Saturday, December 17, 2011

Up On The Housetop.....

Today I made and delivered a gingerbread house to my friend, Betty.

Betty has received all sorts of gingerbread buildings - houses, barns, and churches from me for the last twelve years. This year, I almost forgot, which would have been a very, very bad thing. But luckily for Betty and me, Terese reminded me earlier this week. What a woman.

So I dug out my recipe and pattern, although I think that I could probably whip up a batch or two of gingerbread without looking at the paper. Like my recipe? I've been making these little houses for the last twenty nine years, and yikes. Those patterns have seen more pans of hot gingerbread than I can imagine.

Twenty two years ago, my friend and I decided to make a zillion of these little houses and sell them at a couple of craft sales, and after we had ripped out a multitude of them, I decided that I could construct a gingerbread house in my sleep. Our little town even ran a story in the newspaper about us.

Not many newsworthy events happened around there. What can I say.

What I do remember is that I took the gingerbread proceeds and re-carpeted and re-countertop-ed my kitchen. It was a happy day when John and his friend Randy hauled those orange formica countertops out of my house.


So I felt happily nostalgic as I baked and constructed and decorated. What fun.

I always put a goat on the roof of Betty's houses. She raises goats and expects to have them represented somehow in each of the gingerbread creations.

So after the goat installation,  I tucked the little house into Goldie's front seat and headed out to Betty's house.

Goldie, the house, the goat, and I made it out to Betty's in one piece. Which is not always the case - I remember one year as I was carrying a particularly large gingerbread house out to the car, (not Betty's, thank goodness) it slipped out of my hands and CRASHED all over my garage floor. Oh, the horror.....

I usually get Betty's house out to her much earlier in December, so I apologized for being so tardy. And Betty, being the very direct person that she is, asked what my problem was this year. We were out looking at her amazingly adorable baby goats as we were talking.

Well, Betty - do you know what Lupus is?

"Sure. I have a friend with that."

Ah. So you know about Lupus.

"Sure. It made my friend CRAZY." She crossed her arms over her chest as I scratched Mary the baby goat behind her ear. "Are you going crazy??"

Um, I suppose that explains a lot of things, in my case.

Betty laughed.

Actually, it just makes me feel really tired. I won't be so late next year, I promise.

We hugged, I gave Mary one last pat, and Goldie and I headed home.

Ahh. It's not Christmas until the goat is safely perched upon the roof of Betty's gingerbread house.

Let the holidays begin.


Anita Rowe Stafford said...

Julia, the gingerbread house is beautiful! Love your recipe and pattern! Making that house must have taken all your "spoons" and then some! Glad you were able to continue the tradition.

cargillwitch said...

fantastic house! Some of my best memories of my four children's childhoods was making gingerbread houses each year in December. maybe I will have to make a point of resurrecting this tradition with them as young adults( there is no expiry date on candy loving!)

Anonymous said...

Nostalgia, partner!!! dianne