Monday, December 21, 2009

Art imitates life

The kids and I decorated gingerbread houses that I managed to design, bake and assemble right on time (perhaps the last thing I'm going to do on time this year) and each one reflected its decorator's personality. The eldest made a painstaking mosaic of candy on her roof, the next one made an exuberant self-declaration, the third made a military installation, and the fourth followed along gleefully, sticking candy hither and thither.

She also looked up and said, "Mama made the backyard!"

And so I did.

"I'm not a witch, I'm not a witch!" But that is, in fact, a witch in front of my cottage. My temper is beginning to feel a little stretched these days. Perhaps this being the solstice and all will help -- more daylight makes me much less witchy!

Chickens for eggs. I've already had a Jordan almond omelette from this hen.


And of course, no yard is complete without a hive of busy bees. I guess this kind likes the snow.


I hope the turn of the year finds all of you looking forward to longer days and stress-free celebrations.

11 comments:

Ribbit said...

How neat! I love gingerbread houses, but my interest in them always outlasts the kids'. We made one with a milk carton at the boy's school and he put the sides and roof on and declared he was done. No shingles, no chimney, no tootsie roll bricks or candy cane gate. I'm half thinking of making my own when he goes to bed.

kitsapFG said...

That is just darling. I always admire these edible works of art - but never have had the gumption to give them a try.

Be encouraged... the days will lengthen from here on out. :D

Stefaneener said...

They only last about a day, Ribbit. We have a fairly ironclad rule that you can only cannibalize your own house. My house and the oldest daughter's house have been the only ones really surviving.

kitsapFG, the kids really demand them. Decorating them together is one of our rituals. Apparently, so is destroying them quickly. They aren't hard to do at all -- quantities of royal icing and making them up ahead seems to be key.

Kristin said...

I'm impressed that you made the dough and what a fun project for all the kids. I've been buying those kits, which isn't the same, but it's easier. Do you eat yours?

Engineeredgarden said...

That's really cool! I bet the kids really enjoyed making them.

suzee said...

It's gorgeous. You're not a witch.

May I see a photo of S's? I've been contemplating her as an epidemiologist/researcher, and the perfect mosaic roof sounds just about right for the obsessive about details/uninterested in overall perfection mindset needed. She should take a Meyer-Briggs test...

GrafixMuse said...

I never built gingerbread houses as a child. I love that everyone int he family is encouraged to do their own thing and add their own creativity. Even the witch house :)

Mr. H. said...

Hmm, I wonder how hard it would be to build one out of vegetables. Perhaps a sliced carrot walkway and cauliflower door with broccoli windows and a pumpkin frame and...yeah, not sure the grandson would go for that one. Anyway you all did an absolutely splendid job.:) I'm with you on the longer days...Merry Christmas!

Stefaneener said...

Kristin, one year when I bought kits, one of my less-appreciative kids threw a major fit. No explaining that mama was exhausted because there was a new baby or something helped. The next year I think they got graham crackers and an admonishment to be grateful they were getting to celebrate anything! I just felt up to it this year. Today, it looked like the Blitz of London, and all but two houses have been eaten by children and chickens.

EG, not as much apparently as gobbling them up.

Suzee, thanks for the vote. Haven't turned anyone into a frog yet.

GrafixMuse, my house in my head is always more glorious than I'm able to do with a piping bag made of parchment paper! This seems like a perfect arena for self-expression.

Mr. H., it would certainly be more on the healthy side! Next year, I'll just make smaller ones.

Dan said...

Very nice house! Happy Holidays.

Esperanza said...

Aha! This is what it looked like before it had been devoured! Very nice. Happy holidays!