Monday 15 December 2014

Tears and Tragedy and Gingerbread Disasters

Before the collapse(s)
 In past years, I have had notable and satisfying success with the manufacture of gingerbread houses. I blame last year's success for this year's failure. Last year was the first year I baked my own gingerbread to make a house. I researched meticulously, looking up different types of icing for glue and the best templates. I measured and crafted and sent the Zeds out of the room for the delicate building of the house but it all went without a hitch. It was wonderful.

Also before the collapse(s).
I used the same recipe as for our gingerbread menagerie and previous houses but only baked for 10 minutes instead of 12. I think this was my first error, apart from the lack of meticulous planning. I also broke one of the roof pieces when it came out of the oven. That should have been my first warning that all was not going to be sweet as roses in our construction project but, alas, I ignored this warning as we still had spare dough at this point to cut out another roof piece. I may even have been a little proud at the rescue of this disaster.  However, despite sending the small people from the room for the construction, things were not going to plan. Perhaps the icing, also used last year, was too stiff or my patience was too thin but the house collapsed. A bit broke. I assured Z1 that this one could be Z2's as he was mainly interested in all the candy for sticking anyway. I valiantly struggled on in the face of this adversity and succeeded in making 2 passable small houses (oh yes, I decided to do miniature ones this year so the Zeds could have one each) which were standing pre-decoration. However, not long into the decorating, they both collapsed. Z1 was distraught. She took herself upstairs in floods of tears with a soliloquy regarding the tragedy that could be heard downstairs. I fixed it as best I could and it still looked ok...until the next collapse.

We had to admit defeat. Z1 was quite brave at this point, perhaps all her tears were spent, but she did have the consolation of some cookies we had cut out from spare dough which she decorated. My plans were dashed but I did manage not to cry. It was close. We had even made extra trees and gingerbread men to stand around the magnificent dwellings we had envisaged. There are no further photos due to the trauma involved. My frustration and anger from the day turned, the next day, into a gentle melancholy for the houses that were not to be.

We will be ok. We will attempt these again some day but with more planning and care and templates.


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