Friday, December 19, 2014

Gingerbread Houses

Somehow Elaine got it into her head that Christmas means making Gingerbread Houses.  She’s been asking when we are going to make one – repeatedly.  It sounded…sorta fun.  I was in IKEA and they had gingerbread house kits for $4.99, so I picked up two of them.  We put it on the calendar to decorate them tonight.

To be sure everything was ready, I opened the kits last night.  Just gingerbread cutouts.  No decorations.  No icing.  And they were shattered.  Broken into many pieces.  I looked up a recipe for icing “glue”.  I picked one from a favorite blogger who makes gingerbread houses as a family tradition since she was a girl.  It was a “no-fail” type recipe, or so she said.  I spent a little too much money on some candy decorations at the store.

I was mixing up the Royal Icing when I remembered that my piping bags had both split while frosting Elaine’s birthday cake last month.  (They were only about 15 years old…).  So I cut the corner off a Ziploc and fitting my coupling and frosting tip.  This turned out to be another epic fail in a series tonight!

Making Gingerbread Houses
Licking the frosting beaters…didn’t keep them happy for long!

The “glue” did not do as well as had been claimed, and we were pretty much unable to salvage the gingerbread cutouts from the kit.  We resorted to graham crackers, which worked pretty well…until we ran out of them.  When Elaine's house had no roof.

Making Gingerbread Houses
Right before cave-in # 763!

Making Gingerbread Houses
My little sugar tooth enjoyed sneaking ingredients from the whole process!

Making Gingerbread Houses
Roofless is in, right?

Making Gingerbread Houses
Nolan’s garden – that’s a fence around a Dinosaur Bath, and a goldfish in the pond.  The pink sprinkle pile?  They are worms.  Ben’s idea.

Making Gingerbread Houses
What gingerbread house would be complete without princesses?

Making Gingerbread Houses
We have a table with M&M plates and gumdrop chairs inside Elaine’s house!

Making Gingerbread Houses
Elaine’ creation!

At this point the zippers on the Ziploc bags had split and frosting was oozing everywhere.  Nehemiah had stripped the white board of all accessories and fell out of his chair doing so.  Ben and I were both covered in frosting, so he cried on the floor for a minute before we got to him.  Liberty spied and snatched the bowl of M&M decorations…and devoured what was remaining.

In the end, Nolan settled for a miniature cottage with massive gardens, and Elaine chose a roofless house.  We had lots of fun together, though.  We made some memories but decided this was the only year of gingerbread houses in our family.  It will not be a tradition in this house!!! 

Making Gingerbread Houses

Making Gingerbread Houses

We doused all four kids in a bath together and put them to bed.  Then Ben scraped “glue” off the table and floor while I recovered control of the sprinkles, candy, and kitchen.

And Ben’s take on the whole night?  “IKEA makes gingerbread houses of the same quality as their furniture!”

2 comments:

  1. A simple solution for next time--construct the houses ahead of time (several weeks, if need be).Then plan a day when you just have fun decorating them. It's impossible to both build and decorate them the same day, with little kids.

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  2. Another gingerbread house cheat is to use a pint milk container as a base--"glue" the grahm crackers onto the carton using icing. That prevents cave ins, but to eat it you have to take it apart. My kindergarteners could do it that way mostly independently. Just in case you ever decide to try again. . . . maybe 10 years from now??

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