Saturday, December 22, 2007

How NOT to make Gingerbread

Decide to make gingerbread on the spur of the moment because it's Saturday afternoon, three days before Christmas, pretty much every thing's done, except stuff that you don't currently feel like doing anyway, and it's pouring rain. [ wonderful, wonderful rain ]

Receive a reminder about the rain approximately every thirty-two point five seconds from four sodden and very vocal goats who have spent the day watching their paddock ooze slowly down the hill into the dam, while trying to keep their feet dry.

Goats really, really, really hate getting wet - really, and get very upset if they're cut off from the goat house by the rising tide.

Decide to overlook the fact that the aforesaid rain is going to reduce any nascent inclination that one might have entertained to do a shopping run into town for the actual, correct ingredients, with the attendant fun of battling all those people doing the ritual 'OMGIT'STHELASTSATURDAYBEFORECHRISTMAS WHATAMIGOINGTODO shopping. Anyway, the creek was already well up and over the road when I came in last night, so I'd have to go the long way round because it can only be higher after all the rain ... so there! It's decided. Another good reason to stay in!!

Choose an American recipe despite knowing full well that American measures and Oz ones are not even remotely the same.

Assemble what we will laughingly refer to as 'the ingredient list', discovering in the process that you have no brown sugar [ that's okay, ordinary raw sugar will do, won't it?] and try to remember whether 'All Purpose Flour' is American for Plain or Self-Raising. Decide that as there's no raising agent listed in the recipe that it must mean Self Raising. Does that look like 5 cups in there ?? No? Well, it'll have to be Plain Flour then [ which, it transpires later, is what I should've been using all along ]

As one has already thrown common sense and caution to the winds with the whole ' no brown sugar' thing, and you know that your measuring cups and spoons aren't those pesky U.S. ones, decide that BY EYE measuring will do just fine.

Do the melting of the sugar, molasses [ which you DO have if only because of buying it for Rosie the goat, who hated it ] spices and margarine and then dump in about three of five cups of flour before you discover that you have no more self-raising and it's going to have to be plain anyway. David helpfully dumps in the last of the plain flour... considerably more than the more-or-less two cups still needed but that's ok because most of it lands on the bench - which is fine, we'll need that later for rolling out.
MAKE NOTE TO SELF: Buy more flour - both kinds.

Decide to use the 6" fancy schmancy gingerbread mould shaped like a quilted heart that Evelyn gave me. Guess how much dough it will take to fill it evenly to the edges... ERR ...Guess again. Why ruin the spirit of adventure at this late stage? After all, the cooking instructions helpfully tell you to bake for 10 - 30 minutes [!!?!!] depending on size and thickness, so why not have a wide variety of thicknesses to experiment with, right? and what's 300F in celcius again?

Guess temperature and baking time - after all why depart from a method that has worked for you thus far? [ for the record, my guess of 150F was only 1.1 degrees out. ]
Demolish first two finished cookies with David's help. ANOTHER NOTE TO SELF: too floury, needs more ginger but otherwise ok. Maybe a bit longer in the oven too?

Add more ginger to the remaining mix. Make half-hearted attempt to mix it through evenly.
Go to roll out remaining mix for small cookies. Discover that you can't find the rolling pin then remember it's outside with the dyeing supplies [ don't ask ] so use the side of the spray can of cooking oil instead.

David uses remaining mix to make gingerbread men and Christmas trees ... which actually turned out quite edible albeit perhaps a little bit rock-like.

Discover that the House Elves have been reading altogether too much J.K.Rowling and have gone on strike... Lazy little sods. Write a blog post about the experience to postpone having to deal with the clean-up.


Quilting Diva said...

Seems weird to see Saturday posted when it's still Friday here. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Ours is white but not terribly cold, it's only -7c, you don't even need a hat or gloves at that weather.

Mandie said...

The Gingerbread look great - David's t-shirt is even better ;-p
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Susan

crazyhaberdasher / knittingbee said...

Looked up all purpose flour and it is plain flour. Remember the p (purpose) is p for plain.

Bells said...

oh too funny. Sorry. It's not unlike my own gingerbread experience a week or so ago, but I binned mine, so you did well! LOVE those heart shapes!

Rose Red said...

It's times like this that I'm glad I have a corner store! Love the quilted heart gingerbread! At least it looks like you both had fun!!

Sheepish Annie said...

Me 'n the gingerbread have never had an easy relationship. I gave up long ago and salute anyone who attempts it!

I looooove David's shirt!

picperfic said...

oh those hearts moulds look so pretty...sounds like you all had fun but where did they go at the end? Naughty lot!

Alwen said...

I love gingerbread, looks yummy.

Mia said...

oh yeah, the rain. It. Does. Not. Stop. And looking at those coookies are making me hungry!

TinkingBell said...

Merry Christmas - have a wonderful New year - and the gingerbread is all about the process - not the end product (PS there's a great gingerbread recipe on the Playchool site!!)

mehitabel said...

Hmm, as nice as those look, I AM NOT making gingerbread this year! We are going to have our hands full just with the regular baking. I hear you on the conversions from US to Australian measurements: my favorite Pavlova recipe came from my Hawkesbury friend, and I always have to wing it since I have no idea how much a "dessert spoon" holds! (Her dessert spoons were bigger than my soup spoons!)