Baking and house building – 28 January 2021

We thought it might be a good idea to go out early for our walk, and it was.

We walked down round the path to Broadwood and, after some discussion, went round the boardwalk. At first there seemed to be no birds on the water at all. Then I spotted what looked to be a grey heron, but a small, scraggy one. It was standing on the ice that still coats Broadwood looking very sorry for itself. I took a few photos, expecting it to fly off immediately it saw me, but instead it decided that it too wanted to go on a walk and disappeared round the corner, on foot (or on claw). I’m thinking now it might have been a young or perhaps sickly bird. Must check the next time we’re down that way.

We walked round one of our normal routes, noting the speed at which the new Covid testing station had been built in the carpark of Broadwood Stadium. It shows what can be done if the need arises.

Back home and after lunch the weather closed in even more. That fine smirr of the morning was now a drizzle and heading to full tilt rain. I decided the grey heron photo from the morning would be PoD. Scamp decided it was time we started making the Gingerbread House. That is, it was time I started making the Gingerbread House. She was simply the overseer, the ‘Gaffer’ and I was the labourer. I know my place. Bear in mind that this project started out as hers, then became a joint effort and now it was all mine. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I know, I’ve been there before. Apron on, time to get started.

Melted the butter over a low gas and added the sugar, then transferred the dank brown sludge to a big bowl and after letting it cool a bit, added the flour then kneaded it into a soft(ish) ball of dough. Chopped it in two and rolled out each piece and placed two templates on top and cut round the rectangle (Roof/Wall) and the triangle (End Wall). Did the same with the other piece of dough. Crushed up some sweets and poured the resulting scraps into the window holes of the Roof/Wall. We should have made a video of me smashing a poly bag of sweets with a claw hammer. Really funny, really satisfying! Scamp cut out two ‘adorable’ gingerbread people from the leftover dough, two Christmas trees and two candy canes, all using templates she’d prepared earlier. Baked the lot in the oven for about 15mins and surprise, surprise they actually looked like they’d work!

We let the gingerbread and our tempers cool while I made Carrot & Lentil Curry with Flatbread for dinner. Curry was good. Flatbread was exceptional.

Assembly was the bit that worried me, but the glue we made with beaten egg white and icing sugar was fantastic, if a bit messy, especially when a bit of back pressure on the piping bag allowed some of the mixture to escape back up the bag and onto the carpet (oops!). Actually, the assembly was a dawdle. I was expecting some of the disasters you see on GBBO, but it just worked. That’s what happens when two professionals follow the instructions. Decoration was a bit clumsy, I admit I have to work on that, but the overall effect was ok and much improved by Scamp’s careful placing of the Smarties, althought I do believe she sampled a few. Thank you JIC for an imaginative Christmas present. We both had a good laugh.

Now the Grey Heron photo got PoD, but I’ve made the corporate decision to use the Gingerbread House as the lead on the blog.

It’s really raining now, teeming down, but the weather fairies say it will dry up by tomorrow morning, so we might get out a walk. If not, we’ve a cake to eat.

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