Sunday, October 6, 2013

Halloween Gingerbread Houses

I've always loved gingerbread houses and am in awe of some of the very talented decorators and the intricate and creative houses they create.  We made a few Christmas houses when my children were little and my mom used to make a Christmas rice krispies house every year when I was young. I wanted to start a tradition with my granddaughters but Christmas is such a busy season for everyone, I knew trying to schedule a day for this activity would just be one more obligation.  Four years ago I decided to do gingerbread Halloween houses. It's a less hectic time of year and they are very cute and colorful.  The first year it was just granddaughter #1 and I.  She was 4 at the time.

Last year her little sister, then 4, joined us.

This year we added granddaughter #3 to the mix.  She is only 3, so I was a little unsure as to how she would do. As expected, her attention span didn't last long, she was much more interested in eating the candy than decorating her house! Thankfully, her mommy was here and she decorated most of their house.

The mommy of the two oldest girls was here this year, too, which enabled each girl to have one adult assisting them. This really came in handy with using the piping bags full of royal frosting, the kids just don't have the manual dexterity to handle that. So, on this Saturday morning, I got to spend time with my two daughters and  three granddaughters. It was a fun morning!

Many years ago mom gave me a cast iron gingerbread mold that she used to use, similar to this one.

I used this mold with my children and the last few years with the granddaughters.  This year I decided to ramp it up a bit and bought an online template.  A week ago I made 3 batches of gingerbread and cut out all the various house pieces.  During the week my hubby and I did the house construction.
And, yes, wine does help!
When the girls showed up this morning they were greeted with their own basic house, with melted candy windows and a front porch. On my kitchen island were bowls of candy, jars of sprinkles, suckers, marshmallow ghosts, candy pumpkins and various colors of royal frosting.

 I also gave each girl a hand-appliqued apron in an attempt to keep them somewhat clean.

I showed them some online pictures, we talked about ideas and then they pretty much called the shots. It is a lot of fun watching their personalities shine through their houses, their very distinct ideas on what they want on their houses.

It took us about 1 1/2 hours to decorate our houses.  The cutting out, baking and assembling took many hours but it was a labor of love.  If I get any more grandchildren I will have to start making my houses in July!

Grandchild #2's house.

Grandchild #3's house (with much assistance from Mommy!)

Grandchild #1's house

I hope our tradition continues on for many more years. I have visions of teenage grandchildren coming over to play in the kitchen with their Nana, keeping me informed about their lives. We'll just see what happens!

This is what my kitchen looked like after all the activity.  Took me a while to clean up our messes.  Next year we decorate out on the patio!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness. These are totally amazing. Love them. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty