This house is NOT for sale! Happy holidays!

edible real estateI’ve always loved gingerbread houses. There’s something about all that architecture reproduced in miniature scale that reminds me of an edible dollhouse—from the peppermint stepping stones, to the royal icing icicles, to the bubblegum shingles. The child in me remains fascinated by them, and I’ve shared the love of decorating them with my own children each Christmas.

Gingerbread itself has a long history. Crusaders returning to Europe brought ginger and gingerbread back from the Middle East around the 11th century. Ginger was used to preserve bread, and it was crumbs from this ginger bread, mixed with honey or other sweeteners, that gave rise to the cake-like version of gingerbread.

 

In Germany, however, the firmer, cookie-like form of gingerbread became popular. Bakers would use molds to cut the gingerbread dough into different shapes depending on the season. We think of gingerbread cookies as a Christmas tradition, but back then they were used to celebrate all sorts of occasions. Imprinted with birds and eggs for Easter, hearts for weddings, and so on, gingerbread cookies were a favorite treat of the Middle Ages. It was even the custom in some villages for young women to eat a man-shaped gingerbread cookie on New Year’s day so that they might have luck finding a husband in the new year.

 

It wasn’t until the 1500s that gingerbread became associated with Christmas, when Elizabeth I of England presented gingerbread cutouts to favorite members of her court for the holiday. Thereafter, immigrants (particularly German immigrants) brought gingerbread recipes and customs with them to America.

 

When the Brothers Grimm published Hansel and Gretel, in which two young children stumble upon a witch’s house made entirely of gingerbread and candy, gingerbread houses became much more popular. There’s some disagreement about whether gingerbread houses existed earlier (and the Brothers Grimm merely documented a German baking custom), or whether the story itself gave rise to the gingerbread house tradition. Either way, gingerbread houses remain a popular American Christmas tradition to this day.

 

No matter how you celebrate this season, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday. Rockwell Institute will be closed December 24 and 25, but will reopen on Wednesday, December 26 to help you with any real estate questions you may have.




 Rockwell Institute--in business since 1974
Comment balloon 0 commentsRockwell Institute Real Estate Education • December 21 2012 06:32AM
This house is NOT for sale! Happy holidays!
share
I’ve always loved gingerbread houses There’s something about all that architecture reproduced in miniature scale that reminds me of an edible dollhouse—from the peppermint stepping stones, to the royal icing icicles, to the bubblegum shingles… more
Know the Reasons Behind Your Anxiety, Then Put Your Anxiety Behind…
share
Anxiety is something that nearly every test-taker experiences. As we’ve said before, it’s natural to feel a little anxious when facing a big exam; that nervous energy can even give you an edge it it's managed properly. But too much anxiety can have… more
Restaurant Review: Bai Tong
share
For today’s restaurant review, we’re spotlighting Bai Tong, a Thai restaurant located about a mile from Rockwell. You may be thinking, “Really? Another Thai place? ”—but Bai Tong is definitely worth checking out. It’s the second location of a well… more
Book Review: The Honest Real Estate Agent
share
What does it mean to be an honest real estate agent? Mario Jannatpour’s book, The Honest Real Estate Agent: A Training Guide for a Successful First Year and Beyond as a Real Estate Agent seeks to answer that question. This easy-to-read book is… more
Test-taking Tip: Looking for a Mental Edge? Try Yoga!
share
Need a little extra help while you prep for your real estate exam? Most of us have heard that yoga is great for reducing stress and increasing flexibility. But did you know that yoga also has mental benefits as well? Studies have consistently shown… more
Attention anyone seeking a California broker’s license!
share
Are you thinking about getting your California real estate broker's license? Are you planning to use a four-year degree as a substitute for the requirement that you have two years of full-time, licensed salesperson experience? If so, and you didn’t… more
If you think your great-grandma went trick or treating, think again!
share
Remember when you couldn't wait for Halloween? You got to dress up as a princess, ninja, or scary monster and go out begging for candy! For many of us, trick or treating was a childhood staple, but (and this surprised us) trick or treating wasn't… more
Happy Labor Day!
share
Here at Rockwell, we're all excited about the Labor Day weekend! For us, Labor Day means two things: 1) the end of summer [well, maybe we're not excited about this part], and 2) a day off from work. But we realized that we take Labor Day for… more
Restaurant Review: Persepolis
share
Today we’re reviewing a spot that is especially convenient for our Bellevue real estate students: Persepolis Specialties and Café located right here in our office complex. Persepolis consists of a small specialty grocery store featuring Persian… more
Test-taking Tip: They’re Not Flashy, But They Do the Trick
share
Whether you went to grade school 15 years ago or 45, you probably used flashcards to help you memorize facts (like multiplication tables). While this kind of rote learning doesn’t replace critical thinking, it definitely has an important place in… more