Gingerbread house!

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Yup, that’s this years gingerbread house done.  😀

I used the receipe over at BBC Good Food, but I used a little bit less ginger, and added cinnamon and allspice instead.

Now – I’m not that great with measurement, and generally just wing it, instead of measure… but I must have gone absolutely crazy with the bi-carb soda as mine rose like it was bread!

Nevermind, I wasn’t looking for perfection, I was looking for charm… and for it to smell awesome as it was baking.  😀

As you can see, there’s not a straight wall in sight, as it rose a lot more than I expected.  I did however stick two roof parts in the oven first… which was good, as I had planned to do checkered windows, but that plan went out the… eh… window, when I realised it wasn’t gonna work with it rising as much as it was.  Instead I just used heart shaped cookie cutters for the windows.

And I wanted “glass” in the windows… quick google, and it tells me to use “hard candy”.  Grrrr.  No hard candy in the house, not even a forlorn lolly.  But I spot the Tangfastic (how can I not – we got a huge giant box of it), and figure “why not?”.  Sour sweeties washed and cut, and then placed into the window openings.  And back into the oven!  If you’re gonna give this a go, keep an eye on it, as it melts so quickly!  Stick it in the fridge works wonders to cool it afterwards, so it can be removed from the tray.

The house took me forever and a day… well, that’s a lie… more like forever and a week.  Not doing so good at the moment, and doing any little thing really knocks me out… so baked one day, stuck together a different day, yet another day for the roof, and finally a different day again for the decorating.

I used caramelised sugar to stick it together (as I don’t have the patience for any icing to set), and the cheapest wheat cereal I could find for the roof (hey – I don’t eat cereal, wasn’t gonna spend a bomb).  I just mixed icing sugar with lemon juice to stick the roof decorations on.

The “snow” was however made with whisked egg whites, icing sugar and lemon juice, and it was great fun to to use, as it was just the right consistency for it to drip a wee bit.

I was looking for a rustic charm, not covered in sweeties and all colourful… and I think it worked out just perfect.  😀

Perfection is way over-rated, and with it’s wonky walls, cracks and gaps, I think it’s doing just fine…  and even better than that when it’s lit up:

(sorry… had to stick copyright onto it… otherwise I will just see people trying to pass it off as their own in Christmas competitions next year.  *sigh*  Shouldn’t be necessary, but it is, I see people use other peoples creations and claim them as their own all the time)

The Tangfastic windows came out ace!  With fun little bubbles, that makes them look even more cosy than they would have otherwise.

Sorry, I got no template… I just winged it from the fifth one down here (isn’t it adorable?).  I didn’t do too badly… only thing I had to trim was the porch fences, as I’d made them way too high.

As I’m not decorating this year (as the kitties would break everything), it’s been a lovely Christmassy edition to the kitchen (and it smells heavenly).  The leftover dough was made into cookies and eaten (they were very yum!).

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No twinkle from the Christmas Tree this year…

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Well… with 4 cats under a year old I figured there would be NO point in putting up the Christmas tree, as it would only be on the floor ALL the time.  😀

It’s bad enough with two adult cats (Pie knocked the tree over atleast once a day last year), and I could picture the havoc with the other 4 on top.

So no tree this year.  But I love the light from the Christmas tree.  I wouldn’t mind having a Christmas tree up all year.  🙂

Nor am I putting out any other Christmas decorations, as they would just end up broken… but I have put up the garlands (with lights), and used a wall as a substitute Christmas tree.  High up, in the hope little paws won’t be able to jump up, and away from the curtains (as they are being used a playground).

So, although no tree is up, there’s still a little bit of that Christmas twinkle on show.  😀

 

Otherwise this has been a dreadful week… 2 hospital appointments (luckily not both of them mine), and it really takes so much out of me getting dressed in anything else but PJs, and venturing outside.  I’ll be paying for it for a few more days.

It’s absolutely freezing, which is clearly affecting the arthritis on top of everything else… so it’s all fun and games.  😀

Here’s one of the bigger monkeys walking on the ice on the pond (don’t worry, it’s not completely frozen, just away from the pump):

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