it's gingerbread time!

at the first sign of christmas, the boys start asking to decorate cookies.  i make them wait until december.... 

5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 tbl. vinegar

stir together flour, soda, spices and salt.  set aside.  beat shortening for 30 seconds.  add sugar and beat 1-2 minutes.  add egg, molasses, and vinegar and beat well.  not add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.  separated dough into thirds and wrap separately in plastic wrap.  chill for at least 3 hours. (i divide it to keep from making 60 men at one time!)  
unwrap one section and roll to 1/8-1/4 inches on floured surface.  cut into desired shapes and bake in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes.  This recipe is from my better homes and gardens book and they always turn out soft and make my house smell quite wonderful.

the gumdrops didn't even make it onto the first batch. :)

an upside down man can be a reindeer!

here's a little tip:  use graham crackers to make your gingerbread house. 
it's easier, cheaper, and they can assemble it and eat it as a snack all in one sitting. 

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