By “My Big Ginger House” I don’t mean a house full of gingers. I may be 3/4’s there in succeeding to have a house full of gingers, but no, I am not swapping my husband for Eric Stoltz (DAMMIT! Why God, why not?!). This is a blog which is 100% inspired/ shamelessly stealing ideas from last night’s Great British Bake Off. The Gingerbread House episode.
The Great British Bake Off is like some kind of sugary, fatty, calorific feeder type entity, sidling up to you on a boring, drizzly, naff winter Tuesday night being all sexy and smooth and saying;
“Hey there, you like what you see there, skinny lady? ALL this *floats hands over doughnuts and pies and cakes* could be *whispers* yours….”
My eyes were hungry. With HUNGER. And I got the shakes. What could I make???! I pressed “post” on my tweet of;
“RIGHT. That is IT….I AM ONLY GOING TO GO AND MAKE MY OWN BLOODY GINGERBREAD HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS”
and within seconds I had a dozen replies from people reacting to my epiphany. My Twitter feed was buzzing with enthusiasm and suggestions, everyone drunk on inspiration (and probably booze) and planning their own! HUZZAH!
“This is AWESOME” I thought, feeling like I was Boudicca and was leading my army of Sweet Treat Lovers in to a kitchen full of spun sugar and golden syrup …
and then moments later…I felt a bit like
“Oh my shhhhhhuuuuuuuugarrrry mice! I will actually have to do this now.”
I am a ginger virgin (not like Queen Elizabeth 1, or Molly Ringwald from Pretty In Pink until Andrew McCarthy bombs in and steals her flower), but I mean I don’t bake with ginger. I have never made gingerbread in my life.
I realised I needed to learn to walk before I could run and so, this afternoon, I…well, I masacred a lot of gingerbread ingredients. The poor wee things.
I decided to start with little tiny gingerbread men and maybe some gingerbread hearts. Ahhh. Nice. Easy. NO. Look at this!
It’s like Celebrity Gingerbread Love Island. A tropical plastic leafed plate paradise full of Z-listers looking sunburnt and fake tanned and stupid.
HOW?! How will I ever make an actual gingerbread home?! I need a plan.
So…here is the plan. I am not going to do a standard square house. And making it sturdy AND taste nice is going to be my major downfall. I could do one or other but not both. I am a “throw it all in and lets hope for the fricking best!” kinda gal. My options…
1) Build a fabulous structure of a Gingerbread Wicker Man. And then set fire to him before anyone has a chance to taste him. I could cover him in brandy like a ginger German version of a Christmas pudding and BOOOOOOOM! I would then graciously accept rounds of applause, whilst going to the cupboard to bring out a £5 box of celebrations.
“Please, please, no stop, you are too kind, please, do help yourself! No, no, I didn’t wrap the individual chocolate delights myself, I cannot take credit.”
2) Or a volcano! All the reject pieces (which, lets face it, will be ALL the gingerbread I have made) could be thrown together in a big pile and covered in red icing. A feature. Christmas on Maui, I would call it. Mmmmmm, enjoy!
But I do have one idea…a fabulous one…one I am hugging to my chest with smugness and glee…one which will blind you with brilliance (*chokes*) in December!
Well. regardless, 3 things I learnt this afternoon from having my first go making gingerbread are as follows…
1) Just one go, the first shot, the “lets give it a whirl” attempt at this Recipe made a hundred billion gazzilion little ginger creatures. Much like trying other things for the first time *cough*, please do approach with caution and be prepared for numbers you are not prepared for.
2) Don’t get distracted by Twitter and forget some little guys are still in the celebrity sun bed (aka OVEN)…we had some casualties…
3) there is no possible way on this earth to hand wash a rolling pin without it looking rude.
And at this point I am going to raise the stakes. Does anyone fancy joining in? Build your own gingerbread house for this Christmas, email me a photo at email@example.com before the 12th December and I will post all the photos in a blog by Thursday 20th December. I have also (I hope *crosses fingers*) set up a linky on the main page of the site, on the right hand side, so add to that if you prefer. Pop it in your diary if you fancy, but I will also be re-posting this blog post in early December as a reminder for those who want to join in. The judging will be made by the luffly Gobby McFeck (@GobbyMcFeck) from Twitter. She is as independent a voter as I can get. She loves eating, she hates baking, she is a Twitter friend (ergo I don’t know where she lives so cannot shower her with gifts to ensure I win). There are 2 rules;
1) You cannot use a flat pack ready made kit. It has to be 100% yours.
2) Judging will not just be made on skill, but effort AND originality.
The winner will recieve a little pressie from me and masses of respect from all and sundry.