Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Gingerbread Menagerie

This weekend marked the official start of Toronto's Christmas - lights were switched on at Yonge-Dundas, the Santa parade was on and it even snowed. There is more to come, of course as my email inbox will get fuller of increasingly frenzied messages from various companies telling me about amazing bargains and I begin to unsubscribe from the ones that make me swear the most when I see them. That's how I handle my marketing subscriptions, when I begin to swear at more emails than I open, it's time to get unsubscribing.

I had considered bringing the Zeds along to the switching on of the lights but really, an outing into the dark and cold at their bedtime is not the wisest move. This will not stop me wondering if we should go along to the impressively named Cavalcade of Lights in two weeks time although I believe Z2 has a birthday party to attend that day.

So, none of that was particularly crafty but, as you see in the photo, we were fierce productive this weekend. I took a notion, after successful baking for the school cake sale using this fragrant recipe, which I also used last year, that I should make gingerbread with the Zeds. The recipe is very satisfying, because you stir things up in a bubbly, fragrant pot and then add baking soda which makes it go all foamy. Maybe all gingerbread recipes do this, but I had not encountered the wonder of this before and felt that the Zeds would enjoy it. With plenty of being careful and lots of not touching the hot stove, the Zeds stirred and added ingredients and it was suitably delightful and cosy. We have many, many cookie cutters and using them for something edible was so much less upsetting than the crumby mess of Play-Doh that you can't even eat.

The true triumph of the day, though, was coming home after the Santa parade and whipping up a bit of icing and some leftover sweets from Hallowe'en and letting them decorate their animals before bedtime. The owl on the bottom left is Z2's, the rest are Z1's. I particularly like her use of the sweets as suckers on the octopus's tentacles. Overall, though, she was a little too delicate in her use of icing and Z2's generous application worked a bit better. I definitely want to make more to decorate myself.

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