Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Slacker Gingerbread House

Being a self proclaimed Slacker Extraordinaire, I thought I'd share my Gingerbread House instructions with you.

  1. Make a pot of strong coffee to sustain you through the process.
  2. Wander around the house looking for cardboard, scissors, tape, exacto knife, ruler and cutting mat.
  3. Put on Christmas music for inspiration.
  4. Clear off the breakfast table so you have a place to work.
  5. Eat a Snickerdoodle.
  6. Trim all but two flaps opposite each other from a nice sized priority mail box. (fig 1)
  7. Answer the phone.
  8. Mark the center of the two remaining flaps and draw a diagonal line from the center down to each corner of the flaps and trim off the resulting triangle. These will form the peaks of your roof at the front and back of the house.
  9. Measure the distance between front and back of the house as well at one of the sloped sides of the peak. These will be the height and width of the two panels you need to cut to finish the roof.
  10. Cut remaining roof panels.
  11. Eat a Chocolate Snowball.
  12. Use masking tape to secure the additional roof pieces in place.
  13. Eat another Chocolate Snowball.
  14. Cut four long, narrow strips of cardboard, slightly taller than your house and tape them together to form a chimney.
  15. Secure the chimney to the side of the house.
  16. Let the dog out.
  17. Let the dog in.
  18. Cut a large rectangle out of strong cardboard for your base.
  19. Use masking tape to secure the house to the base on all sides. (fig 2)
  20. Eat a Thumbprint cookie.
  21. Gather all of your decorative candies, unwrap them and arrange them in separate bowls.
  22. Sample each kind of candy for quality control.
  23. Mix up one batch of ornamental icing at a time (4 c. powdered sugar, 3 T. meringue powder, 1/3 c warm water--whip until stiff peaks form).
  24. Taste icing.
  25. Find soda to get rid of icing taste.
  26. Apply icing to one panel of the house at a time and stick your candies on in the desired patterns.
  27. Stop after two panels to make lunch for the kids.
  28. While you're eating lunch, take a look at Ryan's Gingerbread Barn (hereafter to be known as the RGB).
  29. Decide that your project is a poor cousin to the RGB, but hey, you've got three little girls helping you and by gum, you're going to finish anyway.
  30. Console yourself with the fact that yours will be done in a matter hours, whereas the RGB has taken days.
  31. Make new batch of icing to replace icing that has hardened in the bowl.
  32. Give child instruction to hide the jelly bellies from you before you eat them all.
  33. Frost and decorate 1 1/2 panels.
  34. Answer door and sign for last package you needed for presents.
  35. Frost and decorate remaining panels.
  36. You are 18 gumdrops short of finishing even though you swear you didn't eat any of those.
  37. Call husband to have him pick up more gum drops on his way home.
  38. Save glob of icing to finish gumdrop border later.
  39. Pass out on living room floor in Sugar Coma.
  40. Blog about it.
M's idea was to build a new piece each year until we have a village. Needing to save them from year to year is part of the reason we used cardboard instead of gingerbread. I'm also working with kids who don't have the patience or delicacy to work with real gingerbread. My college roommate and I made gingerbread houses in our dorm room without the aid of any kitchen facilities using the cardboard method. I have been sold on it ever since.

fig. 1
fig. 2

The gingerbread boy and girl have been part of our decorations for years. They fit perfectly.
My rosemary trees are pretty pathetic. At least I had the presence of mind to install short straw sockets for them before I frosted the base so I can replace them easily.


  1. You are a fun mom! Thanks for the smile.

  2. hahahahaha!

    Now I wish we lived closer :-)

    Great job on the g-bread house - it's FAB!

    By the way, I spied a bread machine in one of the pics...have any good recipes that I need to try?


  3. That is hilarious! Thanks for sharing! =) It may not be as elaborate as my gingerbread barn, but it has heart! That's what counts! =)

    -- Ryan

  4. hahaha! I love your schedule! And, it turned out fabulous!

    Thanks, S! :o)

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