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.
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!
I know. =)
I can't stand it either!