A crapton of gingerbread dough
So my mom thought that our family should build a gingerbread house for a contest South Bend was holding. Initially, I was very hesitant because I rarely do things "just because" and I'm a bit of a perfectionist. So I hemmed and hawed, sulked and frowned, and I'm sure I did other things that I wasn't purposely doing; it was just my natural state of being under the circumstances. But the day came to finally build it, and I found a pattern by Bob Villa. What better template to use than one by him? What stood out to me about the particular pattern I pushed was that the shape wasn't the standard house that I figured mostly everyone would be using. The process began with my dad and brother, who cut out the template.
If ever there was a circumstance, however minor, to swear up a storm, this was it, but I contained myself because that's not how I am. The dough, although it had 6 cups of flour, was on the soft side, and although I rolled it out just-from-the-fridge, it quickly warmed up and the pieces became contorted upon transferring to a baking sheet. Quickly coming up with a way I could save my sanity, I rolled the dough out on a sheet of wax paper and, using the paper as support, turned out the entire rolled out sheet onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then my brother cut the pieces. All we had to do was peel away the unused dough. That's why, if you noticed, there are three side pieces (the ones with the stars on top).
Before constructing, of course, the pieces have to be at room temperature. That happened quickly, so Mom made a thick royal icing and the construction began, using cans of Coca-Cola as supports.
My brother came up with the idea of making shutters for the windows (all 14 of them) and a frame for the door, and my mom thought to use a star cookie cutter for the top windows on the sides, and make the stars and the top window above the door stained-glass.
My dad pointed out that we added some of the decorations to the wrong side of one of the side panels, but the icing hadn't completely set yet and it wasn't that much of a problem, except that we didn't catch it.
For the roof I originally wanted to make wafer cookies, white with browned edged, for the roof shingles, but the day was ended and the kitchen was progressing rapidly into disaster zone status, so I used the swirled white chocolate chips my mom bought and stick pretzels.
My mom and Brother 2 made candy molds for the inside with a gingerbread tree and two people. They did an amazing job on the candies (pictures later).
Brother 1 was attaching the two roofs.
And Brother 1 decided two make two windows that attached to the back roof. Genius. A little touch that really added to the effect.
O.M.Gooses. Just thinking about that house made me tired all over again. After my brothers and I finished the roof (read: REALLY late), we were starting to get obnoxious and loud and the icing was running out, so I said "NO MORE!" and went to bed.
Next morning, I woke up to a gingerbread house even more amazing than what I left, which I will show you on the next post.