Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
As I know you guys have waited with bated breath (and probably checking my blog every ten minutes to see if the moment you’ve been anticipating is finally here…or maybe not), I’m now ready to give you installment number two of our Seuss gingerbread house adventure. But first…
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I can’t believe it’s already 2011–especially since I graduate from school in 2012, which makes me feel I only have a year of school left. Which isn’t true at all, but it sounds like music to my ears when I say it, so I will. One year of school left! Now I just have to stop writing 2010 when I date things, which from previous years I know will take me about 11 1/2 months (I just got used to 2010!).
But onto the gingerbread house. This is your very first look at how we planned the Seuss house. When I got the idea to build a gingerbread house, I know that the men would be behind the designing of the template and the women would bake and decorate it. I was kind of anticipating your standard square house with a roof and possibly a porch if we got adventurous. Imagine my surprise when I found this awaiting my approval:
The stakes suddenly were raised.
We knew that the icing we made would have to be incredibly strong to support all the weird angles and overhangs, and the second recipe we tried was by far better than the first–it was gluey, dried to solid rock in a few hours, but still malleable and easy to use in a pastry bag.
Gingerbread House Icing Cement (we used this for both construction and decoration)
- 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 t cream of tartar
- 3 egg whites
Add all the ingredients into your mixer and whip using the beater attachment for five-ten minutes until it forms stiff peaks. Save yourself the trouble of trying to do it by hand–you can, but it’s not nearly as good and it’s so much work!
So let’s construct.
Lay out all your gingerbread pieces. Admire.
Now get to work icing from the bottom up, using a pastry bag and remember that more is more, not less. You can always make more icing–we needed two batches. While the men are constructing, use the leftover gingerbread to make accessories, such as trees, doors, chimneys, ducks, and possibly–a Grinch.
Despite your care to use as much of the dough as efficiently as possible, there will be leftover gingerbread covering the entire house. Even a ginger aficionado like me couldn’t take care of every last piece (although I did eat a lot). Lastly, watch your gingerbread house take shape. It’ll take a while, because you may be recruited to stand there and hold on the roof while the icing hardens, but with every piece that is added on, you will become more and more excited to decorate. At least I did (and no, I didn’t hold the roof. I pretended to be busy elsewhere).
And there you have it. The decorating step (you’ll see that tomorrow) really depends on how creative you want to be–and there’s really not much guidance necessary. Just go crazy with it.