This is my great-grandmother's gingerbread. Not the cookie men, the actual bread. I can remember going to her house at Christmas as a little girl and smelling this as I walked through the back screen door. I admit, then I loved her gingerbread mostly for the sweet sauce I would drown it in. Now, I love the flavor of the actual gingerbread itself, and I enjoy watching my kids drown theirs in syrupy glaze! Kate Fite (Mama Kate) is a very vivid figure in my childhood. I loved going to her house when we would travel to Hamilton to visit all of our grandparents. She lived to be 103. A few months after she passed my parents brought me her old tin recipe box (what I consider the best memento from her). I had already been making her gingerbread for years at Christmas, but to have the thing that she looked to so often to make meals for her girls, and her recipes in her own writing is priceless to me. As I tell the story of Mama Kate every year as I mix up the gingerbread, my kids roll their eyes and say, "Yeah, we know. You only tell us this story every time." But, I know that as they grow they will come to appreciate the tales of their history as much as I have.
Mama Kate's Gingerbread
1/2 C. butter Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
1/2 C. sugar Sift flour and soda into molasses and add to cream.
2 eggs Add buttermilk. Sift spices together and add. Bake
1/2 C. molasses at 350 until toothpick comes out clean (30-40 min.)
1 t. baking soda
1 3/4 C. flour
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. buttermilk
Brown Sugar Sauce
Cook 2 C. brown sugar, 1/2 C. butter, and 1/2 C. sweet milk on stove top until thick and ladle over gingerbread.