Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gingerbread Memories


I confess to always having had a fascination for gingerbread houses. One time, my aunt Rosalie brought one she had made to Christmas at Gram's. It was on display in the dining room for the day, and I don't think I or the other cousins who were there that day ever forgot it! Years later, when I asked them for their memories to help me make a Christmas memory book for our Gram, the gingerbread house came up several times.

For many years, the Good Housekeeping magazine featured a gallery of gingerbread houses in its December issue, complete with photos and the directions for making each house. Every
year I would look at them and want to try making one, but would never find the time. In fact, I saved the magazines from year to year, ever hopeful...

One year I did it! I think the magazine I found it in was McCall's. It seemed a lot easier than other patterns I had seen, but it did take time. The roof shingles were chocolate-covered graham crackers dusted with confectioners‚ sugar "snow". There was even a gingerbread wall around the "yard", studded with almonds to resemble rocks in the wall. Thankfully, we did get some photos of this creation.

Years later, the gingerbread bug bit again, and we made another one. It was during a Thanksgiving break and our young nephews Travis, Corey, and Chad were staying with us. This time we all looked through those old Good Housekeeping magazines and decided on one to make together. It seemed to me like a project that would keep all the kids busy and occupied, and for the most part I think it worked. We kept that one in the attic for a few years and brought it out at Christmas time, but eventually we decided to put it outside for the little furry creatures to enjoy.

More recent forays into gingerbread-house building have featured the pre-baked variety often found at half-price after Christmas. Especially with little children, these are every bit as much fun and much less nerve-racking. This is undoubtedly the route I'll go in future gingerbread construction projects. But still, there was that gingerbread general store I found in an old issue of Country Living...

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