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How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Halloween Cookie House!

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 explain.

So I was at Target the other week when I stumbled onto this:

Ready to decorate, pending you have the skills to do so

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 career.

the bare bones gingerbread house!

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.

DON'T EAT THE CANDIES UNTIL *AFTER* THE HOUSE IS COMPLETED

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.

and THAT is how you make the black blood of the earth

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.

Hey smokers, this is how your lungs will look in 20 years. LOL

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?

spoooooooooky

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.

I'm concentrating REALLY HARD on this design of mine

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.

Amazing how the roof doesn't cave in on itself, isn't it?

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.

BLACK BLOOD OF THE EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRTHHHH!

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?

Behold!

A MASTERPIECE!

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 looks good.

Hope you've got a pooper-scooper handy, Drac.

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 any better.

Nice going, Frankenstein!

Actually, it's all Frankenstein's fault, not mine.
He did it, so blame him.

-RoG-
 


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