Dec 12, 2013

Gingerbread Nativity

Our Ward Christmas party is tonight. The theme is an old-fashioned Christmas. Several weeks ago they sent around a sign-up at church asking for the obligatory *funeral potatoes* or dessert AND something new... a gingerbread house to be used as a table centerpiece. I thought, "I can do that!"

Now I don't remember what came first: the sign up OR seeing a gingerbread nativity on Pinterest. But as soon as I saw the nativity I knew that is what I wanted to do. My first thought was to make a gingerbread stable and then use the little figurines from my Playskool nativity (and trust me I didn't pay what Amazon wants when I bought mine years ago). Then I saw a set of nativity cookie cutters (again, on Pinterest) They were so cute and... HOW HARD COULD IT BE?

(Are you ready to be amused?)

The cookie cutter set arrived late Tuesday so first thing Wednesday (yesterday) morning I contacted a Facebook friend to get her recipe for royal icing (the kind that flows and then dries hard and shiny). She generously shared her recipe and tips with me. I'm so grateful for that. I took my shopping list to Wal-mart to get the things I needed, came home, made and baked the gingerbread piece (my house smells so good!). I was aware, while shopping, that I was having some minimal-brain-disfunction, but that isn't a new occurrence for me.

While the gingerbread pieces cooled I mixed up the frosting. I decided that the first thing to do was ice the two triangle stable pieces and cover then with Wal-mart brand shredded wheat so it looked thatched and set them aside to dry. Now onto the figures. I had a few problems with the learning curve working with the royal icing, but finally figured it out. I'm sure it didn't help that I only have two small tips.

After the stable pieces were dry I decided to put them together, with royal icing, just like the instructions say. Ummmm, problem- the ginormous triangle cookie cutter is not a perfect triangle, but a triangle with convex sides so there was only about one inch of contact along the side.

OK, DESIGN CHANGE- get out the serrated-edge knife and saw them straight. Now how do I get it to stand up while the icing SLOWLY dries? I ended up propping it up with some canning jars and went back to the little figures.

Hours later I carefully pick up the stable and the icing-glue immediately breaks! I'm sure it doesn't help that the frosting and shredded-wheat cover walls now weigh approximately 40 lbs!!!

DESIGN CHANGE (again)- Maybe someone else could have made this work, but after fooling around with this for the better part of 6 hours already I WAS NOT THAT PERSON! I reverted to my original two-walls-with-a-flat-roof idea. I got out my saw serrated edge knife again. Ahh, much better.

Even with the design change the royal icing wouldn't hold things together and by now I've realized that this gingerbread nativity was never going to be eaten... Bring on the glue gun! (I think that if I'd used the glue gun with the triangle pieces it may have worked)

gingerbread nativity photo 12-gingerbreadnativity_zps16aa5da6.jpg

When I was doing the last of the decorating, after Primary presidency meeting last night, I mixed up some black frosting for the the sheep's legs, noses and ears. That is when I had the idea to make a all black sheep. My mind started to roll that black-sheep idea around and I knew that little black-sheep had to be closest to baby Jesus, the redeemer of the world.

nativity photo 12-nativity_zps1eccf92c.jpg

Because when it is all said and done aren't we all black-sheep in need of our Savior's atonement?

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