Friday, December 19, 2008

Gingerbread Contractor

Can you stand it??? Another new blog post! So, I'm going to have to do this in two parts because there are just too many pictures of the Gingerbread House process and I don't want anyone to lose interest. Okay? Okay. Here goes...

Everything is all ready to go here. The dough, baking sheets (brand spankin' new unwarpable Cuisinart pans...that will come into play very soon!) rolling pin, pattern pieces, scraper, etc.

I just have to add here that when we were looking at homes to buy, I may have done a little jig when I saw this granite island. I mean, to a girl who rolls out gingerbread dough every year, this island sealed the deal. Just had to share that tidbit.

So, we place a hunk of dough on the heavenly slab of granite and start rolling. This dough is a rollers dream.

See? All flat and even. {{sigh}}

Okay, I use the scraper to cut out the pieces. This is a roof. I'll need two for each house. I am a gingerbread contractor. We came up with that name the other day. I like it!

Next, pan by pan, the pieces are baked. Do you like my new non-warping pans? Can I share with you my horror when after only 3 1/2 minutes of the very first pan baking, I heard the lovely wrenching WARPING ping in the oven. Nice.
Gingerbread contractors do not like it when their roofs (rooves??? I'm going with roofs.) are warped. Or maybe it is the homeowners that don't like their roofs warped. Either way, this sight really pissed me off. Sorry, just keepin' it real folks. I was ready to march back into Costco with my unwarpable pans and have a chat. But then, the pans unwarped. Just like that. Maybe they were afraid of my wrath? We'll never know. They've not warped since that baking day, so I'll move on.

This is where the pieces cool. Those little pieces are various cookies that I bake to keep the wolves (aka: my children) from chewing on the house pieces. Actually, they like to eat the raw dough, so I got up early to bake these.

My gingerbread Santa always presides over the baking.

So, do the scraps go in the trash? Do they go in my children's mouths? What does one do with all those scraps?

No. They are not really scraps. They are perfectly good to re-roll.

And the scraps are happy about this. See?

I hear your thoughts. "Diane has got WAY too much time on her hands." Shush.

Ahhhhh. That is a glorious, re-rolled sight.
In fact, the re-rolled dough behaves even better than the first rolled dough. Let's take a moment to take in this goodness, shall we?

Ohhhhhhmmmmmmmmm. Okay. Moving on.

Now, I don't want you all to think that my kitchen always looks neat and pristine. Because it doesn't. Gingerbread contracting is a messy, flour-y, spread out MESS. Behold:

But, that is what sponges and towels and elbow grease is for. Everything cleans up all nice and tidy and in the end, this is what you get:

A clean island with nicely stacked building supplies all trimmed and ready for assembling. It's a good thing.

Check back tomorrow for the final chapter in this Gingerbread story. It will be worth it. Meanwhile, this morning, I woke up to this:

I love this shot so much so I made it my new header photo. And then I got a wild hair and changed the background to a Christmas-y color. I'm not sold on it yet. =)

It is a stunningly beautiful day here in the PNW. And the hubs comes home from SoCal this afternoon. And we're heading to the Christiansen's for their holiday Open House tonight.

Truly a good day in this neighborhood!

1 comment:

Josie Gramma said...

Your pictures are so real, I could almost smell the gingerbread baking. Great pictures.
The picture of the gingerbread parts and trimmings reminded Daddy of the time when we were dating some 55 years ago. He took me home and I went to bed and he sat up for hours helping Gramdma trim the gingerbread roofs, sides, fronts and backs. I really think the reason he helped was to be able to eat all of them.