Home > DIY > I should have been an architect

I should have been an architect

I used to have dreams of being an architect. But in high school, the autoCAD class was offered at the same time as honors calculus (which seemed super dumb to me) and I was a math nerd, so I went for honors calculus…and slept through 90% of it.

In college, I noticed the architecture students staying in studio until 3 or 4 a.m. constantly. I loved my bed too much. Mmmmm…sleep.

Yes, my laziness helped me find my path in life and I’m not ashamed of it!

But now, give me a pile of gingerbread (even if 90% of the crackers are broken) and a pastry bag full of icing and wow. I’m a rockstar.

Maybe I’m not that good, but it sure is fun!

For some reason, my houses always tend to mirror the house I grew up in. Maybe it’s because I know it so well, maybe it’s because the Christmas colors make it easy to give it a green roof. This year, I went a little further and added Henry, the family dog, and his house in the backyard.

Those are gumdrop trees, ginger snap stepping stones, and Cadbury snowballs. Yum! Did you notice all the window lights in the windows?

Gretchen's church. Complete with a graveyard and a priest saying Mass.

The process is so much easier than you’d think. Start with a ton of candy and a box or two of graham crackers (we’ve learned that the Target brand ones are almost always all broken. Try a brand name!).

The real key to it is the right icing. To make four houses, we made 3.5 times the following recipe:

3 egg whites (one year I’ll get Gretchen to learn how to separate an egg!)
4 cups of powdered sugar (about one box)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix on low until it’s combined and wet, mix on medium for about 7 minutes. Last night was Gretchen’s first time using a KitchenAid mixer. I think she’s in love!

I just so happened to have four round pieces of cardboard left over from the slew of diaper cakes I made a few years ago. They were just perfect for bases for our houses (much easier than wrapping cracker boxes with aluminum foil as we did in the past).

Elena's first gingerbread house. A house for Santa Claus. Santa just landed and is a little sleepy.

This year we used piping bags for the icing. What a huge difference that made! It’s like using an edible glue gun!

My real house is of course a complete disaster today. Someone kept dropping the red hots and there are crumbs all over the floor. But I know my nieces and nephews will just love taking my house apart on the day after Christmas, so it was all well worth it! Maybe I’ll even teach them how to do it!

 

 

 

 

Angie's home of Farmer Gray. You know, where the Christmas party is.

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  1. gretchen
    December 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

    i just love it! i’m sorry elena made such a mess in your house. i’ll have to have a little talk with her.

    • December 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

      Yes. Always blame Elena. I hear her mom is responsible for this cold weather too…

  2. Angie
    December 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I love it! Especially the edible hot glue gun analogy. Perfect! 🙂 Although I think I should have gotten a shout out for running to Giant for more powdered sugar half way through the night… 🙂

    • December 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      I kept trying to figure out how to work that in…

  1. January 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

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