#ThinkKit Day 16: Take a moment to dip into the deep well of the past year’s 24-hour news cycle. What world event moved you this year? What story, series, or moment fascinated you? Made you scratch your head? Brought you to the edge of tears…or past the edge of your seat? Did an outside perspective change the way you felt, or make you take action? Share the headline(s) that resonated with you.
I may be stretching the connection to the topic here, but this is worth sharing.
Every year (…well, I intend to every year but upon further review, it appears it didn’t really happen “every year”) we decorate gingerbread houses. For some reason, it is important to me that these houses are completely homemade. I make the template. I make the dough and use the template to cut the house sides and roof. I set the houses using royal icing on cardboard we cover with aluminum foil. The houses dry overnight.
Here I am in 2008 cutting the dough using the stencils.
Once the houses are assembled and dry overnight, the kids use more royal icing to attach a wide range of candy, cereal, cookies–you know, the regular gingerbread house kind of stuff.
The kids love all the candies in the different bowls and I have always let them decorate their houses totally on their own.
This is one of those years that, for some reason, we must have not made the gingerbread houses (or we made them and the pictures are some place I cannot locate them).
Back at it in 2008.
Phillip had a friend join us for decorating this year. My templates got bigger (too big…I remember how long it took and how much candy/icing it took to cover). And this was the year of the beautiful long hair for our boys (we often refer to it as the BL period–before lice).
I am guessing this year was the first of the busy Christmas season at the store (as we would call it…you might call it a restaurant).
Still busy at that little adventure I called my life dream, also known as the store, also known as the restaurant and officially known as Avec Moi. I really thought we did them this year, though…and maybe we did but those photos are also somewhere other than in the one place I think I keep all my photos.
Still busy with Avec Moi, you remember…the store? Still flushing cash down the toilet with no regrets. Livin’ the dream, baby. I was livin’ the dream. The lack of gingerbread houses is just one example of how that venture sucked every ounce of me out, leaving nothing for my family.
Avec Moi was now closed and I spent this holiday season doing nothing. And, apparently nothing included not doing gingerbread houses. I am sure everyone was disappointed
This was the year. We were back at it. I promised and I was excited about it. We made a list of what we wanted to bake for the season. Each kid has their own “favorite” and collectively, we agreed we had to do gingerbread houses.
I had it on my list since right after Thanksgiving. This past weekend, I finally had the time required to make the dough, cut and bake the pieces and assemble. Those first steps really must be done all at once–and for the first time since Thanksgiving, I had the uninterrupted time at home to get it all done.
I made the stencils. I made the dough (four batches). I rolled the dough out and cut each piece (10 of each side, a total of 50 pieces). I baked them. Jeff cut the cardboard and the boys covered it with foil to host the gingerbread houses. Phillip helped me assemble the bases and he used the royal icing to seal up the seams where each side met.
As the bases dried and I prepared to put on the roofs, Jeff offered to lend a hand. And, then all of the sudden–I realized I screwed the template up for the front and back of the house and left off the pitch of the roof.
“Oh shit. It won’t work. I screwed it up,” I said as I was trying to figure out a solution on the fly.
“Well,” Phillip said, “We will just have gingerbread trailers.” And there you have it, folks.
Our gingerbread trailer park.