In Which We Build a Cabin

http://kristincashore.blogspot.com/2017/01/in-which-we-build-cabin.html

Over 40 years ago, Kevin's dad built this cabin.


Guess what we did? 

The cabin, gingerbread version

 Here's how. 

First, we mixed and chilled the dough. (We used this recipe at Food52, except using muscle power and eventually hands instead of a mixer. It worked fine.) 


The next day, we rolled it flat...


and, using a blueprint Kevin made out of cardboard, cut it into walls and deck...
 

used a sharp knife to draw the windows and boarded sides (I'm using that box as a straightedge)...


and baked all the pieces. Actually, we slightly overbaked them, on purpose. Gingerbread walls stand up better if they're overbaked.


We gave them a couple days to get good and dry...

and then the silly part began. 

We used the hacksaw...


 to cut cinnamon sticks into little logs...


for the log pile. We interspersed the cinnamon sticks with salmiac candies to give our log pile more character.


We needed some candy cane joists to hold up the deck. Kevin, doing experiments with heat, discovered that a hot knife slices through candy canes with ease.


In the meantime, I made some icing....


while Kevin ran important experiments on marshmallows.


More icing.


Then the piping began. The division of both design and labor was pretty even throughout this project, but our first batch of icing was so stiff that I literally could not pipe it! Kevin stepped in.


We sliced up some black string licorice to decorate our window moldings.


Here are the candy cane joists to hold up the deck, attached using melted caramel (which bonds very fast, with great strength and superior deliciousness).


We trimmed down the edges of the walls with an exacto knife where necessary....


And the major construction began.


We used melted caramel to hold the walls together.


Our four walls now standing, we left it overnight to dry.


Fast forward to the next morning.

Here Kevin is having an inspiration about marshmallows...


and the deck railing.


Using a box of Thin Mints as a support (because why not?), he balances candy cane railings on top of marshmallow balusters. Icing is his glue.


In the meantime, I construct the woodpile, attaching our logs to the surface and to each other with melted caramel. The idea was to build the woodpile up to the height of the deck, so that the logs could help the candy cane joists to hold the deck in place.


(Incidentally, the mess created by this project was delicious. The chocolate shavings are from the chocolate pieces we used for the doors.)


Somehow we failed to take a picture of the completed deck, but you'll see it later.
Next we iced and added the roof, which we also failed to photograph...

and then I made a mouse. It's a jellybean, with eyes scratched in with an exacto knife, and a tail and ears carved out of string licorice and attached with sugar water.


Again, we left everything to dry for a few hours.


When we came back, we added icicles to the front of the roof, another process we somehow forgot to photograph. BTW, our icing was a simple mix of one egg white and however much confectioner's sugar it took to get the consistency we wanted. For the roof snow, we used a more liquid icing, but for the icicles, something stiffer.

Then, Kevin took a big bowl of confectioner's sugar and a spoon. He blew on it and made it snow.


We saw all that we had made, and it was very good.





And that's that! I hope you enjoyed this report of our new thing for January. :o)