What it means is "Gingerbread Day". With the snow days the last two days of school, I was in high stress mode with unfinished projects abounding (sorry Michael and Jon and your respective families - I hope to get your stuff out early next week!) I wasn't in the mood to spend a small fortune on candy and I certainly didn't have time to make the houses. I refuse to buy a kit (or 10).
Monday morning, I realized that nothing would change and it was time to do gingerbread houses. We like to have gingerbread parties, but the snow and late date made it so only Rachel had two friends over. It was still fun!
Now, we've had some really good years with gingerbread houses. One of my favorites was with the Stauffenbergs - GusGus made a trailer and another year a dog house with a bleeding postman (this year he made a dumpster, complete with a drunk peeing on the side). It was hilarious! But for the last three years or so, I find that by the time I've made enough house for friends and kids, I am not in the mood to make my own. That's okay. This year was very last minute, so it wasn't one of our more creative ones. I just did basic A frames houses, which the kids seem to prefer since it gives the most area for candy, and stacking on the candy seems to be the main goal.
I have fond memories of making gingerbread houses at my mom's house. My brother, Snookie, seemed to have a real knack for the darker side, with dead cinnamon bears as a main theme. It makes me proud.
So, I started with the dough, which is the BEST gingerbread house dough I have ever tasted. I love the dough. I eat the dough. I ate so much, I got a tummy ache.
Joseph was totally IN MY FACE and MY HAIR and MY EARS and MY HANDS and I knew I wouldn't make it. He might not either. So I gave him the camera. He took 91 pictures of me rolling out the gingerbread. Except for a few instructions ("Back up Mom, I don't want you in this picture") he was completely occupied.
He was very detailed. Here are A FEW of his shots. (Not every pictures makes the edit, right? You are welcome.)
At this point, I began to beg, "PLEASE GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!" When Joseph realized that the gingerbread had to cool and there was no action, he consented.
Later that night, I assembled the gingerbread by melting sugar in a pan and dipping the sides in the liquid sugar and sticking it to the covered cardboard and to each other. Be careful, it's hot! It's also the most superior way for assembling gingerbread houses. It's fast and strong.