Monday, December 12, 2011

Das Hexen Haus

How it's supposed to look.
Growing up, I'd never made or even really seen a gingerbread house. It was one of those things I heard about other people doing, people who only exist in myth and magazines. So when I started working for my current grocery store and saw that we sold gingerbread house kits, I immediately wanted to try it. Three years later, I finally did so.

Ever since I moved back to Michigan from California, I've been doing a ton of things that I've always wanted to do but hadn't yet done. Once my roommate Kimmy joined me, I gained the perfect accomplice. (My boyfriend Greg is a pretty good accomplice, too, but really he's a better instigator. Better than even myself.) Thus, when the gingerbread houses came in this year, I grabbed one for Kimmy and me to assemble. (She'd never made a gingerbread house either.) 

First, Kimmy sorted through the pieces of gingerbread to see how they fit together while I beat an egg, then added a box of powdered sugar to it to make frosting along with a sprinkling of lemon juice to "make it sticky," as instructed by the kit's instructions. Included in the box was a little fondant dog and three people, a boy, a girl, and an old woman with a cane. I was not surprised to find that the German instructions in the kit referred to this as a "hexen haus," or "witch's house." (Whoa, who saw that coming?)

Anyway, frosting glue mixed, pieces laid out, we were ready to assemble our house! I lined one of the little holes in the base with frosting, then stuck in the gingerbread pine tree. It promptly fell over. I held up the tree while loading the base with frosting. When I let go, it started to lean again. Fine. So I held it and blew on the frosting to coax it into drying. It kind of worked. 

Meanwhile, Kimmy set to work on the A-frame house. It, too, fell over. "Noooooo!! Haaaauuuuus!! Why, God!?" Kimmy screamed, and I snapped a picture. 
We did manage to prop all the pieces against each other and kept the house upright. The frosting glue, however was not cooperating, and we ended up giving up trying to use it as glue and instead drizzled it all over everything pretending it had snowed. I tried decorating the tree with the little candies and gummies included in the kit, but they mostly just slid to the gingerbread ground. 

After a lot of goofing around and taking of photos, I uprooted the tree, drizzled on more frosting and took a bite. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. It mostly tasted like a really tough sugar cookie with a slight ginger flavoring. Kimmy took a few bites out of the roof before putting the house back together. We couldn't determine the serving sizes of what we'd eaten because the nutritional information is for 1/25 of the assembled house, and we didn't feel like measuring.

I suggested to Kimmy that next year, we make the gingerbread ourselves and build a lean-to. She countered with tee-pee, wigwam, longhouse, or - best yet - a gingerbread log cabin. I'm pretty sure all of these can be done, and I look forward to trying. Um, but maybe no candy grandma trying to eat candy children.

Kimmy checked the haus a few days later (we had it sitting on top of our fridge) and the frosting glue has solidified. That house is not coming apart now!

1 comment:

  1. So, next year you just need clamps to hold it in place while it hardens?