This will be the third Christmas we attempted to create this gingerbread house. Originally bought by Husband on a work trip to the US when Weasel was a newborn, this kit has been carted around with us to every family event, cottage with friends and even to a summer barbecue since. It had become a bit of a joke in our house, but as it went off last spring, we thought it was probably on its last legs. I’m pretty sure most of the assorted candy in that box would last for years, and that cheap, pre-cut, cardboard flavoured gingerbread would probably survive a nuclear apocalypse, but the icing I had my doubts about. A pre-Christmas house in the Cotswolds would do nicely for finally completing our kit!
Gingerbread House kits would be fun year round – building houses made of biscuits and sweets, getting tiny hands covered in sticky icing, getting to steal the odd sweet (I guarantee you that us adults ate far more than Weasel during the construction and subsequent display of this house) and maybe could be combined with reading of Hansel & Gretel (if you we were proper goodie parents, we read about pooping moles instead). Not just for Christmas, grab one now when they’re on sale (I’m guessing) and you’re in a rut for art & crafts for your restless toddler.
I could pretend ours turned out like this bad boy, but I doubt you’d believe me given my previous baking attempts-
If you’re feeling like spending more time on your house, or maybe your kids are slightly older, Dr Oetker (that great purveyor of pizzas and baking decorations whose name must be said in a sinister fake-German accent) make a silicon mould for creating the house from scratch. Or for the uber-keen, use the recipe I was given as pre-work for a dinner party that I had to sadly miss. There’s a downloadable template on that BBC link to get the shape and size right.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if it’s stale and out of date, who actually eats these things that have been sat out for ages and have been made by grubby hands anyways? Weasel tried all of the bits individually and spit every last bit out shouting ‘don’t like it’. But it’s all about that quality time where the phone is put away, the telly is off and you sit down together for a few precious minutes. And so we have something else to look forward to, we’ve bought a replacement Rice Krispies Christmas House kit to cart around for the next 3 years.