A tradition: Gingerbread

Where did the tradition of gingerbread houses start? We've embraced it here though. One year we tried making our own gingerbread house. What a nightmare. A friend told me about the pre-built houses at various stores. That has got to be the way to go. Kids don't want to mix, roll, cut out and bake.  All they really want to do is decorate with frosting and candy. In fact I think that more frosting and candy goes into their mouths. This year I bought a house and a train at the beginning of December and had it there for when they wanted to decorate. The advent activity came up and Lona decorated a house with a friend from soccer and had a blast. A couple of weeks later Job finally decided to get the train out to decorate and Lona did cookies at the same time. I mixed up some frosting and let them have at it. I didn't pressure anyone to participate and kept it as low key as possible. This year I've learned that just because the advent says decorate it doesn't have to be done that day just can't be done before that day. If friends want to participate great, if my kids don't participate great. Low key and no expectations. The icing recipe I've used came from Tilly Bergeron. She sent me a link to a site that uses milk, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and food coloring. I didn't have to use meringue powder or egg whites. Super easy. I just have to learn about how much milk to make the lining icing and the flooding icing.  Now that it's less than a week away from Christmas, I've told them they need to eat their gingerbread houses/train before New Years Eve. As of January 1st, whatever is left is going in the trash. How long can it really last and be good?

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