On Wednesday night, at a Christmas festival of carols, Sweetpea's Kindergarten teacher asked me if I'd like to bake up a bunch of gingerbread men. I'd never actually done it before, but it sounded like fun, so I agreed.
On Thursday I spent some time searching for an egg-free gingerbread recipe (a quick search, thanks to allrecipes.com) and then Thursday night I attempted to make them. That's when I learned that dough temperature can be a very tricky thing. The first batch I attempted to roll our was crumbly and difficult to work with. I eventually managed to make a batch of very, very bumpy, very thick gingerbread men while muttering and swearing "never again". While that was baking, I rolled out some more dough. You guys, it rolled out so smooth and beautiful! I was full of joy and wondered why I didn't do this every week! Into the oven it went and it was time to finish up the dough...which by now was too warm and stuck to everything, despite my liberal application of flour. I privately think of them as my "Goldilocks Gingerbread": too hot, too cold, just right.
Anyway, in the bright light of morning they didn't look too bad!
And guess what? Kindergarten kids are awesome food critics! They were all super excited, even by the bumpy ones! So good for the fragile baker's ego these kids are! (I'm sorry, I totally Yodaed that sentence, but I like it that way!)
Armed with icing both homemade and store bought, sprinkles and this GREAT book:
I set off for a fun day at Kindergarten! I timed my arrival for the morning recess so I could set up and talk to the teacher. She had already read the traditional "Gingerbread Boy" to them, so I read them the Gingerbread Girl and we talked a bit about the differences. Predictably, the girls favoured the Gingerbread Girl! Then out came the cookies! Boy did those kids have a ton of fun! There were minimalist cookies, there were cute cookies, there were sweet cookies, and then there were the kids that took the "more is better" approach:
Love that!! I also noted that the 2 kids that took this approach also took their amazing creations home "for dad". Sorry Dads!
I had put my icing in snack bags that we could then cut the tip off for decorating. This is usually a great tip, but in the time between making the icing and using it the icing got really, really runny. Something to do with the classroom temperature or the baggies, because the small bit of icing I had left in the bowl when I ran out that morning was GREAT when I got home. Wierd. So we'll stick with the store bought tubes in future I think.
After everyone in the class had decorated a cookie I had exactly enough left over to wander down the hall and give the leftovers to the Princess' class. Since I hadn't counted, just filled the container, I was pleasantly surprised at how well that worked out!
We continued the day with gingerbread colouring and craft activities and as well as some spelling and more reading. It was a ton of fun--but exhausting! Once I got home and sat down I fell asleep! I'm going to have to do a better job of remembering my vitamins before I go back! I've always loved teachers, but now I admire them even more!