We got home 7 days ago from a big trip to visit family in New Zealand. This was the first time introducing our little M to most of his extended family. The 3 weeks spent with family was full, happy and dearly cherished.
The farewells were difficult. The flight home was long.
Since we got back the days and nights have passed in a haze of bleary-eyed, sleep deprivation. Lets just say a jet-lagged baby is bad. A jet-lagged, teething baby with a cold is truly awful. After 7 days little M seems to be finally emerging from the jet-lag and beginning to fall into some semblance of routine again. And I am delighted to be getting more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time!
The fallout of all this is that Christmas has kind of crept up on us. Only 6 days away? Seriously?!
I love Christmas time. I would usually have the tree up as soon as socially acceptable, gifts bought and wrapped weeks in advance, christmas playlist on repeat, and a list of Christmas recipes to bake my way through. With only 6 days left I feel the need to pack as much Christmas cheer as possible into this week.
To kick things off yesterday I made a little gingerbread house – my first ever. I loved the smell of ginger, cinnamon and cloves that filled the house when this was baking. It was surprisingly easy to create and lots of fun to decorate. Making a gingerbread house each Christmas is a tradition I’d love to start.
Makes one small gingerbread house – approx 15x10cm. Recipe barely adapted from here
Here is the template for a basic house: Download PDF.
- 115g softened butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons water
Cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
Cut out cardboard templates for the walls and roof of your house. Roll out the dough between two sheets of cling film. Using the templates, cut out the pieces for your house and place them on lined baking trays. Use excess dough to make house decorations and/or gingerbread men. Chill for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 175C and bake for 12-15mins or until dough feels firm.
While still warm, place the templates on top of the cooked pieces again and carefully trim any excess with a sharp knife. Cool on the baking sheet. Decorate the house as you wish and glue together with icing.