Halloween Security

“An’ it’s the scariest night of the year,” declared Jabberwocky, “An’ we need security to scare away all those frightenin’ ghosts and goblins!”

Yes, ‘tis.  And, to that end, we had employed the most frightening security available—oh, alright, it was cheap and available, what more do you want?

So far it’s working.  We’ve only had one butterfly, a large royal queen in a fur, and one little princess appear at our door.

Here is our reason for feeling so secure:

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Yes!  The GIANT PUMPKIN POODLE!  Enough to frighten off any prospective ghoul or ghost!

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Security never rests as long as we are in potential danger, that’s for sure. 

Well………maybe it’s not for sure………..

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Finishing touches!

Let your creations of Gingerbread houses dry overnight so all the frosting is set.  Then, wrap them up in cellophane, tie with a ribbon, and place in a gift bag if you wish.

Wrapped up and ready for display:

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And they fit right in a gift bag….

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Gingerbread House Party

“And Cupcake’s birthday, too!”

Yes, was!  Had a great time today with some of the Y-Knots decorating gingerbread birdhouses/  And the birthday celebration for Cupcake.

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This is what they began with (above)…….

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Cupcake received her birthday basket from the group.

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She seemed pleased!

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The workers have begun the process—it got very quiet for a while as they concentrated on decorating the birdhouses.

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So cheerful and pretty!

But there are more to do!

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Happy Halloween

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On our Saturday travels, we spied this red-neck display for Halloween!  Pretty funny, actually………….

 

Wherein Declarations are Declared!

“Whereas neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor hail nor dark of night nor impending holidays shall prevent us from our ‘pointed rounds,” began Jabberwocky, “so it was that you and the Brigade headed out on a Friday morning to go to sales, didn’ you all?”

“There!  There is one declaration!” finished Jabber, rather proud of herself.

Hmmmmmm, yes.  Guilty.  Even though the season has changed dramatically in the last couple days……..

“Yes, has,” Jabberwocky commented, “’Cause of the fragrant aroma of gingerbread and spray paint in the air…….”

Ahhh, yes! ‘Tis true! Things are beginning to bake and finalized plans are about to be made…………

“Do they know?”

Well, I’m certain the Y-Knots and the Brocanting Brigade know, yes, along with others who are friends and acquaintances, not to mention TMWL. (“Yes, let’s not mention him.” interjected Jabber “and let’s not mention Security, either.  There.  There is declaration number two!”)

Just this morning the Brigade swarmed a sale where half the items were Christmas items and Me, Myself and I almost went into a swoon. Thumper and Sosew along with Girlfriend and Vanna held me up while I continued to select choice items.

“You are zaggerating!” commented Jabberwocky.

Oh alright, to be more accurate, they held up items for me to see and purchase!  Then they purchased some of their own.  Let’s just say that Sosew will not need any new shoes for…ummmm…decades.  It was a Great Sale!

  (“An’ so you declared some stuff, too.  Good.  I like to ensure we live up to the topic of the post, you know.” finished Jabberwocky who is a bit too particular if you ask me. 

“Nobody did!” finished Jabber as she rather indignantly sauntered off.)

So, ‘course, I have to show some of the treasures to you!

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     And more!

I am remiss……..

One of the funnest things for me to do is read blogs.  To that end, I have a friend who is an artist in Long Beach, CA, and blogs.  I have not checked her blog for a while, so today I did.  Guess what?  She put up a post just for me!  And I am very late to go see it!  Thank you Annie!

You must take a look at it!  And, then, of course, you must go look at her beautiful artwork, one piece of which I am eagerly awaiting to be delivered to my house!  Yes! 

http://anniestromquist.blogspot.com/2012/08/marilyn-here-is-one-for-you.html

And here is her artwork website—she is very creative and talented, of course!

http://www.anniestromquist.com/

Do enjoy!

Assembling your Gingerbread structure

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Cut out, chilled, and ready to bake (above).

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Just out of the oven (front and back pieces).

Ready to assemble:

You will need to make your frosting recipe (I buy a can of Wilton’s Meringue Powder and make the Royal Frosting recipe which is enclosed in the product) first and have a piece of Styrofoam on which to construct your gingerbread structure.  In addition, it is very helpful to have a piping bag and tip, some kitchen towels, plastic wrap, a spatula or two  and some small containers to hold up the sides of your structure as you put it together.

For decorating the structure, you will need assorted candy and perhaps other edible items such as pretzels, cookies, cereal or any other items which you may want to use.  Decorate only after you are certain your structure is secure!  (This may be the next day.)

1.  Make the frosting as directed for Royal Frosting in the powdered meringue instructions.  As soon as it is ready to use, fill a frosting bag (use whatever type you like) fitted with a medium tip (again, whatever tip you desire to work with–I find medium is best), twist the top of the bag and wrap the entire filled frosting bag with a damp washcloth.  You may use a small metal spatula to put on the frosting, but I find the work not quite as neat as piping it on.   Cover your
remaining frosting with plastic wrap and over that place a damp dish towel or two.  This will prevent it from hardening as you work with your structure.  (Do not use WET towels or your frosting will begin to melt.)

2.  Take your structure pieces and put in the glass windows.  Where there are window openings, pipe frosting around the openings on the back side (inside) of the gingerbread and place a window to each.

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3.  Let these windows dry until the frosting is completely hardened which may take a half hour to several hours.  If you find that the frosting is not hardening quickly, then wrap up your frosting bag very securely in damp dish towels and
again cover with plastic wrap.  Secure the bowl with frosting with additional damp dish towels and secure with a rubber band around the edge.  You may place them in the refrigerator for several hours and they will still be useable.

4.  Pipe frosting at the bottom and up one side edge of the front piece and place on the Styrofoam.  Use anything handy to hold the piece upright and in place.  (This could be salt and pepper shakers or metal spice containers or whatever will
hold it in place).

5.  Take one side, pipe frosting at the bottom and up one side which will attach to the front.  Place it on the Styrofoam at a right angle and hold in place or secure in place.

6.  Observe how you secured the front to the side.  You will need to make sure the other side and back line up with them.  Before you frost and place the other two sides, hold them in place.  If you need to trim, you may do so
now.  Use a very sharp knife and carefully whittle to the desired size.  Do not try to cut as you will break your piece.

7.  Repeat step 4 and 5 with the back and last side piece.  Hold and secure as you did with the other pieces.  They should stand on their own.  If you see openings where the sides meet, you might want to run some frosting inside to secure and close up any gaps.  Frosting is a wonderful way to camouflage
any mistakes!  Running additional frosting inside will make your structure more sturdy.

8.  Ideally, you will let these 4 pieces stand and dry for several hours or until the frosting is completely hardened.

9.  Hold the two roof pieces in place.  Do they fit?  If they need to be whittled, now is the time to do that.

10.  Run frosting up the two sides to the front and along the top of the front piece of the roof.  Place the roof in place and secure however you can to hold it in place.
Generally, it will just adhere without additional support.

11.  Recheck the final roof piece to make sure it will fit.  Now, pipe frosting along the sides, top of the back piece and the edge of the roof piece that meets at the top.

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12.  Place and secure.  Let dry several hours before you decorate.

Decorate as you wish!  There are many ideas online or come up with your own ideas.

Have fun.  As you gain experience working with gingerbread, it will become easier.

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Above gingerbread pieces decorated by Granddaughter last year.

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