Monday, 26 November 2012

Buying gingerbread real estate

gingerbread house, Christmas, craft, craft with children, Christmas crafts, Christmas crafts with children, decorate, Christmas decorations, gingerbread
Last year's house
in case you missed it
in the previous post
In my first post here, I proudly showcased the decorated gingerbread house from last year. With Z1 a whole year older, wiser and more dextrous, this year's is bound to be even better...but first I had to find it.

Last year I picked it up with glee and anticipation on a bit of a whim from the Shoppers Drug Mart (rather like Boots, UK readers) that is mere yards from my office. This year, I watched the Christmas stock arrive with dismay as no gingerbread houses appeared on the shelves. I began to hunt elsewhere (and by "elsewhere", I mean the internet, of course).

I found some on Amazon but encountered the bothersome bother that one can often encounter with when you are not in the US (or, with, if you are not in the UK): these items could not be shipped to me here in Canada.

I found others which looked perfect until I saw that, for the prices they were asking, I would want something rather more substantial than a whimsical bit of edible nonsense. I did think I was prepared to spend a bit more than last year to have one that was truly tasty (Last year's one, if the truth be told, was one of those things that I would take a chunk of in the evening if I had exhausted all other sweet options in the house) but I thought wrong. While the $73.64 price tag I saw on one kit is clearly ludicrous (even if it is pre-assembled), when push came to shove, even the $30 for one from here, which would be guaranteed to be delicious and comes in a lovely tin, proved too much for me and I was left wondering if, this year, I'd be gingerbreadhouseless. As you can imagine, particularly in light of my paper house metropolis that never was,  this was sorely disappointing to me (It would appear that I love me some miniature house action - this blogging lark is teaching me a lot about myself).

gingebread house, christmas, christmas crafts, crafting, craft for children, decorating, decorations
The kit - boxed up and ready to go
However, my dear readers, my spirits were lifted, my urge to acquire miniature properties appeased, when, on the same day I shook my head sadly at the lack of gingerbread house availability, I found myself in Shoppers Drug Mart stocking up on body lotion and sundries and saw that the gingerbread house kits had arrived. Hurrah!

Credit where credit is due: the kit is made by Create a Treat and cost me $9.99 (CA). I saw the same one on for $25.94. So there.

Also possibly of interest:
  •  Gingerbread house construction and decoration is currently planned for the 9th of December, blogging will occur soon after. (The numbers in the list there in the right hand sidebar correspond to dates in December, clever, eh?)
  • You can buy a pre-assembled, pre-decorated gingerbread mansion for $368.50
  • Though tempted, I avoided saying in this post that I'd want a real house for some of the prices they were charging for the gingerbread ones 'cause, while nearly $75 does seem expensive for a house of confectionery, it would be extremely cheap for a real dwelling place. Clearly. Even the massively extravagant $368.50 would be a pathetic sum with which to attempt to buy a real house.
  • If you're in Toronto, Sweet Flour Bake Shop (of the $30 kits) is well worth going to - you can pick your cookie dough and what you want in it (chocolate chips, obviously, but they have other options) and they bake it there for you on the spot. Really delicious. I came across it by chance while at the Ukrainian festival along that part of Bloor in September.


  1. Looking forward to seeing the finished product(s)

    1. Thanks Fiona! I am sure they will be worth the wait!

  2. Looking forward to seeing the finished house! I'm tempted to do one from scratch this year (very unlikely to happen but am at the stage of imagining building an eco gingerbread house!).

    1. Gingerbread requires molasses, I think, doesn't it? This keeps stopping me from making it though the thought of gingerbread stars and gingerbread men may convert me yet. Also, "fancy molasses" - I'd like to buy something with "fancy" in the name so if that's the right kind of molasses, that would be good!

    2. P.S. I'd love to see a picture if you do make one

  3. We have a vague plan of making one from scratch this year. We did it once before though I seem to remember issues with the pieces spreading in the oven, then not fitting together very well. Happily that is a problem that can be overcome with lots and lots of icing!

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