It's hard to defend my inability to post a single annual post and I won't waste any time trying. So without further ado here is the (something like) annual Gingerbread House post.
The construction team gathered on a chilly Sunday afternoon in December. I'd had a morning of mini disasters preparing the gingerbread - I broke a side piece by dropping a tin of coffee on it (I was putting the coffee tin away). It was the first time in the 23 years of gingerbread house making that I'd had to replace a piece - so I took that broken piece in my stride.
But then I burned the replacement! And by burned I mean I properly burned it to a charcoal mess. What was happening? Had I lost my touch?
But happily the third time was the charm and I finally had a full set of house pieces. When the construction crew arrived I was ready for the company and the first glass of fizz!
After a bit of chat we settled on a ski chalet (and mountain!) as this year's theme.
Our youngest construction workers (Louis 12 3/4 and Mads 14) came up with the idea of using Cadbury chocolate fingers to give the chalet a log cabin look. I think it looks fantastic -
and it's set off nicely by the wrap around deck built by Pat, Gen and Louis. It was finished off with a couple of outdoor tables for the really hardy snow lovers.
And how cute are the little window boxes with flowers that Caroline added?
Of course a chalet can't be a ski chalet unless there is a nearby mountain!
Thankfully marshmallows and rice crispies (regular and multi grain) make great mountains.
And with a bit of Suzy magic you can create a wonderful ski (and snowboard!) slope.
This friendly little skier has just finished his last run for the day and is heading in for a drink.
While this poor little skier is waiting to be dug out!!!!
What caused the unfortunate incident?? Well, there were no witnesses but.....
...perhaps he caught sight of this rather spooky looking guy following him!!!
The chair lift, and slope flags were all made by Pat (our oldest construction worker!) and Louis (our youngest!)
With a nod to Pat's Canadian roots (and mine!) there is a little Canadian flag atop Mount Gingerbread. (I just named the mountain right this second under pressure. Had I given the job to the crew on the day I'm sure it would have been something witty.)
Occasionally during gingerbread house decorating someone will become obsessed with an idea - and persevere at that idea long past the time of any reasonable chance of success. This year that person was Shirl. Bless her, she arrived determined to make a swan.
Unfortunately I hadn't bought any modelling fondant so she had to resort to marshmallows. Perfect for mountains... a bit less predictable for swans.
But as proof that our gingerbread house building isn't about perfection -- that swan provided more laughs that Sunday afternoon than anything else!
The recipe of good friends, more sugar than should be legal, fizz, pizza and the Grinch guarantees a great afternoon. We've been doing this for 23 years now and the only thing I can say is -- long may the tradition continue!