Monday, January 4, 2010

Gingerbread Houses and Me.

Last Christmas we were brand new to Brussels. We attempted our first gingerbread house. I was ambitious as a brand new stay-at-home mom to be all Martha Stewart-y. Um, it was not a pretty picture. I tried to make my own gingerbread in our tiny Belgian oven which was a recipe for disaster.The "building" of the house was an even bigger failure than the cakelike bread. Connor wasn't exactly sure what was happening.
This is as far as we got....I know, pretty pathetic!
Fast forward a year -
We were very fortunate to book a trip home to North Carolina for Christmas 2009. There is much to tell from our Noel adventure.

When we arrived home we had a package waiting for us from my aunt, Ruffin. We opened this up...
...Ruffin was worried it might be a foolish gift. But Connor started shivering - literally - with excitement to make the gingerbread house. She was fixated on it. So we made the house. I tried to start off optimistic - and to block out memories of Ghosts of Gingerbread Houses Past.
Of course Connor skipped across the kitchen dancing and singing while Mom and I did the hard work. Go REDHEAD Team!
It was messy. I couldn't believe my mom actually let me make such a big mess.
Yep, we look pretty ragged. No time for make-up with a Gingerbread House in the plans.
Connor would pop up every now and then to supervise our work. She would beg to eat a few candies and then twirl back into her musical world.
Let's just say it was not pretty. We had several demolitions and remodels on our house before we got it together.
We stepped away for just a split second and came back to this. Phooey! Good thing I am not a contractor.
The funny part is this wasn't even our first gingerbread house attempt this Christmas. In Brussels we tried one out.
This one never made it off the ground. And certainly never to the candy design.
I don't know what my problem is with gingerbread houses?!?! The concept is simple enough...smash pieces together with icing glue. I mean it is not rocket science. For this year's Brussels gingerbread disaster I cried "Mercy!" and let Connor eat the walls.
It has always bothered me to work so hard and then not to eventually eat candy houses. So we bent the rules and indulged. Given our toppled construction and all.
I give up. Think from now on I will stick with the gingerbread men. The three houses this year and last weren't my most shining moments of craftiness. But they did succeed in providing a lot of laughter.

My failures make me ogle that much more over this year's White House Gingerbread House. Maybe I should go take some lessons from these guys....


Dallas said...

I gotta tell you, when I first opened this post, I didn't realize the first picture was a year ago and I thought you had cut off all of Connor's hair. :) Love the house you and your mom made.

Louise said...

That last photo is gorgeous. I love the ones where they're not smiling-- shows so much about their personalities.

BelgiumBound said...

Hey Reid,
Last year we bought a gingerbread train set and it was the best I've ever done. It had ridges in the bottom plastic tray so we could set the gingerbread pieces inside and they wouldn't move quite as easily...then we did our little village this year, and it didn't have the ridged tray, so it didn't go quite as well. Bottom line is, next year I'm looking for another try that comes with the gingerbread kit. That might help you too??