Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

Yesterday, the boys and I decorated their gingerbread houses.  Frost had a kit from Fred Meyer and Wren had one from Trader Joes.  Gingerbread house building is an activity fraught with danger.  The most likely result is that the frosting will have the wrong consistency and not cement the pieces of the house together before the roof slides down or the walls cantilever outwards.  Having witnessed these scenes of horror in prior years, as well as the untenable wait between construction and decoration, I built the houses while the kids were asleep.  They woke to the site of virgin, dry, stable gingerbread houses surrounded by candy and were spared the mess, drama and construction setbacks when the cans used to prop the walls slid of the board and toppled over.

"We will eat candy for breakfast!" they chorused.

It wasn't quite that bad, but certainly a noble intention.

Wren opens the bags of candy before breakfast.

One of the kits came with pre-mixed royal icing.   I used this one to build the houses and had to mix up my own icing (per box instructions) for the second batch.  This failed.  The icing was thin and slimy.  When I piped it in the bag it shot out in pretty patterns that did not hold larger candies in place.

I said a bad word.

Frost told me not to.

I scraped the faulty icing out of the bag (not easy) and added more powdered sugar.  Departing wildly from the quantities on the box, I managed to dry up the mixture until it was more paste like.  Now it wouldn't squirt so I had to smear it on the houses.  Wren wanted me to make icicles but the frosting was constipated so I had to content him with many dollops hither and thither.  The boys were utterly happy and fought vigorously to have the most gum-drops, jelly beans and other rare or preferred candy on their house.

When they tired, they ate candy until they were "done".

The houses looked fanTASTic.

Wren and Frost with their decorated houses

Wren showing how he feels when I told him he could not eat the house until Christmas and
Joshua said "It will be stale by then."

I said "Gingerbread houses are stale when they come out of the box."
"But we can still eat the candy, right?" asked Frost.  Wren nodded and ate some immediately,
in case I said "no."


happymom said...

The gingerbread houses look FANTASTIC! How clever of you to do the construction of them in advance of the child-onslaught. I found a kit this year in which the house is pre-constructed. Mix up the frosting and you're good to go.

We have a Gingerbread Eating Party after Christmas every year. The kids go wild with sugar, the parents drink beer, and I do not feel obligated to provide anything except a venue.

Happy Holidays!

Shannon said...

I was very pleased with them this year. I will definitely do the Trader Joes one again!

I like your Gingerbread house eating party idea! Did we come one year? It sounds so familiar. Frost and Wren have been doing solo gingerbread eating parties since Christmas morning. It looks as if the houses are in need of serious renovation.