I go to start clearing, and I stand around for a few minutes, not feeling in the mood to conquer it, not knowing even know where I want to start. I often think only if I had more room, but then would that make a difference?
This weekend was gingerbread house weekend. I made my own gingerbread and royal icing to put everything together.
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CONSTRUCTION GINGERBREAD from King Arthur's Flour Cookie Companion
1/2 C vegetable shortening
3/4 C light or dark brown sugar
3/4 C molasses
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice or ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 C flour
In large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and brown sugar. Add the molasses, salt and spices, mixing to combine. Beat in eggs, baking powder, and baking soda, making sure to scrap sides of bowl at least once. Stir in flour. The dough will be stiff. Wrap dough and let it rest at cool room temperature for 1 hour; this will make it easier to roll out.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch and cut out gingerbread pieces (the book has an illustration but you can make your own templates on a cereal box to cut pieces) Bake the gingerbread pieces for about 20 minutes, until they are stiff and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven, cool for 10 minutes on the pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
While gingerbread bakes, make Royal Icing for the construction mortar.
Trim up cooked gingerbread pieces, assemble the four walls together and let sit for several hours BEFORE attaching roof.
ROYAL ICING from King Arthur's Flour Cookie Companion
1/4 C meringue powder
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 - 1 C cool water
food coloring (optional)
in medium-sized bowl, whisk together the meringue powder, salt and confectioner's sugar. Add the vanilla and 3/4 C cool water and stir, or beat on low speed. The mixture will seem hard and lumpy, but the sugar will dissolve after 4 or 5 minutes and everything will smooth out.
Once the mixture is smooth, gradually increase the speed of the mixture to high, take several minutes for the transition. Beat at high speed until icing is fluffy. Add food coloring as desired. Keep icing covered with plastic wrap or damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
K is the only one to complete his, I worked on A's house since he is too small and E fell asleep on the armchair at 3 pm. Yeah I was thinking the same thing a nap is a good thing but hours passed, dinner came and went, then I was thinking I am screwed because he has been asleep for so long. I was worried for nothing, he slept through the night and woke up at 4 am so it was not as bad as I had feared.
I have a sick K at home today, no school for him and another crisis calls, there is crying involved, oh wait that is me, I am the one crying. The kids are something else today I am telling you...