I know that I should be spending the morning looking back, reflecting and sharing what the year has brought us, but I still have holidays to share. This happened to me last year and I was left feeling that I had not quite done justice to the fun we had. So, you can choose to stay, or click away, as I am still posting about Christmas.
Each year, the girls and I make gingerbread houses. LibbyLu and I began with traditional mix, roll, cut, and bake gingerbread. It was exhausting so I began to buy kits. When our family grew, the kits became quite expensive, so I searched for alternatives. The girls have so much fun building these sweet houses that I would have gone on investing in the kits, but we discovered our current, and favorite, building with graham crackers. We choose one evening in December and lay out the candy.
With candy as our centerpiece, we ate homemade potato soup and bread.
I mix up some gingerbread house glue, royal icing, and we begin to put houses together. You want your icing to be thick and quick drying. I used to use meringue powder, but learned that egg whites have a few benefits. First, the girls can't eat as they frost, cutting down on some of the sugar intake that is bound to take place in this process. Second, the royal icing is tougher and dries faster.
4 egg whites
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Grace built her own building this year, but I still keep Cubsey and LibbyLu's basic and simple. I use a serrated knife to cut my crackers to size. It is so simply and since the graham crackers are light, the houses are easy to build.
Investing in a few special touches makes the houses special.
It was a good evening of creative work and concentration.
When I finished mine, I placed it on the cake stand in the center of the table and snapped this picture. Although the picture is of the house, I do see irrefutable evidence of candy snacking. Got you, girls!
John decided to join us again this year and the girls were thrilled. Dad is great at play and the girls love that he dives right in.
GraceLu's candy mansion is for homeless children. So pretty.
Cubsey's chimneys always sport Santa's legs. He gets stuck every year.
LibbyLu was dubbed the queen of icicles this year. Those are peace signs on the roof.
Mine is red and white. My favorite colors.
Our sweet houses (and John's) lived in the corner cabinet in dining room until Christmas Eve when they were gently placed on the table to join us for dinner.