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Gingerbread outhouse

January 3, 2013

Gingerbread and I have a history.

People have come to expect that I will make a gingerbread structure each year.

This year, I wasn’t sure I was going to do one.

Then my mom made a comment on Facebook wondering whether I would make gingerbread. And I got homesick and wound up making a 15-hour drive to visit for a weekend in December. So, when I was there, I made gingerbread.

But the question was: what type of structure to make?

I talked it out at the breakfast table.

I’d already made a regular house, several churches, a carousel, and a couple of tipis. What to do this year? Something history-related, in honor of my museum? A log house? A sod house?

Ha ha. How about an outhouse?

“That’s what I thought about last night!” my mom exclaimed.

That did it! When great minds think alike …

There was enough dough for each of us to do our own gingerbread outhouse.

Here is my mom working on assembling her gingerbread outhouse.

Here is my mom working on assembling her gingerbread outhouse.

Here we are with our completed outhouses.

Here we are with our completed outhouses. My mom’s into snowmen, so her outhouse had a cinnamon doughnut hole snowman in the yard.

Here's my outhouse. The sign and the slightly perturbed-looking gingerbread man with the roll of mint gum TP were my favorite touches. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to make a gingerbread pit stop fro Santa. After all, that's a looong night of delivering presents he tackles.

Here’s my outhouse. The sign and the slightly perturbed-looking gingerbread man with the roll of mint gum TP were my favorite touches. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to make a gingerbread pit stop for Santa. After all, that’s a looong night of delivering presents. And he’s getting up in years – maybe he has hypertension and has to take diuretic pills . . .

But the story of my gingerbread outhouse does not end with the traditional “eating of the structure.” Oh no. There is more to the story this year, after the structure was safely transported back to my house.

I am glad I covered the roof of the structure in marshmallows.

But the marshmallows caused a worry.

My previous kitty, Weasel, loved marshmallows, and I had to hide things like Rice Krispy treats so she couldn’t eat them. I had no idea how my two new hellraisers – Vito and Nyeusi – would deal with my gingerbread treat.

These sibling kitties are quite young and VERY energetic. We did not even bother putting up a Christmas tree this year, as we knew it would be knocked down in a heartbeat.

These sibling kitties are quite young and VERY energetic. We did not even bother putting up a Christmas tree this year, as we knew it would be knocked down in a heartbeat.

So, I hid the gingerbread outhouse in the only cat-proof place that was big enough: my oven.

“Don’t forget about it when you go to preheat the oven,” my mom warned.

“I won’t. I have the oven racks sitting out on the countertop to remind me,” I said.

A few days later . . . great excitement, as the Christmas present from my sisters arrived on the doorstep. Lou Malnati’s pizza!!! (If you are not a Chicago expat, you will not understand the incredible feeling of having a box of frozen Lou’s pies show up at your house.)

As soon as I brought the package inside, I rushed over to the oven and set the temperature to 425 degrees . . .

“Do you smell something burning?” Bugman asked. “Did you forget to take the wrapping off of the pizza?”

OHMYGOSHTHEGINGERBREAD!

I flew to the oven, yanked open the door, and rescued the outhouse.

The gingerbread was actually not much worse for the wear, though a bit on the dry side, perhaps, and a few of the candy corn decorations had melted and dripped. (The burning smell was the tape I’d used to secure tinfoil to the cardboard platform on which the outhouse sat.) As a bonus, the coconut snow in the font yard was now toasted and – this is the best part – the top of the marshmallow roof was toasted an even golden brown, jut the way I like my marshmallows toasted!

IMG_1420

I posted this image full size so you can click to view the damage in closer detail if you wish.

A view of the back side of the toasted outhouse, with gingerbread cats.

A view of the back side of the toasted outhouse, with gingerbread cats.

Bugman was laughing and laughing over this incident. He took photos on his cell phone and wanted to post them to Facebook right away so my mom could see them. I made him wait, so I could write this blog post.

What do you think of the toasted marshmallow roof, mom?

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2013 6:27 am

    Katie, You never fail to delight and astonish me. Such creativity and talent in one eight-lb brain! Barb

  2. suemommy permalink
    January 3, 2013 7:00 am

    Honey, I LOVE it! Now the lawn looks like dead grass peeking through the melting snow….how realistic!

  3. Suzie permalink
    January 3, 2013 12:21 pm

    Love it!

  4. Maggie permalink
    January 4, 2013 1:28 pm

    I’m impressed with how well your outhouse held up to the oven preheating! Also, are those supposed to be eyes on the side with the tree, or is that just decoration coincidence? It looks as though the outhouse is staring out at the world…

    Maybe the slight melting will prevent your new kitties from removing and playing with pieces of the outhouse.

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