December 15, 2008

On the 10th day before Christmas

The Gingerbread House story.

The first time we made a gingerbread house for Christmas I thought I was being super smart mommy! I bought the kit just before Thanksgiving and thought it would give us something to do during the "downtime" while things were cooking! Lauren was three. She was a crafty, attentive, detail oriented kind of little girl so I knew this was right up her ally. When I bought the kit I put it in the pantry and left it untouched till Thanksgiving. After Tom went into the oven I pulled it out, Lauren was so excited! Grandma Mary was looking forward to it too! We got all the needed supplies, spread everything out on the kitchen table and set out to build our house.

Do you know what happened next? Well, we read the directions only to find out that you have to build it and then WAIT 24 hours till you decorate it...and building it requires 3 octopus and all 24 of their tentacles to hold the damn darn thing together while it dries. So what do we do now? We raid the pantry for all sizes and shapes of jars and cans heavy enough to hold the pieces in place - we walk away and Lauren has to wait till the next day to decorate it and now we have nothing to kill the time with. Bummer. Lesson learned? Read the directions when you buy something not when you are ready to entertain your toddler with it!

Over the years I have continued to buy kits...some better than others - we even perfected our craft some. We learned there is never icing in the kit so buy or make extra, the candies in the kits are no fun to eat so buy extras, if it is 24 hour kit make it the day before (some kits only need 15 minutes now so look for those) and we have also skipped a year just because I couldn't handle the GB house mayhem!

Fast forward to December 13th 2008! Grandma scored an (almost) home baked gingerbread house from the Columbine Bakery in Avon, CO. This thing is GORGEOUS! And it smells delicious. We took it out of the plastic and my whole house smells like gingerbread and I never cooked a thing!

And shortly before this beauty arrived in my anxious hands I stumbled on this video

And from there this years adventure was born. It never occurred to me that it would be fun for each girl to decorate their own house...I know dumb huh...of course each girl wants to do their own...I also thought "how unnecessary", "where will I keep two?", "we never had two before" and then when I went to King Soopers and there they were, the Kits, right inside the entrance and on sale for $10. So, in the cart one went.

Fortunately this was one of those 15 minute kits too! So Hailey went to bed and Lauren and erected the house.

Now, obviously Grandma's Bakery made house looks WAY more yummy...but now we have two.
Here is what you get with the Store bought kit

and this is what you get when Grandma buys the yummy, almost home baked house then hits the store before she gives it to you!!

In case I haven't said it enough - My mom rocks! and rolls and, in general, knows just how to make my day!!!

I set out to make the Royal Icing described in the video above and voila 20 minutes later I had 2 bags of icing (one for each girl of course):

I divided the candies out into bowls so as to avoid the licking, sticking finger, sharing germies, grossness that is all things decorating!

And we spent the better part of Sunday, a bitter 10 degree day, sitting and leaning over the kitchen table making Ginger Bread houses!

For a little fun and a lot more pictures (including Lauren and Hailey hard at work) enjoy the video of the whole thing!!


Grams said...

Hey, thanks for the compliment!I love finding things for those wonderful girls! Next year, when I wander in the bakery and their counter is lined with ready to decorate houses, I'll definitley pick up two!! It did smell yummy! It looked like fun!

Amber said...

You lost me at having to mix the frosting. There's no way we would have survived our gingerbread making if we'd had to manually do anything besides just puting the candy on.

Alicia said...

Oh, I sure do love gingerbread! I made one once. Once. I think the bought version taste better! :o) :o) :o)

Kim said...

I cannot wait for us to do our gingerbread houses..though they will not look as perfect as yours do!!! They look great!

Bonnie said...

Wow those are beautiful houses! The one your Mom bought looked really yummy. I think I've only made one with the boys once. I bet they would enjoy it. Can I send them over to your house?? haha You've inspired me to Maybe, possibly go out and buy one (or two) tomorrow. Did you say it doesn't come with icing???

Bonnie said...

Ps. loved the song! It was perfect.

Bonnie said...

pss. We have actually seen the Gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian. It was amazing! We have spent a few Chrismas's in Florida and we always like to visit the Grand Floridian. It's always decorated so nice!

Allison said...

They look great! That is still a little too messy for me to attempt with mine this year...maybe next year! ;)

Becky said...

How totally FUN!

the mama bird diaries said...

Wow. Those houses look amazing! Well done.

Courtney said...

I am totally impressed. I could never. And the video is awesome!

you all look like it was a blast!