Gingerbread, food steganography, and loss
May her memory be a blessing
I am sorry for your loss of your "Czech" mom. With her, I assume, a lot of cultural knowledge disappeared.
I was, however, amused by your comment about only the Czechs enjoying slivovitz. My family has roots in Slovenia, and we have the same traditional plum brandy (about 150 proof) and even use the same Slavic word for it. Good alcohol is a terrible thing to restrict to one group.
And, for good gingerbread, you may want to check out the new and improved Lehr's German import store in San Francisco's Noe Valley. The new owner promised to procure really good stuff for the season soon.