Good morning. We have been trying to get some cooking done around here, really we have, but SOMEONE has been distracting us. I'm not going to name any names, but it's someone round, jolly, and slightly reddish. Who's not Santa.
In fact, between taking care of this certain somebody, recovering from a nasty bout of mastitis, and winding our way to Woods Hole and back for a Super Secret Surprise 60th birthday party, I believe we have only managed to cook ONE meal this week. One! It was good—seared pork with sautéed dino kale and garlic and roasted sweet potatoes—but hardly worth writing home about.
So instead I'd like to tell you about something else—something sweet. It's a gingerbread house—more of a gingerbread village, really—that we made with my niece. Lili entered it in the Wellfleet Preservation Hall kids decorating contest, and she won! Check it out.
In case you can't tell, it's an ice fishing village. The graham cracker units are the huts, the chocolate squares are the doors, and the little pools of blue frosting are the fishing holes. Those are Sour Patch Kids out there fishing with toothpicks, and those crazy rainbow striped candies are giant fish. They're getting quite a haul. It would be a stretch to call this local food, but we did find a good icing recipe, and those are hard to come by, so I wanted to share. Happy holidays, everyone.
GINGERBREAD HOUSE ICING
Lili and I looked for a good icing recipe for a long time and finally settled on this one. We liked it because it didn't call for any fussy ingredients like glycerin or meringue, and we could use egg whites from Lili's own chickens! It hardened nicely—not so fast we couldn't use it all up but quickly enough to set the houses fast.
1 pound powdered sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Combine everything in a mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Use within an hour or so, as this icing will harden over time.