My grandmother is a home ec teacher, and before she retired she taught grand gingerbread house-making units with her high school students.
Sometimes she sent us pictures of these fabulous creations she had made, and I always thought, "Wow! What fun that must be!" I wanted to make one in the worst kind of way, but it never worked out.
A few weeks ago, while attempting to assemble one of those pre-made kit houses with my Big Helper - and failing miserably - I realized that Nana would be visiting in a few weeks, and that perhaps she could show us how to put one of these together.
My Big Helper loved that idea.
Fortunately for us, Nana didn't mind, and she arrived on Saturday, apron in hand, ready to create her own kind of magic with us.
Without the time necessary to bake all of our own pieces - at least this time - we began with a premade kit. Nana and my Big Helper soon worked out a decorating plan, and after watching her great-grandmother pipe on some icing, ...
My Big Helper dove right in.
When he saw the mass quantities of candy that had been unearthed for this project, My Little Man came to help - and then left again when he realized we weren't eating it.
After working together throughout the morning and teaching us all sorts of tips and tricks, Nana made it 'snow' on their house, and they called it finished.
Here you can see their carefully-stacked chimney in the back and the snow scattered on the roof ...
And their front door, surrounded by bushes and framed with light pole and wreath.
This whole project looked like such fun. The two of them worked in tandem, sharing ideas and suggestions and tips for how to make the imagined become reality.
Throughout their confectionery session, I sat glued to my chair just across the table, happy that my daughter could have this special time with her great-grandmother. It made me remember times of learning from my great-grandmothers, times when I learned to roll out pie crust or bake special cookies. It made me remember watching Nana create her own piping bag during the summer I took cake decorating in 4-H, and to wish that I still knew how to do that.
Most of all, though, I lived vicariously through my Big Helper Saturday morning. Seeing her delight at Starburst chimneys and sugar icicles made me feel as if a tiny part of me was a part of the creation. As if a dream twenty-five years in the making came true.
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