For a year, nay, two years, my kids have been begging to make a gingerbread house.
I'm not exactly sure who first put the idea into their wee little heads, but it was exasperated by the presence of a full-page picture of a glorious house of sweets in Betty Crocker's Cooky Book . For years the kids would page through this cookbook, ogling the treats, and upon coming to the Page of Revelation would plead to make the gingerbread house.
There are easy excuses to put it off. It is a seasonal project, and an involved one, so it's not something that can be launched upon a moment's notice. It is easy to say that maybe we can make it for Christmas, next Christmas, next Christmas, Christmas, NOT NOW. And besides, the project in the Cooky Book isn't an actual gingerbread house. It's a house of cardboard that is pasted with candy, frosting and cookies. Not exactly the edible confection that the kids are imagining.
But this year, Christmas is approaching and I find that I am out of excuses. Really, I am. They deserve to have at least one gingerbread house in their childhood and this is the year. Which leads me to my next point.
How do you make a gingerbread house? Eek. Everyone I've asked says BUY A KIT, but one quick perusal of Amazon (aka Mall of The New Century) tells me that this is not truly helpful advice. What, pray tell, is "a kit" supposed to contain? A mold? Cookie cutters? Actual gingerbread? A cardboard house to paste cookies or gingerbread onto? And where do I find a recipe for sheet-like gingerbread from which to make molded or cookie-cut house pieces? I am lost in the woods here. A woods with a gingerbread house in the deepest, darkest part. Help me find it? I'll bring the bread crumbs.