My cupboards smell like ginger and nutmeg and all things festive and celebratory.
I’m getting ready to make the “Gingerboys.” That’s what my son, Phillip, called them. I made these cookies for the first time for his third birthday party. They were a hit and became his favorite cookies. He looked forward to them every November.
That was 30+ years ago, Since then, I’ve made them almost every year. Sometimes, I’ve been able to give or send them to Phillip. Other years, it’s been impossible to send them, but I’ve made them anyway in honor of his birthday.
Since I seldom use powdered ginger, nutmeg, or allspice during the year, every year I’ve made a special trip to the grocery store to buy fresh ingredients. If I were in Chile, I’d have to think ahead and bring molasses and the spices back with me from the US.
Here, I can buy spices in bulk at the Co-op. I like this because they are fresher, and I can buy only what I need instead of an expensive bottle that I’m not going to use again until next year.
Lately, the Co-op has been out of powdered ginger. A couple of weeks ago, I found a stocker and asked him when their next shipment would arrive. He shrugged, didn’t know. He handed me a bottle of prepackaged ginger. The one that costs $4.99.
For years, I’d bought prepackaged ginger. When you open the bottle, there’s no fragrant aroma. Compared with the bulk ginger, it’s also tasteless.
“No, thank you. I’ll wait for the other.”
I’m at the Co-op every week, and every week, I checked the bulk bins. The ginger jar was bare long before they finally took it off the shelf completely.
With Phillip’s birthday approaching, I thought that I might have to break down and buy the bottled stuff, but I checked once again last week. It had finally arrived, and the jar was already half empty. I’m not the only one buying bulk ginger.
Now, I’m on the hunt for Red Hots. At least that’s what we used to call them in my youth. These days, I’ve seen them called “Cinnamon Imperials.” Sounds much grander.
I don’t care what they’re called, I just need a bunch to use as eyes, nose, and buttons for the Gingerboys. They’re harder to find than you might think.
This will be the first year that Phillip isn’t here to enjoy his Gingerboys, but I plan to honor him by making them.
I’m willing to share. Any takers?