Joanne Seelig: My name is Joanne Seelig and I am the Family Programs Coordinator at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.
I am here to show you how to build and decorate a gingerbread house. If you would like to make your own icing at home as opposed to buying it commercially, all you need is two egg whites, some cream of tartar and a pound of confectioner's sugar.
The first thing I am going to do is crack out the egg and separate the egg yolk. What I do is pass the yolk back and forth, so that the white drips out. And I am ready for the confectioner's sugar. Just going to dump it all in.
And last but not least a half teaspoon of the cream of tartar. Once all of your ingredients are in the bowl I would suggest using an electric heater to mix it up all together.
You are going to continue to beat these ingredients for 7 minutes. And seven minutes later you have your royal icing. You can make your own gingerbread if you want. I would recommend making four sheets of it and you will want to have a triangle and a rectangle that you can cut out each one two times for all of the pieces to put your gingerbread house together.
I would also suggest grabbing a cardboard base or you can use a tray, but this is important because it's going to serve as the floor to your house. The first thing to do is to put your base down. Remember, this is going to serve as the floor of your house.
The first thing I am going to do is I am actually going to put a strip of icing on the side of my triangle. This real icing is going to serve as my glue. I am going to put the triangle on the long side of the base. And then I am going to lean my rectangle piece of gingerbread along it and glue it together with my royal icing.
Take some soda canes and I actually put it inside the house to lean against the wall, so that I am able to glue on another triangle. Last, but not least, we have got to put the last rectangle on by adding a little bit of our icing on to each side of the triangle and then we have got our house.
Now don't be discouraged that there is a little bit of an opening in your house, you can cover them up with icing or you may wish later to put some materials on top, like a piece of candy on your roof.
Well, now that your house I built, it's time to be creative and artistic and figure out how do you want to design your house, what do you want it to look like. Use the design process and really think about how you want your house to look. I love patterns, so maybe I am going to make a pattern, all of these ingredients can be anything that you want to be. So, really use your imagination.
Once you are done, take a good look at your house. If you are done, give yourself a pat on the back. Good Job! You have completed your very own gingerbread house.