.....A Mouth Full of Gingerbread

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew!!!

Christmas is the time of year we start thinking about singing carols, baking cookies, making candy, giving gifts, going to parties, decorating our homes, trimming the tree, hanging lights on the outside of the house, attending The Nutcracker Ballet, Jolly Old St. Nick, the birth of Christ.... and gingerbread houses!

A few nights ago I woke up at 3 am tossing and turning. Despite my best effort, I couldn't go back to sleep. (Have I ever mentioned that I have an on again/off again relationship with insomnia? UGH!)  When I realized I'd probably be awake for a while, I got out of bed and sat down at my computer. I began visiting web sites about cakes and looking at lots of cake pictures. I'm always amazed at how creative some decorators can be with their cakes! Anyway, as I was browsing the internet the thought came to me.... "I ought to make a gingerbread house!"

Hmmmm.... interesting idea, especially since I've never actually made a gingerbread house before! I've put together those cute little houses with graham crackers and store bought candies, but I've never actually made a genuine gingerbread house. You know, the kind made from home baked gingerbread? Well, the next morning I just happened to run across a blog that mentioned a gingerbread house contest that was being held in a nearby town. Hmmmm..... coincidence?

To make a long story short, I decided to give it a shot and enter the contest!!! This particular contest is sponsored by a local home builder, so all the gingerbread houses need to be based on one of their house plans. There were about 200 floor plans to choose from....YIKES! Should I try to keep it simple, or should I go for it and give it 100% of my effort? I've never been one to be conservative and start out small... so I chose to go BIG!

I began checking online and found a strong "structural type" gingerbread recipe. Since I have no idea what I'm doing... I thought it might also be a good idea to do a little research and find the best way to construct a gingerbread house!!! One common suggestion was to first make the house out of card stock or cardboard. This way you can see how it will look after you're done, and it will also give you the templates needed for cutting out each gingerbread piece. So for the last couple of days I've been constructing a cardboard structure of my gingerbread house. I have to say that I've gotten a LOT of help from my husband.... he's much better at the mechanics of doing something like this than I am. I'm much more right brained!

I've finished my cardboard house, and I think it turned OK. Now it's time to start the next phase of cutting and baking the gingerbread... then putting all those little pieces together. I have zero confidence with this next step! I'm very nervous about being able to get everything to fit together properly and securely. (Probably because I've never done this before!)

I have a horrible re-occuring nightmare that keeps going round and round in my head:  After delivering my gingerbread house to the venue, I let out a huge sigh of relief as I place it down on the display table. "Whew!" I think, "I really did it!!!" At this point, I'm feeling a little smug and quite pleased with myself. As I turn to leave, I hear a horrible crashing noise!!!  I quickly whip back around just in time to see my gingerbread house crumbling into a thousand pieces as it hits the floor!!!

...serves me right for feeling so smug with myself! Hopefully this whole scenario doesn't actually happen!

Anyway, I can't wait until it's time to start decorating and detailing my house! I just wish I could skip the whole construction process and jump directly to decorating.... then I'd be on cloud NINE! 

So we'll see what the next day or two brings. If all goes well, I'll finish putting together my house without too many glitches and begin the fun part. But if all doesn't go well.... then I don't even want to think about it!!!

Hmmmm.... have I bitten off more than I can chew? I'm not sure yet, but I'll let you know in the next couple of days! Wish me luck!!!


  1. Judy, your cardboard house looks fabulous. I just use a metal mold every year. But back in the days, I did make a smaller house and didn't have any cream of tarter for the frosting (now I use royal icing) and I thought it would be okay. Not kept on falling down, and I finally had to trash the house:). Good luck with this. I am sure it will work out great. I think the contruction of the model might be harder than fitting all the pieces together? I am sure you have one of those rolling pins with an attachment to make the dough come out a certain thickness. Gingergread homes are so enchanting for both the old and the young. Joni

  2. Hi Joni,
    I've got my house about half way put together.... it's taking much longer than I expected. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed hoping the pieces fit together and "stay glued" like they should. Like you... I'm also using royal icing. I sure hope it's strong enough to hold! ;)


Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger