Why I thought I could begin baking all the gingerbread pieces I would need for the nine children in our homeschool co-op at ten-o’clock…p.m., not a.m., the eve before hosting a gingerbread house-making party, is because I’m crazy and need to be committed to the Hansel and Gretel asylum. Once upon a time there lived a very silly mother in a house in the juniper forest with her four children…who deserves to be shoved into an oven.

I hunted down gingerbread templates for very petite, wee little houses, perhaps a lean-to, that would not require me to produce 50 pounds of flour to make enough dough for nine houses, plus extra for the small child who would surely squeeze his house too hard and cry and want another one. I printed some templates, then began to fret over the gingerbread house “glue.” Do I use the recipe with raw eggs, surely it would hold better, and chance that no one would be poisoned a week later as she snacked on her house, or go for the no-egg less-hold version?

If not sleeping at all tonight is an option, I should definitely make 10 separate batches of gingerbread house dough, so these precious kids can each have their own Queen Anne Victorian scale model reproduction gingerbread house complete with turrets and spindles. I’m sure the other moms are doing this.

Lucky for me and my sanity, I came across a website from a mom who has been hosting gingerbread house parties for children for 15 years running. Mass quantities of children, at that. Not just one spoiled child who gets the Queen Anne, but up to 20 children who all make a blessed mess and have the time of their lives with…graham crackers!

Oh yes, I will! I don’t know where that article went, but I believe this woman made up the houses ahead of time, so as to be sure of the structural integrity of the (fake) gingerbread houses. Using about six to eight crackers per house, never mind they are small huts, it’s about a five minute per-house job to make up beforehand. All the less candy to get fattened up on, my dear.

In fact, I will not even make the cracker houses ahead of time. As it is now well past 10 p.m., snowing and pitch black, I shall go to the store tomorrow before our afternoon party to buy graham crackers, for who has four boxes of these on hand? Certainly not the woman who is even contemplating this endeavor at 10 p.m. the night before the party. Besides, the children don’t even know this is a gingerbread house-making party. It’s just a regular old Christmas party as far as they know, with perhaps eggnog and checkers. So they will have no idea they’ve been downgraded from the castle to the hut, from the homemade gingerbread to the cracker.

And this mom will keep her sanity. And they all lived happily together ever after.

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5 Responses to Gingerbread…hut?

  1. heidi says:

    Love this. :) And no, you DO NOT deserve to be shoved in the oven. But if you should need to magically produce 50 pounds of flour I’m sure I could accomodate you as I have not learned yet the lesson of STOP IT before it gets out of hand. :)

  2. Jen says:

    Heidi, yeah, I guess the oven is sort of harsh treatment for not being on top of one’s gingerbread game. So, I know who to call in a flour emergency, thank you.

  3. Becky says:

    Sounds like you’ve got it all under control.
    I hope it all turned out well!! And there are lots of little graham cracker huts to enjoy.

  4. Jen says:

    Becky, the kids had so much fun, and their creations were adorable. I made a rule that only 5 pieces of candy could be consumed during the project and for the most part, they followed the candy code!

  5. Your post made me smile :) The last time we attempted a gingerbread house, it totally collapsed. My initial feeling was one of exasperation, but it wasn’t long before I realized that the real joy came in the process and not the outcome. We made a great big funny messy memory!

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