16 December 2009

Gingerbread Houses

New Year's Traditions/Activities Wanted! Send an email to melking1@gmail.com

Making gingerbread houses was a tradition I always wanted to do, but I think the fact that my parents had 7 kids to shop for and the fact that we did so many other Christmas activities was why we never quite got around to making them.

But while I was a nanny in Germany, I spent Christmas with some relatives in Switzerland. And if I was ever deprived of making gingerbread houses, well, making them there made up for it. For you see, they don't just make graham cracker houses. They go all out--collecting different crackers, cookies, candies, and extra things to make the houses immaculate. We spent over 3 days working on them. I realize that I will probably never have the time again to spend 3 days on a gingerbread house, but this is what spending 3 days can do:

Isn't this one amazing? This was my aunt's. She is an artist. Can you tell? I put the Jones sign in the yard because I felt like I had to keep up with hers. Here is what mine turned out like:

Considering it was my first, I was pretty excited. I loved the bay window with a Christmas tree in it :)

However, back in reality making any gingerbread house is better than nothing. It is so fun to see what everyone comes up with. I love that my husband's family has a tradition to make gingerbread houses every year. We made them this last weekend and it was so fun! All we used was graham crackers and old candy. My mother-in-law made the perfect frosting to keep it all together and she was kind enough to share it:

Gingerbread House Frosting
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. water
3 cups of powdered sugar

Whip egg whites, cream of tartar and water together for a couple of minutes, until a little frothy. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined and fluffy.

Have fun! Let's see what you come up with!

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