I got some questions from MomCat about the houses and I thought it would be best if I came clean to all of you. I'm a good mom, but heck... I'm all for the path of least resistance.
MomCat wanted to know how I made the gingerbread the right consistency... It's simple. The houses are kits that come in a box. I purchase them at AC Moore every year on the day after Thanksgiving. There was a time when W and I made all the houses for all the kids, but those days, my friends, are long gone! W had a mold (from Pampered Chef) that came with a great recipe, but the mold is no longer available. We would get together the Wednesday before and crank out about 6 or 7 houses. Now I shop. For a relatively small amount of cash and zero aggravation, you too, can have a gingerbread house.
The kits come with icing mix and some candies. The icing mix in the kits is HORRIBLE! Get your own royal icing recipe off the internet. Buy some egg whites in a carton and make the icing.
The candies in the kits lack big time. I only really buy the kits for the house parts. I supplement the candies with really good stuff like M&M's, Snowcaps, Gummy Bears, Dots, and more. It's a dentist's dream spread out on my counter...
The kit also comes with a pastry bag. That just doesn't work. Throw it out. Get a Pampered Chef Accent Decorator. We've used one for the past few years and believe me, it was worth every penny. All I do is fill the tube. The kids put the icing where they want it. No mess. No crying. No craziness. See, I told you I do it the easy way.
Do we eat the houses?
Ummm... No. When do you think they made that gingerbread to get it into the stores on November 25th? There is absolutely no way that I would allow anyone to consider taking a bite out of those houses. Besides, when I toss them into the trash, they stay whole... they don't break. I know some of that is from the icing, but really.... The thing does not even crumble. You could definitely break some teeth trying to bite a chunk off the roof!
So, there you have it.
This is just a fun activity with very little hassle or bother. The hardest part of the whole event is getting the icing right and making the choice between the Merlot and the Pinot.