And then three years later, I decided that I wanted to tackle another gingerbread project. Except, a house? Too easy, I'd done that before, so I decided to build a gingerbread church, which sort of turned into a debacle, which I don't think I accurately explained.
Since then, I've thought of building gingerbread houses as a "been there, done that" experience. And really, I wouldn't have built one this year either except that when my friend introduced the idea she used the word competition. As in, we'll have a little competition where my boyfriend and I will build a gingerbread house and you and your boyfriend will build a gingerbread house and we'll see whose is better.
I'm not too competitive a person, but occasionally I feel very strongly that I need to be THE BEST. So when I heard the word competition, I did a few quick calculations: I had two gingerbread creations under my belt, and I felt pretty confident that I could learn from my mistakes (*cough*gingerbreadchurch*
I spent the entire week planning and designing and looking for Necco Wafers* (my dad instilled in me a belief that no gingerbread house is complete without a roof tiled with Necco Wafers) (I mean look at this) and watching the Food Network Gingerbread House Challenge and trying to get my boyfriend excited to do a Christmas activity but he wasn't really having it. I may or may not have chastised him for that more than several times.
Anyway, one of the things I learned from my research was that if you press a design into the gingerbread, it will stay during baking. So, I made a chimney with bricks, and it was INSPIRING, it was so cute:
The whole thing came together slowly, but not too painfully. I baked the pieces Friday night, and on Saturday we built the house.
Then I started on the Necco Wafers, which got boring after about, oh, three of them. At this point I decided it was time for the other half of my team to take over. And this is when he started to really get into it. In fact, he was so into it that he even decorated the second side of the roof in a particular design. He did most of the rest of the decorating, actually.
So here it is, in all its gingerbread glory.
And did we win? Well, my friend didn't actually build a house, so I don't know if you can really qualify a winner. Hers was certainly an architectural feat, though:
*These are EXTREMELY difficult to find, which was kind of a pain and probably an entire story in itself.