This weekend, Tim and I celebrated our 23rd Anniversary! We essentially celebrated the entire weekend and why not? Twenty-three years, still together and more importantly, still loving each other is kind of a big deal.
One of the things we did in our revelry was hold the 1st annual Gingerbread House making championship of Bayshore Dr, Venice. We were actually inspired by youngest son and his wife. They each made a gingerbread house the previous weekend and had such fun doing it, with such terrific results that it kind of made me want to give it a go myself.
We once attended a Christmas Party hosted by good friends where we were encouraged to make gingerbread houses with Graham Crackers and sweets and my results were just shy of tragic. I needed an opportunity to redeem myself. While I've made many a gingerbread man and even more gingerbread cakes in my life, that party years ago was my first gingerbread house and, my friends, if you've never done this before yourself let me tell you, 3-D houses are a lot harder to achieve success with than something that lays quietly and obediently flat.
I will say the kit house was a tad more cooperative than the cracker houses. I think partly because the pieces are more substantial, heavier, more solid and therefore less apt to break than a graham cracker. The royal icing in the kit was really thick and gooey and set up fairly quickly. But the candy decorations were paltry. We were forewarned of this by youngest son and bought extra goodies to augement to the process. Naturally choosing things that we liked. Eating ones mistakes is not a problem when ones mistakes are yummy.
We started out being quite silly about the project but became seriously involved in short order. Tim brought out his laptop and had a Christmas movie playing for background ambience. I dropped a lot of bits on the floor and since I do not adhere to the 5-second rule, that lot got thrown away. And there was a good deal of icing that we ended up wearing. Somehow I did not align my house pieces properly so it's a little wonky but it stands. There was a bit of swearing involved specifically directed to the pieces that kept falling off. And of course we did have to taste test the candy just to be sure it was good.
In the end, Tim's house is looks like a Gingerbread log cabin. It's nicely squared and each piece meticulously placed. His choices were creative and appealing. Mine looks messy but enthusisastic. There was nobody to judge our finished pieces, but were it up to me, I'd have to say that his house is the clear winner by a mile. Mine however, takes the silver medal. I can live with that.
Remember the old nursery story of Hansel and Gretel walking in the woods, finding the gingerbread house with the wicked witch living it? I am now finding a number of things wrong with that story. First and foremost, how on earth did she find an oven big enough to make the gingerbread pieces for her house? If these houses were big enough to actually live in, the individual pieces would be incredibly huge. Oh yeah, and no heavy power equipment back then to work with either. And then the candies. Unless that forest was ice cold all the time, anything chocolate would absolutely melt. Just the heat of my always cold fingers were softening it as I worked. Even if nothing was made out of chocolatge, it could not possibly have been royal icing holding things in place. Construction nails, maybe. And then an edible house in the forest? Did anyone else think, bugs? She would have been not only infested, but bugs would have eaten that house up in no time. No, I do not think Hansel and Gretel have anything to fear from Gingerbread House dwelling witches in the forest. Bears, yes. Witches who live in giant gingerbread houses, no.
So, anyway, the finished houses are on the kithen table festively cheering the room and nothing more had fallen off, so I think it's set through the rest of the holiday anyway. I will be a little sad when Christmas is over and I throw it away. But I will. And then I'll do a little research for next year. Because I fully intend to win the 2nd annual Bayshore Dr Gingerbread Making Championship. Oh yeah, we know how to party.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.