Thursday, December 27, 2012

House Baking

Sometimes, I catch my brain before it engages my mouth and says something I know I am going to be paying for in droves.  Other times, I don't.  This was one of them.
Now, that is one pretty stellar gingerbread house, if I do say so myself.  It was even edible.  But, I really, really didn't intend to make it.
See, I was innocently putting away dishes from the weekend Christmas lunch we held for Mike's side of the family and it seemed to me that this was a good opportunity to rearrange some of the serving platters and plates that weren't going back into storage as easily as they were previously stored.
That led me to rearrange some baking goodies, pans, molds, decorating tips, etc., which caused me to  rediscover that, sometime in the 1990s, I bought this little gingerbread mold at a Pampered Chef party.  A mold I completely forgot I bought.  A mold I had never used.  A mold that, for all I knew, was now a collector's piece.
I took one look at it and exclaimed, aloud, "I should make one of these some time." 
If Mike had been within earshot, there would have been silence (because he didn't hear me) or "Make what?" (because he was partially listening to me) or "Sounds good" (because he wanted it to seem like he was listening, even though he really wasn't).  But, I was within a few feet of the Babe at the time, and he thought making a gingerbread house was exactly what a snowy, after-gifts-are-opened-and-I'm-bored, lazy Christmas afternoon needed.  
I often go kicking and screaming into projects that start as a few misspoken words voiced in front of an enthusiastic, pre-pubescent, short-attentioned person.  These adventures always seem to start as "ours" and end as "mine" and about 2/3 of the way through I'm cursing up a blue streak that I just couldn't remember silence is golden.  So, generally, after speaking too quickly I come up with so many excuses reasons why my prematurely spoken idea was stupid beyond belief that the entire project ends up not just being something we shelve for later but that we'll never, ever, again speak of in this lifetime because it might scar Momma to even think on it for one more second.
Yes, I have the capacity to kill fun ideas with great skill and cunning, in a few short sentences.  It is a gift.  Please don't be jealous.
For some reason, call it the Christmas Spirit, I decided a gingerbread house baked and built and decorated in 2012 was exactly what we needed.
We baked.  And cooled.  And made the wrong kind of frosting.  And discovered gingerbread houses can be held together with four strategically-placed toothpicks (which we also discovered should be removed before eating).  And we decorated with old Halloween candy mixed with leftovers from holiday parties and one new bag of day-after Christmas M&Ms.  And decided that decorating one side of the house for a picture was better than decorating all the sides, which wouldn't even show, thank you very much.
And, less than 24 hours later after making the piece-de-resistance, the boys demolished the whole thing into a pile of molasses, candy, and butter cream frosting rubble and began nibbling on it in earnest.

I think I decided this is a post-Christmas tradition we may have to carry forward to next year.  Even though I did most of the work, I actually found it quite relaxing and fun.  And, look at that proud smile on the Babe's face!  Could you resist him asking you to make a gingerbread house?  I think not.

But, hear me loud and clear on this:  I am NOT going to announce this as an annual tradition just yet.  We'll see what happens next year and maybe even the year after that before I pronounce that I will go to this much trouble for a cute picture and a sugar-high again.
So, for now, happy post-Christmas tradition-making baking!  And, remember:  sometimes silence ISN'T better than words, especially if your fat mouth ends up making your kid's holiday brighter.

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