfectly evil plan to commit evil acts of gingerbread and whip up some wicked little gingerbread men in a frenzy of deliciously evil bakery.

Okay, maybe not evil exactly…  but I have diabetes and the Princess desperately wants to lose some weight, neither condition being one that benefits by having the temptation of wicked little gingerbread men around.


And, as with any evil plan, many things proceeded to go awry.  We did not have any actual flour available to make the gingerbread dough less butter-and-egg sticky.  All we had was some corn starch… which had bugs in it.  After struggling to craft sticky little bodies a few times, we decided to go ahead and use the tainted corn starch.  After all, a few little larvae that get overlooked and not picked out will only add a bit of extra protein, right?


And we had the added bonus that you can make just as much mess with corn starch and margarine as you can with flour and butter!


But we did get the corn-starchy little buggers baked.  (And they were probably literally buggers due to the potential for having bugs in them.  Oh well, it should fortify the old immune systems.)


The only decoration we had was chocolate frosting, since someone ate all the sprinkles and sugar dots we bought last year for the gingerbread house.  (Don’t look at me.  I have diabetes.)  So we frosted them, prompting the Princess to begin calling them “little burnt souls blackened in hell”.


So then the cookie cannibals could allow the eating to begin.


Mmmm!  Good cookie!

Okay, I know it looks like the Princess did all the work, and all I did was eat them.  But somebody had to do the hard work of taking all the pictures, right?




Filed under bugs, fairies, family, humor, illustrations, imagination, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Gingerbread Men



Gingerbread men may actually have saved my life.  You may not have realized this, but ginger has a significant power over inflammation.  I have had numerous struggles with bronchitis, chest congestion, and in the last few years, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.  I discovered by yielding to the temptation to eat gingerbread men two winters ago, that the ginger in them actually makes it easier to breathe.  They also help with acid reflux, a health scourge that plagued me until I discovered that eating ginger cookies, gingerbread men, and drinking ginger tea could actually make reflux go away.

Now, snowed in on a Friday when I should be teaching kids who are already shutting down for the holidays with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, I am dreaming of gingerbread men, having used a last-minute-before-the-ice-storm trip to Walmart to lay in a supply of gingerbread men.  They are the most important survival tool for me during the weather event

In my dream, the little brown-bodied cookie-men gathered around me to stare at me with raisin eyes.  They wear only gum-drop buttons, white frosting squiggles, and red cinnamon sprinkles.    Some brandish peppermint-stick spears and candy-cane clubs dangerously, letting me know that I better choose every move with great care.

“Why have you come to the Land of Gingerbread as an eater?” said one.

“I can’t talk to a cookie,” I said.  “I am a human being, and I am supposed to be rational.”

“What are we supposed to do with a human bean when he’s trying to be rational?” a cookie man asked another cookie man.

“Let’s take him to the Ginger King.  He’ll know what to do.”

So, I was surrounded by dangerous little cookie guys and escorted into a magnificent gingerbread castle.  The castle stood on the edge of a cliff next to the Bitter Butter Sea.  We made our way round the candy court until we reached the peppermint throne.

“So, great and hungry eater, why have you come to this part of the Dreamlands with your big hungry mouth and prodigious stomach?”  The king addressing me was an even smaller gingerbread cookie than his subjects.  He did have, though, a very large gingerbread crown, jeweled with red hots and candy corn.

“I ate gingerbread men last night to help me breathe and help me sleep without acid reflux.”

I was prepared to be the victim of their anger and recriminations.  It was justifiable that they would be deeply offended and incensed.

The Ginger King smiled at me.  “You have our blessings and our thanks,” he said.  “It is the purpose and the goal of all gingerbread people to make your life better, and to make you happy.”

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