Yes, the Thanksgiving story still has a few more installments!
After we watched Guy enter into the covenant of baptism, which was just the total highlight of the week/year (!!) we laid low for the afternoon. My parents had to go home, unfortunately! Some kids played at the park or in the yard doing all the normal shenanigans that cousins do when they get together. Then we ate this delicious pasta bake that my Bro-in-law Eric baked up. (He served a mission in Italy, so the man knows pasta!)
After our bellies were once again fueled...it was time to decorate Gingerbread houses!!
I baked and assembled all of the gingerbread houses beforehand, and there were six of them total, so it was quite an undertaking. But let me tell you...our house has smelled wonderful for weeks now, as these houses have been a major fixture!
We had tons of candy and lots of interesting varieties to work with.
The kids just went to town...and so did the adults.
Again, another activity that was easy for all to get excited about and that brought generations together.
Of course, there was a bit of nibbling going on.
Hansel and Gretel had nothing on us.
Some houses were neat and tidy....
...and some houses were, ahem...a bit more expressive!
Just lots of happiness and Christmas cheer to go around...and family bonding.
We were all feeling pretty proud of our creations, when we decided to call it good, take a group cousin photo with the houses and move on to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas or something...when the crash happened.
Yes, The Crash. The Great Gingerbread Crash of 2013.
In the midst of sweeping up random candies from the floor, the table on which our houses rested had a leg give way...and all six of our gingerbread houses went on a swift, downhill trip to the floor.
The kids, who were in the basement at the time, heard the crash and knew immediately that something had happened to their houses...They came scrambling upstairs screaming and gave a unified, horrified cry! In the end, we all had a good laugh, and ate the pieces of candy which had come loose.
The interesting thing that my Mom and others pointed out was that NONE of the houses cracked or came apart, because they were so well-built. They were built on a "firm foundation." Our families, like our houses, can also be built that strong...hard times will come, unforeseen crashes will happen, but if we make sure to build a strong family unit, on a firm foundation, there is nothing that we can't withstand together.
This family gathering has been proof of that!
I have posted my gingerbread recipe on here before, but here it is as well as the icing recipe:
8 cups of flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
In another bowl beat:
2 1/4 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup molasses
2/3 cup light corn syrup
Finally add flour mixture to sugar mixture.
Add the last bit by hand if necessary.
Refrigerate for firmness or roll out the dough and cut-out immediately.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 for 10-20 minutes.
The Gingerbread House Icing Recipe is as follows:
Beat 2 egg whites until foamy. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Gradually add one pound of 10X sugar. As the icing become stiff, add water by the teaspoonful (about 5 tsps). Icing should be soft but not runny. (Add sugar or water if needed.) Beat icing for 5-10 minutes.