Baking and December seem to go hand in hand and while this makes sense to those in the Northern Hemisphere it’s a more technical for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere.
I live in southern Australia where Christmas takes place in the middle of summer, and since I live in a small unit baking in summer requires much forward planning than usually necessary. Sure there are the usual steps of going through cookbooks and the internet deciding what to bake and making sure you have the ingredients but I also have to take in the weather. Turning my small oven on in temperatures of over 26 degrees Celsius (for those in America around 78 degree Fahrenheit) becomes an act of cruelty as my house becomes a much larger oven and thus the Air Con must also be on.
Thus December to me involves planning baking around the weather forecast, and then making sure I’ve enough room in my fridge to store all baked good so they don’t melt.
Baking in a key part of my recovery in depression and anxiety (for a great book on this very topic read Marion Keys ‘Saved by Cake‘). As it gives a tangible sense of accomplishment, keeps my mind focused and no matter what people tell you someone who brings cake and biscuits into their work is always liked. Thus for my sanity I must turn my oven on to bake and thus my air con so my little unit is bearable in hot summer heat. I’m aware of the irony in this.
Anyway I recently had my first attempt in baking Gingerbread, my Mum never made these for Christmas as none of my 3 sister or myself liked them and to Mum this meant it wasn’t worth the effort. My mum, while an excellent baking had 4 children under 6, and worked full time as a nurse thus effort and payoff where key considerations for her in her baking time.
As an adult however I love gingerbread and thus I decided that this would be the year I made my first Gingerbread men and houses. I also used a chocolate gingerbread recipe which was both delicious and made a huge quantity.
So far I’ve only decorated the stars and I’m waiting till Wednesday to assemble the houses as it’s 36 degrees here today and nothing will set. As my oven is tiny and temperamental, I can only bake one tray at a time thus this took me several hours but it was a lovely way to fill in my weekend and I’m looking forward to showing you all the finished items, I will post photos on my Instagram when I’ve completed them.
Till then here is a photo of the baking aftermath. Please send help