Find a new method…
Last year, I picked up a gingerbread house kit thinking it would be a fun family activity sort of thing. Ignore the fact that I’m an architect, and a home maker, and still picked up a kit. It was cheap, and looked simple and fun.
I actually have a bit of history with gingerbread houses. My first grade teacher got a student teacher every year just so he could escape to a secret room in the school, and build elaborate gingerbread houses. Every student in his class got to help at some point, although we mostly just ate the candies, and he displayed them in the front office. Just so you wouldn’t think I was kidding, I decided to look my old teacher up on the world wide web, and he sent me some pictures. I won’t lie, I was shocked, and pretty stoked, but now I have proof. See?
Now, I’m sure the Bud Light sign isn’t hanging in the front office of the elementary school, that wouldn’t be right. It’s probably in the teacher’s lounge; now you know why you’re never aloud in there.
Truly, you can see that I had a very talented teacher, and since he made ginger construction seem so easy, I felt I had nothing to fear last year when I picked up a kit from my local Target. Here’s how it went down…
I laid out all the pieces neatly, and then read the instructions.
We then stood the walls up, and squeezed out the icing to glue the roof on.
Once the roof was on, things were looking pretty good, and Son was getting excited about the fun part, so I started to apply the icing to the rooftop.
The icing was really stiff, and this is where things started to go down hill. Husband decided that the icing just needed to be warmed up so I could spread it. Being a man, he went big.
Sure, the torch warmed up the icing, but it also burnt it in some spots. This project was turning into a comedy show, but we plowed ahead, and the icing got spread. Son finally got to help, and place the candy on the roof. And then disaster struck.
First the roof plates began to slide, and then the nicely placed gum drops on the roof ridge began to sink. Son tried his best to save them, but it wasn’t in the cards. This picture says it all.
We abandoned ship, and just ate the candy instead. Apparently, gingerbread houses aren’t child’s play. Humbug.
So this year, when Son asked about doing another gingerbread house, I was decidedly against it. Then he brought me the kit he found at our local Hancock Fabric, and I smiled. It was perfect. It was made of foam! So technically, it wasn’t a gingerbread house at all, but it looked similar to one, and again, it was cheap. Even better, I felt we’d have more success with this one. I let Son put it together while I worked on my plaid table cloth, more on that here.
He had a little trouble getting the walls to log together, but once the roof plates were on, he was on his own. I told him to look at the picture on the box, and then to use his brain and his imagination. I’m always telling him to do that. He worked pretty hard…
and after 20 minutes or so, his house was looking pretty close to what was pictured on the box. I was impressed, but I guess it was just too cookie-cutter for him, and he began to remodel. In the end, it looked like this…
Nice and tame in the front…
but there’s a party in the back. Maybe his neighborhood has an HOA.
I think this is a tradition we can keep up with.
As an aside, I still can’t believe my old teacher is one, still teaching, and two, still making gingerbread houses. Funny thing, part of my mind feels for certain that he must be a hundred years old by now —heck he had a beard, although my logical side says that it’s entirely possible that he was my parents’ age when I was in his class, and may only be in his fifties. Now that I think about it, his beard wasn’t grey….