I loved "Gingerbread Dreams" in Saveur's November/December 1995 issue for one very simple reason: I love gingerbread in all its forms, from wafer-thin rounds and plump little men that are toasted on the edges to faux shingles on a faux house, decorated with gumdrops, and chewy, citrusy lebkuchen. The spicier, the better. But, alas, the peppery, homely, often rock-hard confection isn't always easy on the eyes, nose, or teeth. So what has made it a classic that's endured for six centuries? My theory: Classics tend to be foods that can be made in the home and that are often seasonal standbys. Classics are not difficult to make; they don't ask much from your pantry or fridge, and they have a flavor that thrills you and makes you nostalgic. Gingerbread gets a gold star in all of these areas. More than just easy to make, it has one of the pastry world's most merciful doughs. I once made a 19th-century gingerbread that instructed me to beat the dough with a rolling pin—fun step! Plus, as the saveur article reminded me, it's patriotic: George Washington loved gingerbread—his mom made an orangey version with raisins that apparently stole the heart of the Marquis de Lafayette. I'm betting it'll still be beloved in 2614.