Saturday, December 26, 2009

North Carolina: Christmas Crafty Creations

OOOOOO I had SUCH a great time today I planned making Gingerbread House’s with the kids and as expected they had an absolute BLAST; however I think I may have had more fun than they did. Originally I had planned doing this on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day but with all of us being sick with the flu it just didn’t happen.

First I spent a good few hours getting everything organized BEFORE I called the kids. Of course they were hovering and trying to steal some of the goodies off the table. I decided to improvise on the whole gingerbread part and we used graham crackers instead. It took me a while to figure out how to put the pieces together and cut the graham cracker without it shattering. Of course my elixir of life (Diet Coke) is front and center (this was not intentional but I thought it was funny).


Once I had one figured out then I duplicated that pattern and put all the pieces on separate red plastic plates which we used as the base for our houses. All the extra pieces went on a separate plate to be used for windows, doors, chimneys or whatever other creative things we could come up with.


Of course the thing that makes or breaks decorating houses is the toppings that you choose. We decided on M&M’s, chocolate chips, sugar gumdrops, candy canes, peppermints, coconut and powdered sugar.


There was also the frosting, a basic white, and then I separated two separate bowls out to dye it red and green for accents. The best way to make houses is to make frosting pipers. We used a regular ziplock bag with a small portion of one of the corners cut. Works like a charm and is alot cheaper than buying the official frosting piper. I called everyone to the table and then walked everyone through building the base of their house using the frosting as our glue.


Many could not resist the temptation of all that drippy frosting.


I was surprised by how well everyone was doing in particular Mr. Dragon who is only 5. Of course he had some help from mom but when I looked up at anxious cries of distress and saw this I could not help but grab my camera. The sad little falling house with his sad little face in the background was priceless. Of course mom came to the rescue and helped him “fix” it better than new.


Once the base was done creativity knew no bounds.


As a side note I find when building houses it is better to do a few steps and then stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Getting the frosting really cold helps it to stick more and gives the heavy houses more stability. Another trick is to add an egg powder and sugar to the standard frosting to make it stickier to create a better glue.


Everyone was done almost an hour before Mr. Rogue. My man is meticulous down to the very last detail. We all sat around the table sipped egg nog and talking while his masterpiece was completed. Look at the intense concentration on his face; this is a man who does NOT mess around with details.


And OH MY GOD he took a toothpick and made a perfect wreath including little berry accents. Seriously that wreath is smaller than a quarter. I was suitably impressed with his mad skills.


Althouh I did not have a wreath I was happy with the design of my house including little gumdrop trees and powdered snow!


Mrs. Painter, after finishing helping her son complete his house, decided to use the scrap graham crackers to create a not so traditional gingerbread house, or flower, or whatever it was. It looks so yummy and origional that we started joking that she could sell this desert idea to some five star restaurant and make a fortune.


Everyone's houses turned out so great, we all had a different take on decorating and the hours of fun we had was priceless.


Perhaps the best part of making the houses is actually eating them. We let Mr. Dragon go to town on his with only one rule he had to eat it with no hands. That idea was one of the best I have ever had all the adults circled around while he dug in, totally hilarious.


And he did not hold back, he just dug in with gusto like some Godzilla released on New York.




The destruction of his house was a little sad to see. He sure did take a bite out of it.


Baby Fruit also got a bit of a taste, her face was priceless, like she had found the meaning of all that mattered in that tiny bit of frosting we gave her.


There was so much left over that I decided to use some of it for other extracurricular activities.


If you have small children you should totally try making gingerbread houses next year. The memories are priceless.

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

What a fun way to spend time with the kids. Everyones house looked marvelous, you could make your own Christmas village with them!

Colin- What a fantastic job! I loved the tinge of red and the wreath is excellent!

Kelly - yours reminds me of the Hansel and Gretel cottage they found deep in the woods. mmmmm!

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