Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Case of the Missing Gingerbread House Recipe

Here comes a wonderful, true story that renewed my faith in humankind. 

This post is longer than usual, but I wanted to tell you the story.

Every Christmas season for at least three decades, part of our family's tradition has been to make and decorate gingerbread houses.

I learned how to do them,  using a delicious gingerbread recipe, from a terrific book by Beverly Nye called "A Family Raised on Rainbows." 

It's impossible to say how many gingerbread houses we've made throughout the years but it's definitely in the many dozens.

(You can see some photos of two houses from old posts here and  here.)

I made the houses with our own kids, many foster children, guests, teenage mothers, family members, friends and so on.

This year, I decided to get a head start on the houses by making the pieces ahead of time, starting this month.

 I pulled down my dogeared copy of "A Family Raised on Rainbows, " turned to the page that had the gingerbread recipe and discovered it had been ripped out.

Shocked, I looked in the front and then all through the book, on our home library shelf,  and so on but the page with the recipe was gone but not forgotten. 

A quick call to the library revealed they didn't have a copy of the book but suggested another library near  Boston.  The librarian there said they had another book by Beverly Nye but not the one I needed.

 A third library, also near Boston, said they used to have a copy of Beverly's book but discarded it when it needed repair.

My son, who lives in another state, called me while I was in a funk over my lost gingerbread recipe. 

I had tried other recipes but none were ever as good and simple as the missing one.

I explained what happened and he said, "Don't worry, Mom.  I'll try to find another copy of that recipe."  

Of course, I was doubting Thomas and did not believe for a second he'd be able to do that.

All this transpired last Thursday.  On Saturday, I had a great afternoon thrift store shopping and when I returned, there was a Priority package from Utah on the kitchen table!

It contained not one but a total of  three books by Beverly Nye!  One was a combination of "A Family Raised on Rainbows" and "A Family Raised on Sunshine." 

The other book, her newest, was  "Year Round Sunshine."  Both books were inscribed by Beverly, herself. (See photos.)

My son had found her online, sent her an email, and explained my dilemma. 

 Beverly, in turn, put all the books in the mail as gifts to me. Imagine that!

Thinking about the whole scenario, my eyes filled up with tears over my son taking time out of his busy life to find the author and over Beverly Nye's act of generosity in gifting me with the books.

She has a warm and homey style of writing that's like chatting with a dear friend.

Currently, I've started reading "Year Round Sunshine" and love it.

So there you have it. A double act of warmth, love and kindness---one from a son, one from an author I've never met but feel like I have known for years.

By the way, Beverly has a  website and a blog, too!  Check them out here. 

This year, making gingerbread houses once again is going to be extra special, indeed!



jeanetteann said...

No I haven't but would love to try.
What a lovely story. Sometimes nice things happen. I wonder why your page was ripped out. I hope the person who did it,enjoys your recipe.

Lucy said...

Ah,that is truely heartwarming!What a wonderful son too, Blessings,Lucy~

Joyful said...

What a touching story. I think making gingerbread houses is a wonderful tradition. I'm so glad you are now able to carry it on as before.

Barb said...

Hi Susan..yes my family and i have made a few gingerbread houses over the years...it's a lot of fun.
What a mystery your missing page is, and how wonderful of your son to track down the author for you....AND for her to send you such a lovely gift.
People can be amazing.
Enjoy your gingerbread baking..
Barb from Australia

Nellie said...

What a wonderful surprise in the mail! You have a very considerate son!

Yes, there have been many gingerbread houses in the past, mainly at school as entries in a local charity event for Children's Hospital. Also, there have been a few done at home.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

xo Nellie

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful surprise! Your story made me smile. :) Just think, someday your sweet grandbaby will be helping you make them!

Have a great week,

Chatty Crone said...

I have been with you awhile because I remember (believe it or not) the posts with the gingerbread houses - and you made a few of them.

What I am most impressed with is your wonderful son! That was the sweetest thing.

Love, sandie

Susan said...

Susan, I have tears just reading your story and the kindness of others (your son and Bev Nye) are overwhelming. It's these gestures in life that make me believe that goodness is still in the majority of people in this country. I can't wait to see the gingerbread houses you'll build this year:-D XOXO

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Susan what a great gift from your son and Beverly Nye!! I have never made a Gingerbread house but it does look like fun and what a great family tradition.
hugs, Linda

Bookie said...

Your son must be a real GEM. I don't do gingerbread houses but appreciate teh work others do. Thanks for a great story today!!!

Susan said...

WELCOME, WELCOME to this blog's two newest followers, Lisa and Julie.

Lisa's blog is Working for Carrots and Julie's is ELLE VIVIT: Interior Design blog.

Thanks for Following and please stop by whenever you can.

Hugs to all, Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

What a touching story. Yo are blessed. I find gingerbread houses fascinating. Take lots of photos.

Dee said...

Beverly Nye was so sweet to surprise you with the books....she must have been very impressed by your son as all are. :) Love ginger bread houses....♥

diane.stetson said...

I've never made a gingerbread house but I have seen YOURS and they are just great. So happy your son found the missing recipe via the author. Great work! Take pictures of your houses Susan!

Tammy said...

Oh my gosh, Susan! How truly special! I got chill bumps as I read this post. So sweet of your son and so lovely of Beverly Nye to send you all those books. Wonder who tore that recipe out of the book? Happy gingerbread house making. We used to get together with other families when the kids were little and they would all make and decorate houses on Christmas Day! Fun times! Best wishes, Tammy

Josey Schaub said...

I just had to comment on your wonderful story because THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME!!! I am an avid Beverly Nye reader and just adore her to pieces. When I discovered her blog I sent her an email telling her how her wonderful book "A Family Raised on Sunshine" had changed my life and that it was a well read and loved copy on my bookshelf. I told her how I had also purchased "Rainbows" and was devouring that as well. Imagine my shock and elation when she emailed me back with the warmest regards AND sent me her other books, with personal notes in each one just as your copy is here. Don't you just love Beverly? Thank you for sharing your story!

Related Posts with Thumbnails