Fiction or Fact from Bob’s Almanac

by Robert Mason Jr.

Any day now I expect Kilmarnock Museum president Carroll Lee Ashburn to submit a picture post card from the past depicting a loaf of gingerbread for inclusion in the “Do you remember?” column.

I remember, back before the “everything goes pumpkin” craze, when autumn rolled around you could expect to find gingerbread on the grocery shelf.

That’s when pumpkin was pretty much limited to pie.

October brought football, sweaters, oysters, apple cider and gingerbread. Pumpkin was an afterthought, guts left over from carving a jack-o-lantern.

How can you even celebrate Oktoberfest without a good gingerbread?

On Sunday, I visited every supermarket in town in search of gingerbread.

Checking the bakery shelves, the only seasonal staple I found was pumpkin this or that. You ever chase anything pumpkin with apple cider? Don’t do it.

Little Debbie even let me down. Her little gingerbread men have yet to make an appearance this holiday season.

The cookie aisles offered a few ginger snaps and crispy gingerbread men, but I’m partial to the soft, moist, cake-like confection made from some combination of flour, honey, molasses, ginger and other spices.

With the passing of Halloween, I hope the pumpkin profusion subsides.

Meanwhile, I decided to bake my own gingerbread with a little help from Betty Crocker in a box.

The shelf slot at Food Lion was bare, which could be a testimonial to my plight, or faulty merchandising.

Walmart didn’t even show a spot for gingerbread, or I just couldn’t find it. Believe me, I searched.

Tri-Star Supermarket proved to be my saving grace, again.

Combine an egg, water, mix and stir in an 8-inch pan, more or less, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, more or less. I got this.

It turned out good, hot right out of the oven. I even whipped up an orange sauce for drenching—not quite like mom’s but it was still good.

Diabetic and trying to lose a few more pounds, I decided to share the cake with the news team at Monday’s staff meeting. I heard no complaints.

The orange sauce was long gone, so I offered some unsweetened apple sauce and whipped cream as a topping.

I’ve got a few bites left so gingerbread is on the breakfast menu.