Madalyn had a great time building and decorating a Gingerbread House at a small shop in our historic downtown.

She started asking questions and wondering about why we use Gingerbread to build houses and how it all got started ….

So we did some searching and here are some of the things we found:

According to The History of Gingerbread:

The gingerbread house became popular in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their fariy tale collection which included “Hansel and Gretel” in the 19th century. Early German settlers brought this lebkuchenhaeusle – gingerbread house – tradition to the Americas. 

Gingerbread houses never caught on in Britain as they did in North America, where some extraordinary examples can be found. But they do exist in other parts of Europe. 

In December 2001, bakers in Torun, Poland, attempted to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest-ever gingerbread house. It was made in Szczecin, Poland, with 4,000 loaves of brick-shaped gingerbread measuring 11 1/2 feet high. It took a week to create and used 6,000 eggs, a ton of flour, and 550 pounds of shortening. Alas, they lost to an American team!

Here is what we found on KidzWorld:

Who doesn’t love making a gingerbread house during Christmas? Ginger can be traced back to Europe during the 11th CenturyExplorers came back from the Middle East with the spice ginger. It quickly became popular, especially in Germany. Nuremberg, Germany is the gingerbread capital of the worldThe Brothers Grimm, who wrote Hansel and Gretel, made gingerbread houses even more popular
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On Kids.LibraryPoint, we found instructions, history, links to videos, title of books about Gingerbread Houses and these websites:

 

http://www.journalofantiques.com/hearthdec.htm
Follow the history of gingerbread, from its origins in the medieval crusades to country fairs to today’s holiday treats. Includes both historic and modern recipes.

http://www.janbrett.com/gingerbread_baby_house.htm
A craft project to go with the Jan Brett’s book, The Gingerbread Baby. No cooking (but, alas, no eating) with this house. A quick and easy holiday decoration.

http://organizedchristmas.com/article40.html
Sweet and easy mini houses make perfect holiday place cards.

http://www.necco.com/Recipes/NECCO-Wafer-Gingerbread-House.aspx
Necco wafers, the candy that’s 150 years young, makes a beautiful roof on a gingerbread house. The bakers at Necco have teamed up to create directions for a classic construction. No patterns or templates here, but measurements are included. Necco recommends baking the house pieces a day or two in advance (possibly weeks! This tough gingerbread freezes well). It’s no fun to have walls of hot gingerbread caving in at the construction site. This recipe also works well with gingerbread house molds, such as those made by the John Wright Company.

 

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