Thursday, December 23, 2010


Dean and I have come to feel that it just wouldn't be Christmas without a couple of gingerbread houses. I think this is my 11th year at it, and he's been involved one way or another all along. It's a lengthy process, taking at least part of three separate days, and one of these years we may get more ambitious in our plans and have the need for an extra day.

Dean's gotten to be a real experimenter, and you can see that he tried sprinkling the butterscotch bits (used to create the window panes) all over the outside of his pieces for a sparkly effect.

My house in mid-construction. Dean was eager to try these trees this year; fun, but I wished I'd waited until I'd completed construction before placing mine because it would have been easier not to have to work around it. (Although I feel the need to let you know that I got through the entire house-building process without uttering a single profanity, which could be a first.)

Dean is still a real process guy. What he most enjoys is digging into it, trying new things, experimenting with the pastry tips, enjoying the process of making without worrying much about what the outcome is going to be. I admire his freedom, his openness, and his pleasure in the moment and when he's all done.

Pretty much says it all!

Dean's house from the front. He's done a little more on it since, but this is the general idea. I love that he sprinkled the sparkly sugar over his tree and house while the icing was wet -- looks gorgeous.

My finished house. Dean didn't want lights inside his house this year, but I love the way these look when they are lit from within. (Definitely use a small strand of LED lights if you decide to try this -- they won't heat up and melt the royal icing.)

I love the way these smell, and the mingling scents of gingerbread and pine from the Christmas tree probably creates my favorite aroma in the whole world.

We're pretty much ready. One more batch of cookies to bake up, some vacuuming to do (sugar sprinkles are EVERYWHERE!). We've even had just a little bit of snow to shovel, so a White Christmas is looking like a real possibility.

I wish you every joy of the season, some moments of calm and quiet to savor, and a chance for reflection. And to all, a good night!


Natalie said...

I miss you!
I was so excited to see a post was up, like your front door is open and I can pop in for a visit... thank you.
These gingerbread houses are so lovely.
Okay... I am in over my head with meh-chores, but I am glad I could be here for a moment.
Christmas ((((hugs))) for all.

Lesley said...

I was also happy to see you'd posted.
Such wonderful constructions — a fabulous thing to do together.
Have a wonderful christmas, jen, and see you next year.

Garnered Stitches said...

Merry Christmas
Loving the Ginger bread houses. DD and I made a salted caramel tart with cashew praline, such a relaxing and fun thing to do together - non of family care for dried friuts so it will be instead of the Xmas pudding later today.
Have a wonderful day
best wishes