Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sam Walking

Trek to Salt Lake

Last year's train ride was such a hit that we decided to try it again. It was rough with two, but we managed. We ended up going to a sing-along in the the place where the Jazz play. Anyway, photos speak louder than words. Here it is.

Sorry they are so small. My computer was being funny. This one is on our way there.

On our way.

After the show.


This is Liz's favorite fountain.

Sam liked the ride home.

Liz didn't. She ate too much junk food.

How to Make a Gingerbread House

1. Get an idea.
2. Draw rough sketch.
3. Make a cardboard model of the gingerbread house. With all of the gingerbread pieces.
4. Make the dough. There are many good recipes online. (Hint: Use margarine instead of butter because it's cheaper an nobody will use it anyway. Hint 2: Honey does work instead of molasses, but it doesn't smell as good and is slightly lighter.)
5. Roll out pretty thin, but not too thin on the backs of cookie sheets (Just place in the oven when done cutting out). Using your cardboard model as a guide, cut out the shapes of the house, including windows.
6. Once house is cool, you can melt butterscotch candies for windows. (oven 350 until melted, check often. ~5 min.)
7. Let pieces go stale.
8. Melt sugar in frying pan. (Put sugar in pan on medium heat, let sit until caramel color, burns fast.) Dip pieces in caramel and stick together. Continue to hold walls up for about a day until it sets.
Picture 1: Wall being held up by whatever is in the kitchen. Green sugar crystals in the background will be used for shrubbery.

9. Once house is assembled, decorate.

Picture 2: Butterscotch windows, Royal Frosting base and stairs, pretzel shutters, cookie shingles, candy wreath and topiary, twizzler raingutters.

Picture 3: Little CSI men made of Gum Paste. (Hint: Gum paste feels like chewed gum, keep it soft with vegetable oil.) Note the yellow "do not cross" line in the background made of fruit roll ups. This Gum paste man is climbing a pretzel ladder.

Picture 4: More CSI men. One with a gum paste camera, and one with a gum paste phone. The basket was not kept in the final shot due to obvious size issues. The walkway was cereal glued to card stock, glued to the board. (Hint: When making gum paste men, make a toothpick frame to build them around first.)

Picture 5: The owners of the home, devastated at the loss. They match the picture found inside the house. The people are stuck to the board with frosting. The white stuff is sugar crystals. The trees are pipe cleaners that had more sugar crystals/rock candy grown on it. (Hint: For rock candy, boil one cup of water with as much sugar in it as you can get (about 4 cups), put in container you don't really care about. Place string tied to the middle of a pencil suspended in the solution. If crystals form on edges of the container, then pour solution into a clean container.)

Picture 6: Landscaping done.

Picture 7: This is why the gingerbread house has a big hole in it. Note the Twizzler pull and peel rug, gum paste piano, and hard candy couch. Details missing include a Christmas tree and present, door, curtains, mantel piece with candles decorating it, and a framed picture of the family outside. All made of candy. For the final showing, there was a lamp made of a mag. light, which probably was never turned on. In fact, the whole inside of the house could not be seen because they had the house displayed on a high shelf. :(