Monday, December 04, 2006

Gingerbread Houses

For about two years now, Phillip has been asking to do gingerbread houses. He would see a kit in the store and ask please, please. I always said no, as it was always my intention to make our own. But, I do a fair amount of baking over the holidays and never quite squeezed that one in.

This year, I finally did it. Last weekend, I used a recipe I have been saving since long before I had kids. I rolled out the dough and used a knife to cut the shapes using a pattern I had made from paper (apparently, the recipe once had a pattern that went with it; but just like when I sew: pattern? I will just make my own!...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.).

I made one bigger house, then cut the patterns down a bit to make three smaller ones so each of the three kids could have their own to decorate. I had literally just enough dough to get all of the houses cut; my remnant dough pile was probably less than 2 ounces.

They sat all week. Friday night, I glued them together with Royal Icing and let them dry overnight.

Saturday morning, I gathered tons of possible toppings and organized them in to little dishes and bowls.

Each child took a turn and had open season on the treats (both for decorating and eating). Phillip went first. Before we started, we huddled around their computer and Googled pictures of ginger bread houses for inspiration. He was very interested and kept saying, "now, that's a good idea." Once he hit the table, he began implementing all of his unique ideas. One drawback was that he could not squeeze the icing back himself. Not that big of a deal and I can find a way to overcome it for next year, but this year I could tell it frustrated him a bit.

Samuel was next. The whole time Phillip was working, Sam whined around asking, "When is it my turn?" Jeff and I were sure once it actually go to be his turn, he would have little interest. But, we were way wrong.

He was sooo into it! Samuel doesn't have much patience for activities that require a steady hand and sitting for more than about three minutes. But, he loved it and told us what every single thing was as he put it on. I helped him with the icing (glue) and he designed everything else!

And, of course, while Samuel was working, Andy spent the entire time skirting the table asking, "Where's Andy's house?" In class two-year-old form, he is staking his claim on everything these days; everything is "An-nes." Again, Jeff and I thought this would be a quick one. But, no, Andy took the whole thing very seriously.

But, Andy did spend far more time stuffing his mouth than anyone else. In the end, he was careful to select at least one of almost every option on the table for inclusion on his house.

Andy's was followed by hours and hours of pointing and telling us "Andy's house." He was so proud. They each did an amazing job and were far, far more intentional than I had expected. The houses turned out great, now if I can get them to leave them alone until a little closer to Christmas! Closer to Christmas, I will let them start picking on them; seems sort of gross to me (old candy), but I guess to a kid, candy is candy is candy.

Phillip's and Samuel's

Andrew's and Mine

(Really need to move to Flicker, uploading this many pictures on Blogger is a real pain in the butt. And, I have no idea what is up with the spacing. It doesn't look like that in the preview window. Once again frustrated with Blogger.)


Jeff said...

Cute houses, cute kids--you guys rock

Anonymous said...

Those are awesome! You are just the All-American Leave It To Beaver Martha Stewart MOM!! How you have the time and patience, I'll never understand. I aspire to be in your category.

Amanda Sue said...

is that shredded wheat?

awesome post! how cute :)