Sunday, December 27, 2009
Gingerbread House and Christmas Memories
I remember my first memorable Christmas. Although I can't recall how old I was then, I remember exactly how it happened. There were presents, but only because my birthday falls on Christmas Day. Despite the fact that my parents are Catholic, Christmas to us was less about giving and receiving presents and more about church and getting together as a family. We would always go out to eat on Christmas Day, year after year, until it became a less than memorable routine.
But there was one particular Christmas from my childhood, the one I spent at my aunt's house, that I remember the most. My sister and I spent Christmas Eve night on the sofa-bed in the guest/recreational room, and when Christmas morning came my aunt brought us chocolate cookies and milk to have as breakfast. The TV was on, and I remembered being engrossed in watching this movie with my sister as we ate our chocolatey breakfast. I don't remember what happened afterward, and many of you may think that I am strange for remembering so vividly an occasion that was less than ordinary, but for a few hours that Christmas morning, I truly felt the spirit of Christmas.
The worst thing about that day was that for many years after, Christmas mornings never felt the same way anymore. But quite recently, I was lucky enough to experience the same feeling. It was early December this year, on a Saturday morning. My parents had flown in from Jakarta a few days before, and we were just about to sit down to have breakfast, when I switched on the TV and found a musical show on. It was a remake of Annie, an American classic that I've heard about but have never watched. And we sat down and watched it, as a family, even after breakfast has been cleared away. And it was the perfect Christmas for me, even at a few weeks before the 25th.
Now, to the gingerbread 'structure'. I initially meant to build an American Wild West General Store, complete with two stories, a porch and a signboard. However, things did not turn out as expected. Firstly, I did not have enough dough to make 2 levels, so I had to be content with one. And then, some of the pieces from the main building shrunk quite a bit after being rolled out, creating a structure that is too short for the porch I had cut out. So I decided to turn it into a fenced barn/shed, and hoped for the best. I didn't think it turned out too bad, although J thought it looked more like a Early Settlers-era jail.
Now, I promise to upload more photos of the gingerbread barn/shed over the next couple of days---it's been impossibly cloudy and slightly foggy today, and I just could not get the light I wanted for the photos.
Until next time, dear readers. But I will use this chance to express my gratitude and appreciation for your readership this past year. I know that I don't say it enough, but thank you all, sincerely, especially for being patient when my posts became more than a little bit scarce in the past months. I can't promise you that I will be able blog more next year, especially since I intend to expand my business and hopefully secure some wholesale accounts. But I can promise you that I will be here, no matter how sporadic, how brief, or how late I am with my posts. And I'm hoping that you'll stick around.
Have a Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!
P.S: The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes. Thanks Y and Anna, for picking a fabulous challenge! I've always wanted to make another gingerbread house after my first not-so-good attempt.