30 Dec Gingerbread Heaven
For my family gingerbread houses are very much part of our Christmas preparations. I have just been looking through my photos and have realised just how many I have made in the past few years.
In 2009 I made my first few houses, traditional looking with smarties and chocolate buttons for decoration.
I think I kind of knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied with traditional houses, so over the last few years they have become somewhat more detailed!
In 2013 I made a manor house, complete with stained glass windows surrounded by ivy.
Then last year I went for a church with more stained glass and fairy lights inside.
This year I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that one building wasn’t enough so I went for the Houses of Parliament. I really loved making it but oh my, I’m not sure I could spend 30 or so hours making one gingerbread house again! I stayed up until 3am on at least 4 nights, perfectly happy and surrounded by matchmakers (I may have had to buy a few ‘spare’ boxes…)
My two children are just wonderful and got so excited at seeing what I’d added each morning when they woke up, they’re my biggest fans for sure. I do love the romantic idea that they might look back in years to come and tell their own children how Granny Bex used to make a ridiculously big gingerbread house each year!
The huge downside to making such a huge house this year is that I didn’t have as much time to make them with the children or for friends and family. In previous years we have made a gingerbread village which involved my husband, children and all of my inlaws.
And it takes everything within me to let the children go wild with their own designs and not feel the need to interfere. I do love what they come up with though and they certainly taste good.
I also ran a gingerbread house workshop for 20 people last year. It was quite an adventure! I had to bake all of the gingerbread prior to the course and take all of it, along with all of the decorations, on the train to London.
Our old house was about 20 metres from the train station but I had to drive three archiving boxes and a roll of cellophane over to the station, quickly unload the boxes onto the platform (and tell the guard that I promised I’d be back and that he could watch me park my car back in my driveway!), drive the car home and run back to the station. Then, thankfully my brother who lived in London at the time, was able to meet me on the platform and help me move the boxes to a taxi. How I got it all there in one piece I’ll never know! I was so nervous, the idea of standing in front of a large group of adults and telling them how to construct a gingerbread house was terrifying. They were wonderful though, all in high spirits and really up for giving it a go. The finished houses looked wonderful together.
So gingerbread houses are here to stay as one of the Knapp household Christmas traditions, who knows what form they will take in coming years but they will definitely be tasty and that’s pretty much all that matters!