Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Big Gingerbread Reveal

Sigh. Here is our house. I save all the decorations from our house every year and then pile them on the next year. Overkill? Perhaps. But we wouldn't have it any other way. So, how do we get here?

Remember this? All baked up, edges evened out and stacked up ready to assemble. One of them is longer than the others. You'll see why later on.

You can't assemble an edible gingerbread house without Royal Icing. After years of making this, I truly believe it is an art form. If the icing is not right, as in too thick or too thin, there is lots of unsavory language in the kitchen while the houses are being assembled. Trust me on this. I grew up with it....and I am carrying on the "tradition." But, if the icing is good, it is a thing of beauty. I make my icing tubes out of freezer paper. That plastic lining is a lifesaver.

I found a lovely pastry tube with all the fancy tips, and in a weak moment, I bought it. Meh. This is the last time you will see the fancy-schmancy pastry tube. Anyway, the windows have to be attached and allowed to dry before any real construction can take place.

Now, the actual construction takes many hands and those hands cannot be holding cameras while holding the pieces. So, fast forward.......

You can see the house in the back has no roof. The order goes: Front and side. Other side. Back. Then the two roof pieces. Usually about that time, I am thinking, often out loud, "These look horrible!! Not a GOOD YEAR!" (Josie Grandma, does this sound at all familiar??) You see, it is a PROCESS. Like any process, you have to trust in the final vision. They just don't look that cute while they are being put together.

This is my subcontractor, Hayley. (Well, these are her hands.) I wouldn't dare try to decorate these little gems without her help. She would shoot me. And then never speak to me again. I can't have that, so she does a lot of the decorating. This is her friend Karen's house.

And here is our Bobo with the finished Christiansen house! We're not thinking the houses are horrible anymore!

See, they go from ugly ducklings to cute swans! We include a little light to insert in the back to provide yummy light through the door and windows.

This is Molly, our kitty. She only gets to go outside in our gingerbread world!

We have a snowman. And the mailman leaves presents outside the door!

That's me...standing in the doorway. Teehee. Can I just say it was a pretty good year for icicles? (Another familiar term for Josie Grandma!)

And Santa and Rudolph hang out on the roof. Can you stand it???

This is The Roadhouse Bar and Grill. They've kind of adopted Dano as their own. It's his Joe Josts of the PNW. That is his car there in the middle.

I thought they deserved a little gingerbread replica of the Roadhouse. It came complete with the fenced-in smoking area and neon pub signs. Normally, recipients love the houses and they gush over them. This might have been the best reception ever. The women in the Roadhouse went nuts, but the male owner and male manager pretty much acted like little boys on Christmas morning! I love it. It is why I make these little houses year after year!

So that is the story of our gingerbread houses. There is just one drawback to having a house made of gingerbread. The mice enjoy them as much as us people do!

I know. =)

I can't stand it either!


Josie Gramma said...

What is this with the "unsavory language"? I believe every year was a "pretty good year for icicles"! Right - and if you believe that - you also believe in Santa Clau.
Great Blog, one of the best. The houses are delightful and the Road House gingerbread house is priceless. Free beer for a month?
Diane, is the jacket Hayley wearing one of your creations?
Good Job

Julie said...