7 Delicious Facts About Genealogy (Plus A Gingerbread Recipe)


Happy New Year! As we are all recovering from a holiday season filled with sweets, I thought that I would cook up a post with some tasty bits of knowledge about genealogy. So sit back, grab a glass of egg nog, and open up the gamble chocolate box of family history tidbits. Also, stay tuned at the end for an old fashioned gingerbread recipe. 

7 Delicious Facts About Genealogy

1) You Can Follow A Recipe For Success - When you see family members that have been successful, you have a unique perspective to see what worked for them. With your family history by your side, you can allow your ancestors to lead by example. See if you can use some of the same ingredients to create your own successes.

2) You Can Improvise Too - There are tried and true methods of research, techniques that have been used to document and source family lineage. These can be an enormous help in later validating work to others. However, don’t let that scare you. You can squeeze research and information out of unusual sources. Use technology like Google Earth and Skype to examine locations and perform interviews. Improvise and try new things.

3) Genealogy Never Gets Stale - Family history doesn’t need to be boring; have some fun. Allow me to attack the misconception that genealogy is un-hip. I don’t give a flip what some people are telling you. If you want to learn about things you’ve never seen before, a family history can take you around the globe. It can show you the world from perspectives you have never seen before. Plus, there is always more to discover. It’s like a big puzzle, and with all of the information scanned into the internet, it’s more like a video game than ever before!

4) Genealogy Never Spoils - It never becomes obsolete. Even if life becomes too busy and too hectic, and you have to put your research down for a while; you can always come back to it later and pick it up right where you left off.

5) Spice It Up - Every family historian will have their own voice; their own set of research techniques. When viewing the work of other genealogists, try to appreciate the different approaches to research problems. They may teach you a thing or two about overcoming your own roadblocks. Variety is the spice of life, and genealogy is no different.

6) More Than One Chef In The Kitchen - You are not alone. According to Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com believes that there are over 2 million people that are learning about their ancestors, and millions more that have expressed interest.

7) You Can Get Mixing Today - I know I’ve said it before, but anybody can do genealogy. You don’t have to be an accredited master genealogist or even an apprentice (although it doesn’t hurt). Just get going; get started. Just take a few minutes out of your day to learn more about your family, research your past, and document it. It’s easy, you can do this! Genealogy is for everyone!

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe

After all of those delicious facts about genealogy, don’t you feel hungry? Well, I’ve got your fix right here. There’s a cute recipe I found from a 1908 children’s cookbook titled:  When Mother Lets Us Cook (written by Constance Johnson. I’ll try the recipe out and show you my results at the end. 

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Laying Out The Ingredients and Tools

Laying Out The Ingredients and Tools

1 Egg 
½ Cup Brown Sugar  
2 Tablespoonfuls Butter 
Bacon Fat  
1 Cup Black Molasses 
2 Cups Flour
½ Teaspoonful Salt 
1 Teaspoonful Cinnamon  
½ Teaspoonful All-Spice
½ Teaspoonful Ginger 
1 Cup Boiling Water    
1 Teaspoonful Cooking Soda    

Personal Note: Before starting, you can cook some BACON to make your own bacon grease.

Mixing The Ingredients

Mixing The Ingredients

Take a fresh egg and break it carefully into a large bowl. Beat it with an egg beater until it is very stiff. 

Pour half a cupful of brown sugar into the egg and mix well. 

Put 2 tablespoonfuls of butter and some bacon fat into a pan and melt them together on the stove. Use enough bacon fat to give you with the butter a half cupful of melted grease. 

Stir this in with the sugar and egg.

Before you do anything more, be sure that the oven is hot and that you have ready a good sized shallow baking pan smeared on the inside with butter. 

Put a cup of black molasses into the mixture and beat for two minutes with a wooden spoon. 

Take another bowl and sift into it with a flour sifter 2 cups of flour, ½ teaspoonful of salt, one heaping teaspoonful of cinnamon, ½ teaspoonful of allspice, and ½ teaspoonful of ginger; stir this slowly into the mixture in the first bowl, and beat for three minutes, if it is not thick and stiff, sift a little more flour, perhaps ¼ of a cup and add it, mixing well. 

Dissolve a teaspoonful of cooking soda in a cup of boiling water, put this quickly into the other mixture and beat again for three minutes. 

Pouring Into A Shallow Pan

Pouring Into A Shallow Pan

Now pour it all into your buttered pan, and set it carefully into the hot oven. Don t leave the oven door open longer than you can help. 

Bake for about 12 minutes and use the straw test to see if it is done. 

Gingerbread should be carefully loosened from the pan with a flexible knife, called a spatula, and turned on a big plate to cool. Do not cut it, but break it.

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So, I promised you that I would show my results to you:

Mmm... Toasty

Mmm... Toasty

The Gingerbread is Tasty. The 1908 Recipe Is A Success!

The Gingerbread is Tasty. The 1908 Recipe Is A Success!

Check out the rest of the recipes in the cookbook. It’s public domain, so Google scanned it and put it online. There’s a link to the book HERE.  

The 1908 gingerbread tasted really good. Before I go, here are a couple of final notes - The recipe does not provide a temperature; so I used 375 degrees and it worked out okay. I used bacon grease in the recipe as directed, but you could probably substitute all butter and you’d be okay. When cooking the gingerbread, use as large as a sheet or pan as you can. Some of the gingerbread broke-up on removal since the spread on the pad wasn’t as shallow as possible. Finally, I’d like to thank my wife, Christina, for helping with some of the cooking and taking the photos.

Interesting Links:

If you wanted to try some of the ingredients or tools in your own recipes, consider purchasing:

Thank you again for visiting. Please feel free to leave me a comment about your own recipes.