I am the luckiest person to have such wonderful Godfathers who spend their summers and Christmases at the farm with me. Of course it is their company that I love, but it doesn't hurt that Ente is a great cook and Frans is a wizard of a baker. I have never managed to bake anything, and least of all make a decent gingerbread house, so this year it was a joy to learn from the best how it is really done. Ever since 1995 when it was published, Frans has followed the recipe from Anna & Fanny Bergenströms beautiful book "Winters good things" and so too this year.
Making the gingerbread house takes three days. On day one the dough is made, and sleeps over night in the fridge. Then it is form-cutting and baking day, when all the pieces of the house are made. They are left to rest over night to dry out a bit, because immediately after they come out of the oven they still have a knack for crumbling.
The next day Frans attached the windows made by gelatine leaves to the back of the gingerbread, before decorating the front of the pieces with icing.
Next up is melting the sugar and glueing all the pieces together. This is probably the hardest part as the gingerbread pieces are so big they easily break. Happily Frans is an old hand at artisan bakery, and all went smoothly.
And finally there is adding the little touches to the house by putting moss and cotton wool around the house, lights and a Father Christmas inside it, and sweet details such as the little broomstick in the corner and boots on the doormat outside. Then it is placed in the hallway at Stensund, on the old cast iron stove. Not to worry though, the weather has turned mild and we won't be having any fires in the stove this holiday!
Merry Christmas to you all!!