Whenever I think of gingerbread houses, I think back to 1985 and my good friend's birthday party, just one week before Christmas. Her mom had planned for us to make gingerbread houses and their gigantic dining table was arranged with slabs of gingerbread pieces and candy as far as the eye could see. It was every 12 year old girl’s dream come true. Well, if Corey Hart would have made a special appearance, then it really would have been this girl’s dream come true, but I digress. It was an afternoon of creating our little houses, as we saw fit. Creativity was stirred, royal icing got stuck in the hair, and news of who liked who dominated the conversation. I remember riding in the back of her parents’ minivan after the party, holding my little gingerbread house tight, amazed that I built something so pretty (and it didn't fall apart). That’s what is so magical about Christmas; these memories that linger, long after the royal icing has dried.
Fast forward almost 30 years. Me and the birthday girl are still good friends, but my crush on Corey Hart has passed. And I hadn't built a gingerbread house ever again, until just last month when my trusty editor told me to. Making a gingerbread house from scratch has some steps and can take some time, but the effort you put into it is well worth the end result. It’s a great way to keep the kids busy while school is out, and with any luck the gingerbread houses will become the stuff of family lore and the start of a new Christmas tradition. Currently, mine sits in my living room and one of my cats has taken to chewing the trees off. What a guy. For how to make the gingerbread house from beginning to end, take a peek at my latest article for Culinaire Magazine.
I'm off for a few days to see family, where no doubt I'll play in the snow with my nieces, watch "Love Actually" with my mom, and drink coffee with Baileys every morning as I watch the sun rise over the winter prairie. It's going to be grand. I wish you joy, peace and much merriment over the holiday season. xo Renee