December 15, 2007

Weekend Kitchen Project: Gingerbread House

gingerbread house

I and Ellen have made a plan to get the kids together one weekend to do the gingerbread house project as this week is their first school holiday week. I have browsed many sites to get a figure what we're going to do. Fortunately, the Taste Magazine has had this project on their November issue. I follow the house constructions and make them as templates which measurements are mentioned on the back page of the magazine. The templates are very easy, very suitable for our little chefs. If you don't subscribe the magazine, you still can visit the magazine website to view the recipe and download the templates.

I made 4 recipes to make two gingerbread houses plus heaps of stars and gingerbread men from the leftovers. I spent half day in the kitchen, rolling out the dough with only the help of my youngest daughter cutting out the stars and gingerbread men, baking them and storing them until later use. I even smelled like a gingerbread man (lady?).

At 10-ish am, Ellen arrived with the girls and the fun began. We decided to use the deck as it's rather spacious. It didn't take long for all of us to build the houses, with the help of the wind blowing on the deck, making the icing get hard pretty quickly. Ellen got a little bit of trouble with constructing the pieces which I don't understand why the walls kept falling down. She suspected that her youngest daughter pressed the buttons on the wall too strong which made the walls fallen down while the icing was still soft. She decided to run the skewer from either side of the house to prevent the walls fall down again. I was surprised it worked!

sibling teamwork. see ben's lips curled? that means he's concentrating.

ben's gluing.

Ben and Sarah were pretty contented with their work. I was surprised that they didn't even lick or eat the sweets. They love my homemade cookies or cakes, but not sweets. I don't make sweets and we don't buy sweets. We have diabetes in the Binsted's family background, and that's the main reason why we don't give them sweets. However, making the gingerbread house is no fun without sweets. They can decorate them but they are only allowed to eat the buttons, in a moderate amount, with a guarantee that they will drink a lot of water and brush their teeth soon afterwards.

They had a lot of fun, you can see. It was really excited to see them use their own creativity with their own constructive minds to put things here and there. They don't have to think about the balance of the colours or anything else, and it is really fun to see how such work has done by the little minds.

Ben took the right wing, and Sarah took the other side. Ben was very serious (as always), getting the work done before he did something else. He was very focused which was really good. He was also initiated to begin decorating the house by putting all the peppermint buttons around the house, which made it look like grass. When he finished, he began the roof, and then the front of the house. He then corrected the door. He thought it should be shut because the cold wind will blow into the house which will make us all chilled. So he applied a little bit of icing sugar on the door frame and closed the door. He also applied a strip of icing on to the door to make a snowdrop effect. Quite right. Ironically, there's no snow in Onewhero!

Sarah was a bit an observer and adventurous. She tended to look around to see what other girls were doing, then she would get back to work, catching up with her brother's work. Well, she's only 3.5 years old. I think she did a pretty good job. She likes being very precise on what she's doing. So, no icing sugar left without pressed down with the sweets.


I didn't have to tell them what to do because they have ideas of their own. It was just fun to actually watch them transforming their ideas frame in their mind on to their work. Children are just amazing little people!

However, the children finished their work by decorating their gingerbread men and putting them on either sides of front of the house to welcome the guests, they said, and I had to give a little touch of dredging the icing sugar on top to look like snow on the roof and around. It looks fantastic! I was very impressed with their work. I'm so proud of them.

I'm sending this as an entry for Gingerbread House Challenge, hosted by YumSugar.

Happy Holiday!


Barbara said...

Arfi I'm very impressed. It looks terrific and sounds like a fun day.

Bron said...

WOW Arfi looks super!
I've decided it's too hot to make one now so I'll wait until Christmas in July, hehe
Have a very happy Christmas!
xxx Bron

Chris said...

What a great day! The kids did a stupendous job. Everything looks wonderful.

Lia said...

lutjoooo...!khas karya anak2 ya Pih, ituh ada dua orang di pintu sapa tu? Sarah ama Ben yak?
met Idul Adha juga yah... *motong bandot lagi Pih?*

Nigel said...

Arfi, check out this link - it's a giant gingerbread house that was constructed at Disneyworld earlier this month!

Deborah said...

What a wonderful gingerbread house!! It sounds like the kids had a lot of fun.

Arfi Binsted said...

Barbara: they did have fun and me as well as Ellen as well hehehe...

Bron: Great! I'd like to make another one in July. It's fun!

Chris: Thanks, Chris. Yes, I am very proud of them.

Lia: iya, ga rapih sih tapi mereka seneng banget. Met Ied el Adha juga ya Liy. Ga motong bandot lagi nih, cuma kayaknya memang musti motong lamb.

Nigel: thanks for the link. Gosh, they are wonderful, ey?

Deborah: They did!!

Tracy said...

You and your children did a great job! I love the smell of gingerbread baking.

Blair said...

How adorable, and they are HUGE houses, which are much better for little hands!

Arfi Binsted said...

Blair and Tracy: thanks so much for dropping in! We did make a rather big house. Fun all the same, really. Happy holidays!

sarahbean said...

wow, looks great! and yum to boot - bargain! ;)