Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Gingerbread House Set Backs

I love the tradition of having the children decorate a gingerbread house during Christmas. The only part I DON'T love is trying to get gingerbread (which I don't even like) to stand up and behave while we're trying to decorate it. To avoid the seething and cursing brought on by gingerbread architecture, I've used a wooden-type structure for EONS and just stuck candy to that. Sadly, I can't find it this year. It's AWOL after our last move from Cheyenne. No worries, I'll just use a small cardboard box as the house, construct a roof, cover it with gingerbread and let the children stick candy to it. How hard could it be?

Using my long lost Bosch mixer, I started assembling the ingredients. When I got to the part about two tablespoons of vanilla extract, I knew I would have to open the new one I had bought a few months back. It's not premium stuff, but I reasoned that by the time we get to eating this cookie after Christmas, it's going to be pretty stale so why bother? I grabbed the plastic bottle it came in and cracked the seal of the cap. As I poured the first tablespoon into my lovely butter/sugar mix, I was shocked to see it was RED!! Who's ever heard of red vanilla extract? I looked more closely at the bottle and realized I had grabbed the little bottle of red wine that I got on my flight back home from England! SNAP, do I throw away three cups of sugar and two cups of butter or do I carry on? My frugal side (which is very bossy) reasoned that I wasn't planning on eating that stale ol' house anyway, and besides, even if the kids ate it, the alcohol would have cooked out...

Raise your hand if you think I just added the proper amount of real vanilla extract to the bowl and carried on.  If you're even contemplating raising your hand, you're right.

Once everything was mixed in their proper proportions, I greased a 9 x 12 jelly roll pan and filled it with the dough...twenty minutes later (about the time I'm typing the part about the wine), I smell scorching cookies. Completely unaware of the disaster I was about to discover, I scurried into the kitchen to investigate. The cookie dough had risen, and RISEN! Then it spilled over the edges of the jelly roll pan, then it accumulated at the bottom of the oven where it continued to bake, and then scorch. Yes, it's very trying being me. And this is the easy part, I remind myself. I haven't even gotten to the part where I try and make this stuff stick to the cardboard.

Maybe I'll just go have a peek in the garage for that gingerbread house form...

UPDATE:  Because I'm me and used to improvising due to my own mistakes, we eventually DID complete a "Gingerbread" house for Christmas.  When my supportive, loving husband walked in the door from work that evening and saw the unfinished house, he crooned, "Oh, it's like a little sod house!"
Sod Christmas Cabin
Tarted up Sod Cabin