December 20, 2014
19th Annual Gingerbread Party

I can hardly believe it's been nearly two decades of sugar mayhem!

Apparently this year we used 8 kilograms of icing sugar (as measured on Dec 25th - when we unexpectedly ran out just before making hard sauce... Which requires icing sugar... oops! So some of that might be related to Christmas baking, but not much!) We made five batches of dough - we think... One of these years I should write some of this down. Of course part of the problem was that I was not feeling well at all the day before and so our prep was rather more rushed than usual. I was very grateful that Auntie Janice and my Aunt Mary were there to do most of it for me - in fact I texted Janice early on the 19th to say "Need to make Gingerbread. Need to get stuff from store first. Need to move stuff around the house. But all I can do right now is lie in bed and moan." Janice even took Matthew out of my hair when she went shopping to get margarine and tin foil. Apparently I kept adding items - eggs, napkins, milk, paper plates etc. until it became a quite major expedition. Everyone should keep a sister Janice around when they are sick and planning a party...

Our plan if I was still sick the following day was for me to hang out upstairs while we had the party - with nearly 60 people expected and not all of them with known contact info cancelling seemed like a lot of work but luckily sleeping most of the day had me feeling much better.

There were 50 attendees in total, 22 of them kids (and 20 aged 8 or under). We started the party with a one year old, a two year old, a three year old, a four year old and a five year old all playing together after building their creations in the relative calm. (I decided my kids should build a few hours in advance as I doubted I'd have time to supervise otherwise!) Matthew was very happy to put all the candy on the cookie, but he also wanted to take the candy off and eat it immediately so it was challenging to get a picture.

This year was the first year I felt we really could have used two ovens. My neighbour jokingly volunteered hers for next year, that would be awesome if it works out! Maybe we should borrow some toaster ovens too - I hear they can do marvellous things... And I should remind my 2015 self to make a bit more dough in advance...

People built a hobbit hole, a castle, a zoo, a moose, an elf house, Christmas trees, some cars (mine was a VAN, reminds Xander indignantly) and many, many, many houses... The kids are just starting to get more creative with their candy placement and demands for what they want to build - maybe soon we'll get back to the bigger variety of creations but for now it's entertaining to watch them build what they can.

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