The Craft Project

Gingerbread Gong Show

You know those days when you sit straight up in bed in a bit of a panic with a single thought enveloping you?  In the past those thoughts for me have been things like “final exam today”, “I’m getting married”, “I’ve got to fly to South America in an hour”, and “earthquake!”.  Today it was “I’ve got to finish that damn gingerbread house.”

Gingerbread houses are a Christmas fixture for me.  I’ve made them every year as long as I can remember…and as long as I can remember they’ve been harder than they should be.  This house was no exception.  I baked the pieces last night (I considered buying a kit but Tyler protested loudly that the gingerbread from kits didn’t taste nearly as good….so until almost midnight I spent quality time with a cast iron mold I’d borrow from my mother creating walls, roof pieces, and a chimney).  The problems started with the baking – some of the pieces didn’t come out of the mold in one piece (Tyler informed me afterwards that the gingerbread gurus from the internet attested to the fact that I have to wait for the mold to cool completely before taking the pieces out, and that the mold I was using was given a 5 star review, so it was me, not the mold that was the problem…thanks for that honey).  The mold I have only does half the house at once, and when some of the pieces fall apart beyond the reach of icing repairs, and you have to wait for a cast iron mold to “cool completely” it takes a really long time to get everything baked.

I went to bed good and late, but at least with all the pieces made.  Which led to my panicked awakening this morning.  I spent the morning in my pajamas assembling the house.  I had forgotten what a pain it is to work with royal icing.  Don’t get me wrong…I love that royal icing is strong enough to hold pieces of the International Space Station together, but that strength comes with a draw back…it takes a body builder to get it to pipe properly through an icing bag.  My hands actually hurt right now…a lot.  Anyways I’ve just successfully put on the finishing touches…as long as it manages to hold together we’re golden.

4 comments

  1. beachmonkey

    I love your gingerbread house! It reminds me of the ones my family made in Christmas’s past. My mother used to make hers without a mold. She used a waxed cardboard template to cut her rolled out dough. Mmm now I’m craving gingerbread. Merry Xmas & Happy New Years Craftchick!

  2. Johanna

    I hear your pain on assembly. I now assemble gingerbread houses with hot sugar and then pipe the icing over top to make it look nice. Just melt 1/2 a cup of white sugar in a non-stick frying pan until it is well melted, and use that as glue, it is rock solid and holds as soon as it has cooled, which is about 30 seconds, so you have to work fast, but at least you don’t have to hold two sides together for ages.

  3. Teresa

    You have my applause for the creation of your project. Unfinished craft projects are an entire universe in themselves, and just looking at your blog made me realize just how many I had, including the unfinished embroidery of a woman on a gray horse I started when I was 16 – and I am 55 yrs old now!
    The problem for us multicrafters is that things inspire us so much that we are onto a new inspiration before we finish the old one
    I like the originality of the junk mail cats, by the way, Great idea!
    I’m a multicraftsperson – fibres: spinning, weaving, felting, natural dyes from plants,knit, crochet
    Cloth- sewing, applique, quilting
    Paint: pastels, water colors, colored pencil, inks…..
    Drawing: sketching, landscape, life, still-life and not so still life,rendering and etching
    Glass: stained, leaded, copper foil, glass paints
    Basketry – largest I have made are laundry hampers, also cat hutches (covered baskets), baskets with a handle, bread baskets using wild red osier dogwood stems, golden willow and pussy willow
    …. I could go on, but I am too exhausted just writing this.
    But is lovely to connect with others who have a deep creative drive.
    Best of luck, and I will visit your blog often.
    Teresa

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