Do you remember making these (back in the day), with graham crackers, milk cartons, candy and edible glue (frosting) to hold everything together? We'll, our little houses are just as fun and yummy!
The preparation began several weeks ago when I gathered some precut gingerbread houses from a lovely lady at our church who cuts thousands....yes, THOUSANDS of these, every year for a local gingerbread house charitable event. I asked her to save me some for my special group at church, and she did! I went to her house to pick up precisely prepped graham crackers, precut foam blocks (for the inside) and a couple gallons of gooey white frosting!
Then I gathered up all kinds of candy, pretzels and other house decor-worthy goodies, loaded up the car, and headed to church. Naturally, it was the first snowy morning of the winter. But neither rain nor sleet, nor scary weatherman warnings, can keep a group of eager women away from their appointed gingerbread house assembly!
I volunteer in a women's ministry that meets with a group of Spanish speaking ladies every month. These ladies attend their children's elementary school (where our church has a partnership) every morning for their own English class. We get together monthly to hang out. We eat and chat and do projects, giving them an encouraging place to practice their language skills. And some of us reckless souls practice our (sometimes hilarious) Spanish skills!
After our excellent church lady lunch (the spaghetti casserole was a huge hit) we got to work on house construction. I showed the ladies how to glue their 4 walls and roof together, then the real fun began! Every year they amaze me with their creativity, using candy in ways I would never envision!
My good friend Connie (an excellent Spanish speaker) is standing behind, because she is craft-challenged! I promised her she would NOT have to make her own house.
Young Alvaro joined us, and he and his Mom have their finished little houses (cassitas) packed and ready for the short trip home. Alvaro LOVED this activity. He also speaks perfect English, so was a helpful translator.
Here is the whole happy gang, proudly showing off our tasty little gingerbread community. I'm on back row, far left in the green shirt. Yes, I made a house, but it wasn't a creative masterpiece.
BTW - just in case you're wondering - here is the Spanish translation for "gingerbread houses".
Casitas (small houses) de galletas (cookies) de jengibre (ginger).
In the midst of our busy Christmas preparations, this time together was a real blessing for all. We ended our time with lots of hugs and familiar greetings...Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!