Sunday, January 23, 2011

The North Pole Pneumatic Express and Gingerbread Fellas

The North Pole is a real place with real people and a real pole. 
The South Pole is a real place with real people and a real pole. 
What you probably don’t know is that the North Pole and the South Pole are actually one pole.  Yes, one really long pole that stretches through the earth and comes out on each end.  Like a giant corn on the cob with two handles. 
The best part about this pole is that it isn’t solid. It’s a pneumatic pole.  You know how when you go to the bank and pull up to the teller but you aren’t in the sleighdoor bashing side of the teller window, instead,  you are in the third lane over with the little sucky tube for  your money?  That is the same idea as the North and South Pole.  What is different, however, is that the capsules are really large and elves can transport in the capsules between the North and South Pole. 
The two trusty conductors of the North Pole Pneumatic Express are Sean and Thomas (or Thomas and Sean as Thomas likes to say.) They are the real engineers on this zippy mode of transportation.  They load at one end and unload at the other.  Traversing through the earth in the heat resistant capsules is fun.  There are video monitors, complimentary beverages, and pretend control buttons so you think you are guiding the tube. Everyone knows the buttons are just for show but they are fun to press, nonetheless. 
Transporting is safe except for one temporary side effect.  You get stretched a bit.  Just a bit, mind you, but you do come out a little taller after being swooshed through 12,715 kilometers (that’s 7,901 miles for you Americans).  Fortunately, the trip is a little shorter through the poles than through the equator, but it is long enough to add a little height.
 The problem is that sometimes there aren’t many customers on the North Pole Pneumatic Express and Sean and Thomas do what any employer at a Six Flags would do.  They ride over and over.  No hands, upside down, in bathing suits with arm floaties, racing each other—these are but a few of the ways they amuse themselves on a slow day at work.  So as you can imagine, Thomas and Sean are really tall elves.  They never give themselves time to shrink back to size before they catch another joy ride. 
So, when you come to the North Pole, and I hope you do sometime, you will recognize Sean and Thomas right away. Just look for two tall blonde elves in uniforms with a competitive glint in their eyes.  You can’t miss them.

Gingerbread Fellas

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground  ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1 tablespoon vinegar

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, shortening, and sugar.  Add egg, molasses and vinegar, beat well.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture.  Chill 3 hours.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease cookie sheets.  Roll out ½ of dough on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutters and place on greased cookie sheets.  Bake 6 minutes at 375 degrees.  Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet one minute and then remove cookies to wire rack to cool.  Decorate with royal icing.


  1. These taste great! I love the story. Keep up with the good work!

  2. How can I get a ride on the North Pole Pneumatic Express? Sounds like fun!

  3. Oh I love Gingerbread cookies!! Very cute!