Friday, December 14, 2007

The Gingerbread House Experiment (Spirit of Christmas Post #2)

This year I decided to get a little crafty with my kiddos and help them construct a Gingerbread House. I've never built a gingerbread house before that I recall. But one was calling my name at our local Albertson's, so I purchased it. It sat on the wet-bar, which we use as a storage shelf, for a couple weeks before I had the opportunity to introduce it to the kids.

Pros about this gingerbread house:
  • The house pieces were pre-made. No gingerbread baking in preparation.
  • The frosting was ready to use after a little bit of kneading.
  • The instructions were clear and easy to follow.
  • The decorations were included-- no need to purchase extra gum drops.
  • The frosting was fast-dry, so we only needed to hold the parts together for 60 seconds, then leave it alone for 15 minutes to set before we decorated.
Cons about this gingerbread house:
  • Not enough frosting to really do it up right.
  • The house fell apart less than fifteen minutes after we completed it.
I really did follow the directions very closely. Casey and I held the roof on the house for a full 60 seconds before we set it aside to really set for fifteen minutes. After the fifteen minutes had elapsed (we used a kitchen timer to keep track), I frosted the house roof and poured the various decorative components into tiny bowls for the kids to use.
Marcie mostly ate the candy. In fact, there were a few gumballs, which I was unaware of. Earlier in the day Marcie had begged me for gum and I'd told her no because she was too young. Plus, I'd given her half a piece of gum the week before and she swallowed it. This time, after she snuck the gum, she showed it to me-- quite proud of the gum in her mouth. When she told me she was "all done" I walked her over to the trash can to spit it out. And she swallowed it on the way. So I confiscated the gum balls. Of course Marcie had a blast-- she was eating candy. What two year old doesn't think that's fun?
Casey did a very nice job decorating the roof of the house with Spree candies and gum drops. And he really seemed to enjoy himself. But about ten minutes into his decorating, he noticed the roof had begun to slide off the side of the house. I carefully pulled the roof apart, re-pieced it together, and let it set for another 15 minutes. All to no avail.
We did have time to finish our decorations, but the house didn't last long. Take a gander for yourself:

In the end, we just threw it out. But don't feel too badly. It entertained the kids (and me) for a full 40 minutes or so, and really, who wants their kids eating that much cookie and candy? So I suppose the falling apart was a blessing.

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