Like many things in my life, I had great ambitions for an afternoon with Max decorating our first Gingerbread House. I saw pictures and studied recipes. I learned that it can be difficult to make a good house, and on top of that the kits got poor reviews. Hmm. It appeared to be a daunting task but I was ready for an awesome experience making my first gingerbread dough, finding a pattern, and making it edible using powdered egg white for the frosting. I also had a backup plan in case the house didn't work––a Gingerbread Tree Kit. In case you hadn't noticed, it is a tree in the forest leaning toward the sun. We have a story for everything.
After cutting and baking the house pieces on two cookie sheets and letting it cool, I was ready to glue it together from the huge bowl of Royal Icing I whipped up. The wall of the house cracked as soon as I picked it up. How did that happen? Fortunately I had read about the hazards of building a GB house so I started building before Max came over since the frosting needs to harden on the sides before adding the roof. Does this appear to be a long story? Hang in there. You will want to hear the end.
After the house fell twice I knew I needed to do something different so I cut the size of the house down to the original pattern, glued on more paper with frosting to hold it together and it worked! We had the best Ugly Gingerbread House. Doug's advice is to add a dinosaur––makes everything more fun!
The story you create around any experience is what defines it. Best of all Max was inspired by the Ugly Gingerbread House to create a unique future experience. He said we should make a Haunted Gingerbread House for Halloween with black frosting and skulls. I think I can use the same style with the crooked roof and bowed sides. Amazing what can come from a failed or not so failed Gingerbread House.
Take a few quiet moments of thankfulness. Picture a recent moment like breakfast, a recent holiday party or gathering, or a walk in the rain. Find the magic of the moment. Maybe you ended up alone or feeling ignored but find a spark a joy to remember for the moment. I remember a recent gathering that was very busy and noisy. My great niece created an interesting braiding for the bracelet she got and my 2 year old granddaughter was playing Operation with a cousin she probably didn't even remember and giggling as she made the nose light up and beep. If you can't think of a magic moment, then it's time to create one. Walk outside and thank God for the sky and wave to a neighbor if they happen to be out. Savor a sweet colorful bell pepper (ok, I am really into the vegetables after writing, Vegetable Kids in the Garden.
If you just have ginger, make a Gingerbread Tent (see photo). If you decide to venture into baking gingerbread, I recommend having LOTS of Royal Icing. The recipe I found makes a huge bowl of it. Make it a Royal Jolly Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and make joyous memories from whatever you do.
With Love and Happiness,