Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas is... #17 A gingerbread house

So, you're going to have to bear with me! For illness related reasons we were going right 'til the last minute to finish some of our Christmas preparations (and some of them need to be carried over to 2013!).

Our gingerbread house though is one which cannot wait. Simply because it makes me whoop with achievement.
If you had told me going into 2012 I would manage this, well, laughter still prevails.
And as for Lakeland making its way into my top ten shops....

But here you have it:

So, this turned out to be a labour of love, and/or just determination.
I thought it was great that we could make it over a few days, but then I had such a sense of achievement when the thing actually stuck together and stood independently that I hoped that could be it.
But no, someone had to suggest wanting to see the finished product (like the thing standing wasn't actually it!) and I felt the pressure of needing to put decorations on my cake.

So, as seems to be my new standard, on a Christmas shopping expedition with my mum at the beginning of December I invested in a gingerbread house mould from Lakeland (and in getting this link to include I have been slightly distracted by the Lakeland sale!!!).

And the great thing about the mould is that it also comes with a recipe and instructions (you can clearly understand my limitations, can't you?)
Now this was a completely different recipe to our making of gingerbread men, and having become a connoisseur of gingerbread (something I only ever thought I'd say about products containing alcohol) I think this recipe was more of the 'bread' than the crunch, but maybe that's just the way I roll.

As always Squeaks was ready to get stuck in, although her obsession was with collecting flour to act as a 'blanket' for the gingerbread man.
As we had made the gingerbread after school one day we waited a few days before assembling the house.
I *may* have put the highchair out as a known trap for Squeaks so she could feel she was playing a part in the assembly process.
As I went to the kitchen to whisk the royal icing Squeaks *may* have got her revenge.
Note the picture on the top right, where the Christmas tree has gone to bed, and the gingerbread man is settling down to tea at the table... please note his tea has been broken off the gingerbread roof.
Hmmmm, the familiar feeling of wanting to shout but unable to defy such logic...
And so, with a sigh of defiance and defeat I began to assemble the house (please note the sigh of defeat was in thinking this was never going to happen as all recipes for royal icing include cream of tartar which completely evades my shopping prowess).

Imagine my shock, and elation, when the thing decided it would remain standing!
Which of  course made me love Lakeland a little bit more!

But, the feeling of pressure to decorate ate at me, until on Christmas Eve, when Squeaks was feeling a little better (you know when Squeaks is feeling better because she decides she can wear my t-shirts for pyjamas), I coaxed her and Cheeky to make more gingerbread men (using original recipe) and to help decorate the house (again royal icing without the tartar).

As it turns out Cheeky is a natural in the kitchen. And as ever, Squeaks came over the protective big sister.



But we ended up with a complete gingerbread house, some festive snowflakes and Christmas trees.
And exhaustion all round!

This post is dedicated to Sharon Brown- have you any idea on the pressure you put me under? xx

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