Looking for presents that will fit into Santa's Christmas stocking, for Christmas Eve, can sometimes be a trial. They must be not only be inexpensive, but of course the aim is to fill up as much space as possible in the stocking, thereby reducing the remaining xmas shopping trips necessary. The other ulterior motive here is that originality of ideas aren't too taxing for the brain, as that stress level has already been achieved, by the all important main present, waiting beautifully wrapped under the Christmas tree.
Although my son is actually no longer a 'believer' in Santa, he is still young enough, where, if he pulls the baby-eyed 'pleazzzz, can I have a stocking?' I will still oblige (In a couple more years, I'll be able to extricate myself from that obligation totally).
With this in mind, I was delighted by one stocking present I came across, which happened to be a DIY Gingerbread House Kit, complete with, yes you guessed it, gingerbread, icing and little kitsch and brightly-coloured icing-sugar decorations, in the forms of a gingerbread man, a gift, a Christmas tree, a festive wreath and coloured dots. Assembly seemed fairly straight forward, 'Fun to Make' was emblazoned on the front, and the end result looked picturesque.
Christmas morning duly arrived as is its wont, and the stocking was enthusiastically unpacked, wrapping paper tossed aside on the floor, treasures revealed. Of course once opened the DIY gingerbread house was top of the agenda, and, had to be made. What could I say...'sure, go for it, don't expect me to join in, and let me finish my tea in peace, please... '
In the first instance everything went fine, the pieces of gingerbread and coloured sugar icing deco's were taken out of their packaging and laid out carefully, in anticipation. The minuscule text of the instructions on the back of the box was read, and the images viewed, whilst the packet of icing (for the glue and snow decor) was softened in a bowl of hot water.
Simple procedure - no chance - the aforementioned icing softened but instantly solidified again before ever reaching the gingerbread pieces! This meant my tea and I parted company, as I was roped into holding various walls and roof bits, whilst the sugary 'glue' supposedly set. No joy. So, we decided to make our own (from icing sugar and water, what else?). This was certainly a more appetizing mixture to look at, but would it stick... Hell No! Was I covered in icing by the end? Yup.
As if the above trials and tribulations weren't enough, downside no. 2 was taste. If asked to rate this culinary ruin as to its edibility, I can say without a doubt that is the most disgusting 'gingerbread' I have ever tasted! Not only was it rock hard but scented with what can only be described as lavender toilet freshener. The icing sugar deco's were the same too, equally inedible and tooth-breakers.
As a result, the demolition team was called for, and, amid peals of laughter, the walls were well and truly brought down, and the ruins relegated to the bin!
So, be warned, not every gingerbread house is going to end up looking like the picture on the box it came in, and, as for tasty, unless, you are a witch, or named Hansel or Gretel, there's no guarantee there either!