Gingerbread houses are
generally something I've never been that much into. Sure, I can
appreciate the work it takes to put one together and make it look
good, but as far as treats go, nobody ever wants to be the jerk who
takes the first bite out of it. It's a work of art after all; and
how dare you, the gluttonous bastard that you are, try to rip off a
piece and eat it! Have you no honor? Have you no SOUL!?
Ok, perhaps it's not
that extreme, but still... most of the gingerbread houses I ever see
end up being left undigested and eventually thrown out when they
start to attract bugs. Personally, I prefer those Pepperidge Farm
gingerbread man cookies. I can eat those things one bag at a time
and still be ready for more. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I
used to pretend they were screaming every time I bit off a limb or
their heads. Though, I don't know how they could scream without a
head... I guess that's something the gingerbread people will never
So I was at Target the
other week when I stumbled onto this:
A gingerbread house
kit that I get to decorate and it has a spooky Halloween theme?
SOLD! In the back of my head there was a little voice saying, "You're
a fool if you think your cookie house will end up looking as nice as
the one on the box," but I chose to ignore it. I was
confident that the cookie house would end up looking like a
professional cookie house decorator had done it - if there is such a
The first thing that
became immediately apparent to me upon opening the package was that
the icing wasn't ready-to-go like the house itself was. Furthermore,
it included two plastic cone shaped icing squeeze bags like real
chefs use. I was now 100% sure that this thing would not only result
in a huge mess, but would also result in me having to call one of
those "we'll clean your carpets!" ads that always get stuck
in with my mail.
The cookie house
itself was totally bare-bones, the only icing on it was being used
to hold it together. Even the chimney wasn't stuck on, which was an
immediate concern to me because it didn't look like it was cut at
the right angle to adhere to the roof of the cookie house with a
little icing. I also really liked the solid sugar ghosts 'n bats
decorations they included with the kit. That way even if your design
job is totally horrible, you can stick those things on it in hopes
of salvaging the thing. Re had to stop me from eating them right
away. What can I say though; I'm a sucker for sugary decorations
like that. I've actually purchased some cake decorations before,
instead of regular candies, and ate them as is.
Now maybe it's
because, in the grand scheme of things, I'm just a cooking novice (I
still consider it a landmark achievement when my Kraft Mac 'n Cheese
comes out well), but discovering that the black icing mix was a baby
blue color before you mixed it with water caught me by surprise. I'm
sure that's normal 'n all, though I don't know many recipes that
would call for pitch black icing. Maybe it's because that's now how
blending paints together to make a dark color works. If you blend a
light blue paint with a clear liquid, chances are pretty good it's
gonna look exactly the same... just maybe a tad watered down. When
you're dealing with baked goods, however, it seems that the rules of
the world of art do not apply. And considering how some of my
"meals" have turned out in the past, I'd venture to say that the
laws of physics don't always apply either.
It didn't take too
long before all remnants of the baby blue power were gone, and in
its place was a tar-like black substance. I did have to add in some
confectioner's sugar to the mix because it was a bit too watered
down. It needed to be more like sludge. Remember when Egg Shen
talked about the black blood of the earth in "Big Trouble in
Little China"? Yeah, well that's basically what I think we were
going for here. And as I poured that sludge into the decorating bag,
it was clear that we had indeed created the black blood of the
earth. Who'd have thought it would taste so sweet and sugary?
Re decided to try her
luck with the decorative icing first by creating a dripping ooze
outline around the front of the house along with a door and a
window. It looked better than I would've though, and I guess this
instilled a false sense of confidence in me when it came time for me
to give the icing a shot.
It's lookin' pretty
good right? Yeah, well that's all because of Re and you'll see why
in a minute. While she continued to decorate and bedazzle the front
of the cookie house, I decided to take on that cookie chimney. That
chimney would prove to be my nemesis.
Just as I thought, it
wasn't cut at the proper angle, so it wasn't staying on the roof no
matter how much icing I put underneath it. Furthermore, my orange
icing was less cooperative than the black icing was. I'll put it
this way; it's a good thing I'm not a dairy farmer, because all the
cows would fucking rue the day I came to milk them. But why let my
words explain it when this photo demonstrates my "skills" with the
icing bag far better:
I never thought I had
Parkinson's disease, but looking back on that rooftop, it might be
best if I get a second opinion.
Well, when you fuck
up, fuck up big-time. I made the roof of that house look like it
took a run through a Silly String factory. I also tried
putting the sprinkles on it, and as you can see, the only ones that
really stayed on fell into the crevasse in the center of the roof.
The rest just fell off the house completely... so much for the
sprinkles. Oh well, at least I was able to finally get that bastard
chimney to stand up by loading it up with more of the orange icing
and bracing it against a few of the precious jelly beans that were
included with the house.
While I continued to
crapify the roof, Re informed me that we didn't have any of the
shredded coconut that the kit required so we could make a decorative
green yard for the house. Normally, I probably would've shrugged
this off, but she had the black blood of the earth on her
hands. When someone talks to you and they have the black blood of
the earth on their hands, you had damned well better listen.
It was clear that we
needed a substitute for the shredded coconut and that's when it hit
me: CRUSHED RED PEPPERS! We have plenty of those and they
would look exactly like the leaves you see in the Fall. Perfecto! On
top of that, I had some unused Frankford Marshmallow Pals
treats that would help make the cookie house look more complete. So
how did it turn out?
Not too shabby! The
Marshmallow Pals combined with the sugary ghosts and bats really
helped complete the house. And I was happy that my crushed red
peppers made for a great ground decoration substitute. Sure, they
make you sneeze if you get too close to the house, and it creates a
weird desire for pizza instead of gingerbread, but at least it
Thanks to Re, our
marshmallow Dracula had some company in the form of a horse animal
cracker. Of course, this horse apparently had digestive problems and
was crapping out giant egg-shaped turds in front of the house. Say,
who's hungry for gingerbread?
Oh yeah, I did make
one attempt at redeeming myself after fucking up the roof of the
house. Unfortunately, the back of the house didn't end up looking
Actually, it's all
Frankenstein's fault, not mine.
He did it, so blame him.