Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Housing Boom

Last year, about the same time of the year, I had a Gingerbread House Decorating Party. The difference between last year and this year was the work involved. Last year I spent a considerable amount of time mixing, baking, cooling and constructing the houses to decorate. This year, due to a visit to Michael's in Florida after Christmas, I managed to purchase these kits for 99 cents each. Yeah, all for $20 I purchased a weeks worth of work. I still had to unwrap everything (okay, I had help) and put the houses together, but
the process was much easier. What I did miss was the smell of gingerbread that penetrated the house for a good two weeks. It was indeed missed. The kits even came with the stuff to make royal icing. I put together 19 houses and had enough icing in the prepared boxes
so that I didn't have to make any more. That surprised me. This is a shopping bag full of the stuff. It was so heavy I couldn't carry it and the handle on the bag broke.
Here is the table setup. My sister Mike did the honors while I was whipping up the frosting. We had a bit of a
time constraint because four hours before the party we went to JoAnn's and the Dollar Tree with Micky to get
some stuff that we had to have (NOT !) and tho' I vowed to be back in time to have two hours before the party, that just didn't happen. If I went by myself it could have been possible, but who was I kidding? It didn't matter in the long run because I had Mike and we had more than enough time to get everything organized.

At six p.m. 15 babes strutted into the house and with them came all sorts of adornments for our houses.
There was more than a little moaning in delight at the sight of the bounty. I had my favorites and nibbled on a few of them .

And so, the construction began. Here's Laura making a learned decision and Barb in the background licking her fingers.
Everyone got a little can to bring their candies back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room and another paper cup to hold their royal icing piping bag. MaryBeth is in a heated thought.
Mike was putting Necco's on her roof and confessed to bringing the whole bowl of the stuff to her station. Not playing well with others, eh Mike?
Laurel chose marshmallows for her roof.
Naughty Ellie hoarded mini vanilla wafers under her table so no one else could use them. Only after the roof was done did she bring the box up from the floor.
Julie and Jane where deep in thought and busy as bees.
Stephanie and Kathleen seemed to be enjoying the wine. Kathleen has one hand on the pastry bag and the other on the wine glass stem. Decisions, decisions!! I know what my choice would have been. WINE !!
Mary Frances was telling some naughty jokes that got a laugh or two from Micky. Is that icing falling out of her bag and onto my table? Hummm.
June was done first and even had time to work on an orphaned house. She is nothing if not speedy.
The houses this year were much more ornate and had more thought put into them. I think that last year
everyone didn't realize that they were each getting their own house and put no thought into what they would
do. This year, because most of them had a heads up on what we would be doing, came armed with ideas.
Just look at the pride that Miss Micky has in showing me her house. The outfit is pretty cute too.
After all the houses were done, Mike and Genie (her birthday too) had a 'job well done' cocktail. They were having way too much fun.
This must be the house that Ellie was copying off the internet. She's always thinkin'.
These houses were to be transported to local nursing homes the next day but the weather turned nasty and
both Mike and Regina (she came over in her pj's) weren't willing to leave the house. Heck, neither was I.
So, due to my laziness, I had the houses in my house for a full 24 hours before I decided to deliver them to
those who would appreciate them more.
Aren't these wonderful creations?
Mike decided that more is better because the most popular houses had more stuff on and around them than you would think was necessary.
The chex mix on this house was a gift to me from Barb, that she had just made, and cleverly stolen to use as shingles.

We did have a vote for favorite house and it was a toss up between
this one that was Stephanie's, that has a dormer in the roof; can you make it out?
And Julie's church. We gave the prize to Julie and Stephanie got frozen food from my freezer. Fair enough.
Bella and I delivered the houses to the local hospital (it was easier for me to do on my own rather than nursing homes) so I took the easy way out. I somehow left the church behind so I ran it up to the local church school, thinking it an ideal solution to a lazy ass that doesn't want to take a trip back to the hospital. It was a perfect solution because there was a class right outside the Principal's office organizing something and Julie, the artist of the church, just so happened to have a young son in this group. He beamed and all were impressed. Oh, I forgot the food I served. Tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I agree, the houses are much more opulent this year, and way more fun. Last year you probably served too much wine eh?

jeri said...

Tommy, how did everyone get their houses home that evening? This looks like alot of fun, and I'm thinking our group should do it next year.