Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine Gingerbread Homes

Tradition. We've made gingerbread houses for years, and we all look forward to it. When a friend hosted this year, I was happy to be able relax and not have all of the baking, cleaning up, etc. that goes along with such an activity. But there's something to be said for hosting, too. You know, like if you're invited for Thanksgiving dinner, and it's wonderful, but you don't have the leftovers for sandwiches, and the carcass for broth. Yeah, it's kind of like that. But different, too. 

Verne especially missed me hosting since he wasn't able to partake in the house decorating. Sometimes I think that activities I plan are too over the top, and that maybe no one even cares. It's not that I feel under-appreciated; I don't. My family has always been very good about expressing their appreciation for what I do. It's just that maybe I don't need to go to the lengths that I do to show my love for them. Maybe I'm doing these things more for myself than for them, because they're what I would choose. Maybe they'd be satisfied with doing less, or not doing the activity at all. 

In any case, I had those feelings of missing something, and decided to proceed in a different way. Since Abigail did get to build a Christmas house and time was going to be very limited when we were all together over the holidays, I decided to move the activity to Valentine's Day. Abigail invited friends since her siblings would be absent. I baked and assembled eight houses: six for the girls, one for Verne, and one for me. 

The leftover dough was baked into hearts, big and small, and round cookies bearing a homemade stamp. Marshmallows were dipped in Dolci Frutta and topped with snowflake sprinkles and nonpareils. Pink lemonade was also served. 

The table was set with a house at each spot, and goodies for decorating were placed in bowls just before the girls arrived. 

Each girl was also asked to bring some candies of their choosing to share for decorations. 

Look! A real, live gingerbread person!

The girls had a great time, and it was fun to see their unique decorating styles. However, the highlight of the day was watching Verne decorate his house. I made his house a bit different, and added a chimney. He is special, you know.

The girls were allotted 3 hours for decorating. No one needed that much time, and they used the last hour to play games. But Verne? He worked, and worked, and worked. He took four hours on his house, and with that I got my answer. These traditions? They are not just for me.

Cookie stamp found here.


Margo said...

oh my word, I'm so glad you put the link for the stamp because I LOVE IT! So you just push it down into drop cookies...? I haven't seen something like this before.

LOVE the idea of Valentine's houses and I'm going to pin this for next year. There's just too much going on to add g-bread houses to Christmas, but it could be so much fun in late winter. . .

Margo said...

and what, pray tell, is Dolci Frutta? I could google it, but I'd rather ask you.

Tracy said...


I used the stamp on rolled, cookies, not drop. I'm not sure it would work on drop cookies as the dough might get stuck in the design.

Dolci Frutta is found in the produce section of my grocery stores, and is a small container of melting chocolate used for dipping fruit.

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