Crossing it off the Bucket List: The Gingerbread House (Part 2)

…(continued from previous post)…

The Dough, all photos taken with my iPhone4

Upon unpacking the gingerbread house-making supplies, I promptly got to work mixing dough and preparing cookie sheets. I tripled the recipe, which claimed to make 2.5 dozen cookies, and still only made enough dough for a simple, small gingerbread cottage. So much for my grand plans of the Frank Lloyd Wright “Falling Water” replica. *sigh*

Clean Countertop, photo taken with my iPhone4

While the dough chilled on the back porch (the fridge was filled to overflowing with ingredients for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners), I prepped the counter top so that I could roll and shape the chilled cookie dough.

Who Killed the Gingerbread Man?

Burying the gingerbread man in dough...Ooof!

When I was ready to roll the cookie dough, I discovered that my parents do not, unfortunately, own a rolling pin. Forced to improvise, I found one of my college drum sticks, cleaned it well, and began rolling the very crumbly dough:

Thank you, Vic Firth, photo taken with my iPhone4

Thank You, Vic Firth

Dough!

Holding the dough together proved challenging. I’d never baked gingerbread before, and I found myself struggling to keep the dough from falling apart as I tried to shape it into walls and a roof for my dream gingerbread home.

Luckily, despite its crumbliness when raw, the cookie dough baked firmly into four neat and tidy gingerbread cottage walls.

Four Walls, photo taken with my iPhone4

With walls complete, the roof went into the oven, and it was time to begin assembly!

Icing, Gingerbread and Cardboard Box Ballast (thanks Dad!)

This was the phase in the project when construction specialists were needed. I called in back-up, a.k.a. my Dad, the engineer. He taught me about ballast, using pieces of cardboard boxes and cans of Diet Sprite to help support the quaintly-crooked walls of the house.

Lessons in Ballast

A few canned goods, a little bit of icing, some coaching from my engineer dad, and several other items of “ballast” later, I had four standing walls. When the time came to assemble the roof, all hands were on deck (dad, mom, brother and me) to make sure everything held together.

While the roof ended up being a little bit too small, it was nothing a slew of Great Value pretzels sticks couldn’t solve. 🙂

Preztels and canned goods to the rescue!

Pretzel Roof

Completed Roof

Quite possibly the greatest part about this entire process was the point at which I accidentally made the first snowperson out of three marshmallows and a toothpick. Thanks to some accessories created by MommaGFunk, we ended up with a happy family of snow people living in the cozy gingerbread cottage.

Mom and Dad Snow People

Happy Snow People Family

Gingerbread house and Snow People Tenants (Jack & the Beanstalk live next door)

Arial View

So the gingerbread house didn’t turn out perfectly, but constructing it kept me busy on an otherwise stolid and snowy day in small town Missouri.  It feels good to cross things off of my bucket list, even when they’re things as simple as making a home made gingerbread house. The next time you have a slow day at home, why don’t you cross something off of yours?

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3 Comments

  1. Your house is perfect! I LOVE that you used a drum stick to roll out your dough. Makes the drummer girl in me hype out 🙂 I have spent the better part of my evening catching up on your blog, and now I find myself missing you terribly. Keep running and writing so I can keep reading about it.

  2. Linds, you are so awesome. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts, and thank you so much for the comment! I miss you, too. I wonder when we’ll all be able to get together again? Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  3. It was fun watching you create this masterpiece! I’d always wanted to make one, but never have, so you helped me cross something off my bucket list as well…and I didn’t even have to get my hands dirty!

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