Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The great gingerbread house fiasco

This is not my gingerbread house!
Once upon a time, there was a woman who went shopping with her friend in IKEA. After buying some things she never knew she needed, she popped into the IKEA food store before leaving. Whilst grabbing a bag of her daughter's favourite cinnamon buns, her friend waved a box in front of her. "I bought one of these last year" said the friend encouragingly. The woman took hold of the box and read the word pepparkakshus. She quickly realised that she couldn't read Swedish and turned the box over, to read the words Gingerbread House.

"Ooh" said the woman, smiling, "That'll be nice to make with the girls". So she purchased one in the midst of a wave of nostalgia which washed over her (she used to love imagining that a real Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house existed somewhere, when she was a child.) She subsequently realised that she should have been warned by the third syllable of the aforementioned Swedish word!

Some time later, the woman  and her children decided to have a fun afternoon making the little gingerbread house. They followed the instructions carefully and boiled up some sugar syrup for the 'mortar'. They managed to stick two sides of the house together and then tried to cement the next side on. Oh no! The sugar syrup had turned to toffee and was too hard to use.

Never one to give up, the woman made up some thick royal icing and piped it on to the edge of the gingerbread; It dribbled down the wall as she pressed the next section of the flat packed confectionery house to it. It stuck for a moment and then, plop, it fell down. She propped it back up with the help of the children who didn't want to get too near, as they sensed their mother getting a tad stressed. Determinedly, she piped more icing onto the next edge and managed to stick the foundations of a rather crooked-looking house together.

She was just pressing the last 2 pieces of wall together when ...Craaackk, the window-bearing wall of the gingerbread house snapped in two. "Oh bother" said the woman  (OK, she said something slightly different!) and the children fled from the kitchen, in the same way that Hansel and Gretel had wanted to flee from the wicked witch's house.

Determined not to let a stupid pile of sugar and flour get the better of her, she angrily stuck the broken pieces back together with icing and crossly proceeded to top the house with the two roof pieces, and yet more icing. Just at the critical moment, the woman's husband walked through the door, shouting a cheery "Hello!" in her direction. "Get. Out. Of. The. Kitchen!!!" growled the woman, glaring at him, whilst taking her hands off the roof for a second or two.
She turned back to the house, but it was too late; the roof pieces slid down like an avalanche, pulling the walls apart with them. The gingerbread house was no longer! In a fit of rage, the woman smashed up the house into little pieces. There was no going back now, the house was well and truly derelict!

After calming down for an hour or so, the woman  decided to make something with the gingerbread smithereens. She thought about making a cheesecake, with a gingerbread crumb base, but then decided to make tiffin*, which has well documented powers of soothing stressed mums!

By the way, the woman 's friend later admitted that a similar fate had fallen upon her the previous year!

THE END...almost!

*Here's my tiffin recipe (obviously use crushed gingerbread instead of digestives!). The tiffin actually worked out really well, apart from being, well...maybe just a tad too gingery! I think it would have been nicer if I'd used half gingerbread and half digestive biscuits. Pin It


  1. ROFL! Oh dear! I was hoping for a photo of the collapsed house though :P

  2. I nearly had wine come shooting back out my nose in laughter....cheered my week up!
    Perhaps I shall use it as a bed time story for Master A tomorrow!? ....and we can make some tiffin.

  3. Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, I was far too cross to take a photo of the gingerbread 'house' at the time!


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