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Gingerbread
Home Sweet Gingerbread Home



Home Sweet Gingerbread Home
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.8

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    candy-studded, catholic, decor, extravagance, gable, heights-literally, novice, record-breaking, sheetrock, structural, tartar, wince, qualify, luscious, overboard, building
     content words:    Roger Pelcher, Wilton Industries, Tootsie Rolls


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Home Sweet Gingerbread Home
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Building a house can be fun and rewarding, but building an edible house is even sweeter! Making a gingerbread house is a part of many families' holiday traditions. It is an edible "home sweet home."
 
2     Gingerbread has been enjoyed by many people for centuries. Catholic monks baked it for festivals and holidays. They baked it on saints' feast days to honor the saint. The monks had a unique way of creating patterns on the moist dough. They used a wooden carved cookie board. They rolled the dough over it, and the pattern on the board was pressed into the dough.
 
3     Settlers from Europe brought recipes to America. Soon, lots of people enjoyed baking gingerbread houses and cookies, and they developed their own recipes. Today, even a novice baker can create an impressive gingerbread house covered with gooey gumdrops and lengths of luscious licorice. Experts compete in gingerbread house contests, and there is even a Guinness world record for the largest gingerbread house.
 
4     Baking gingerbread houses takes skill and patience. Over the years, bakers have developed strategies for creating strong and amazing houses. The first step for a sturdy house that won't fall down is a recipe that makes thick dough. One cook uses what she calls "structural gingerbread." The dough it is much stiffer than regular dough and is easier to build with. Gingerbread men made with this dough might not seem like comforting holiday treats. They might be edible, but they would be hard on people's teeth.

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