Monday, December 09, 2013

Gingerbread 2013: A Christmas Market

So, two years ago, we made a church and Rob and I did most of the decorating while the kids played. Which led to last year where we made an entire subdivision. This year we sort of combined the two and decided that Rob and I would make a church and each kid would get a booth at the Weinachtsmarkt (outdoor German Christmas markets where they sell treats and gifts). Rob made the church pattern himself and I copied the booths from a portion of a Wilton kit.
 Joss decided that he didn't want to make a booth at our Christkindlmarkt and wanted to do his own thing. So he used the pieces from the kit and made this. Then when he saw our church and market all set up, he decided he wanted to make a booth after all. 
 Curtis made the Santa Barbara mission. Not only is this architecturally accurate, he actually looked up whether it had ever snowed there and found out that it had not. So this is a fantasy on the Santa Barbara mission. If we had been accurate, we would have frosted our church in yellow icing like he did -- in Austria they often use yellow for the walls and green for the roof.
 And this is the only picture I have of Katie and the boys' creation: the Hundertwasserhaus in Austria. It was equally amazing. And if you're ever in Vienna, you need to go see this place. 
 In the works. Notice the onion dome, which Rob was in charge of. He used Lois's idea to use Rice Krispy treats and mold it (and freeze it, just in case it wanted to melt before it cooled). Worked like a charm!
 When the kids were getting squirrely, I brought out the ickiest bunte Teller ever with a gigantic gummy bear. I thought they'd appreciate it. 
 They all tried it, but I don't think anyone finished their portion, proving that you can have too much of a good thing.
 Rob and I got the kids to bed before the church decorating had even begun.
I threw two electric tea lights inside and I'm just going to let them die out and replace the batteries next year -- it's more than I can manage to turn them on and off every day. 
I'm grateful Rob does the icing. I make the stuff, but I get tired of working with it. I think we made five batches this year, and I did a quadruple batch of gingerbread. We had leftovers which my family likes to dunk in milk. I hate the stuff, but maybe that comes from years of eating it one month old. And every year I think about using a different recipe, something that looks daintier and yummier. But every year I use the tried and true recipe, and I'm grateful I stuck with the hefty style by the time we're done. At least it stays standing with that rebar icing, right?

 Sebi was the first one to make his booth at the Christmas market. He got very serious about the decorations and I think his booth is a toy vendor.  A very traditional booth at most markets.
 Will, not so much. He made a sushi stand, complete with sandwich board out front. And the roof says "sushi" in licorice whips. The side has the japanese character written in icing.
 Rob and Maddie tried a new method for making stained glass windows: they put big chunks of candy into the melted stuff just as it came out of the oven. It looks a lot like the front porch light that Great Aunt Mabel made at her care center after she went 'round the bend.
Maddie's booth. She seems to be selling wreaths and ornaments. I'll put up some finished pictures soon. We all had a good time, and the floor stays cleaner and cleaner as the kids grow up. It also remains one of the events each year that we're thankful for our preposterously large kitchen counter. 

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