Mini gingerbread loaf in a mini loaf pan. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about weeds.  Well, I’ve been pulling a lot of weeds and therefore I’ve been pondering their existence.

Let me back up.  I told y’all that I have a Master’s degree in horticulture and agronomy, yes?  My specialty is weed management.  Did you even know you can specialize in that?  Did you know lots of people are weed scientists?  Oh, the career options they don’t tell you about in high school never cease to amaze me!  Before you even ask, I’ll tell you that studying and eliminating weeds is important because they are a major contributor to crop loss.  You like to eat food, right?  Then you should care about weeds.  Farmers yielding food is important.  Tell me you get this.

As I’ve been pulling copious amounts of amaranth and morning glory weeds out of my garden to make room for the onions and baby broccoli plants to survive, I’ve been asking God why the weed has the easier life.  Why do weeds freely grow without much care, while the plants that we depend on for food need to be meticulously coddled?  Doesn’t it seem like one of God’s mistakes?

Well, I think I discovered the reason behind it all.  Manual labor clears my mind.  I totally dig it.  (Get it?)  I decided that the tomato plant that struggles for existence is worth it because it yields delicious fruit, while a weed bears things of little importance.  Doesn’t it seem like another way of saying the best things in life are worth the struggle and the fight?  Doesn’t it always feel better to earn something you worked hard for, rather than accept something that dropped into your lap?  Say yes.

I’m telling myself the struggle and mess required of baking homemade Christmas gifts are worth it because they mean so much more than a store-bought something or other.  Someone please verify that this is true, and while you’re at it, please send someone to deal with all of these dishes.

Mini Gingerbread Loaf

Mini Gingerbread Loaf

Makes 1 mini loaf in a 5" x 3" x 2" pan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and grease a mini loaf pan (5? x 3? x 2?).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together with a spatula the butter and brown sugar. Mash the butter into the sugar with the spatula until the mixture is incorporated. Add the egg white and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle on top the flour, spices, and baking soda. Stir it together lightly before adding a tablespoon of molasses. Add 1 tablespoon of boiling water after the molasses (do it in this order to help clean out your spoon so you ensure you get every drop of molasses). Add the remaining tablespoon of molasses followed by the last of the water.
  4. Scrape the batter into the mini loaf pan and place it onto a sheet pan. Bake for 33-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool it slightly in the pan before tipping it out and letting it cool completely on a wire rack.