Christmas with Tyrean!

11:23 AM Elizabeth Seckman 22 Comments


This year has been crazy busy. So crazy, and so busy that the holidays started to feel more like a chore than a blessing. And that's just wrong. I had to take a moment and reboot the Merry in Elizabeth Merry (yes, that is my middle name). I wanted a reminder that Christmas is more than just shopping, so I contacted some blog friends and asked them to help me celebrate this season by answering  five quick Christmas questions to help me get this season rolling. Keep stopping by the blog from now until Christmas to see how our fellow blog buddies celebrate the holidays!


1. Favorite Christmas movie? Santa Clause - I love seeing Tim Allen put on Santa's suit every year and get whisked away to the North Pole. 

2. Favorite Christmas song? Joy to the World. I've loved singing it at the top of my lungs since I was a little kid, seconded only by Gloria in excelsis Deo. I'm not saying I sing those songs well, but I do like to sing them loud. :) For softer, nicer songs, I like Silent Night the best, with the lights off and candles lit. And, I like singing Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, too. (I'm kind of a big fan of singing, so I could just go on and on about Christmas songs.)

3. Favorite Christmas tradition? There are so many! My husband, my kids, and I started making gingerbread creations about ten years ago, and we've made some interesting stuff with gluten free gingerbread - a ferris wheel, castles, the Dawn Treader, the tea party scene at Bag End, and a few houses. However, that doesn't mean that these crazy creations make it every year from the idea stage to the picture stage without problem. We've had many structures blown down by the big bad wolf, eaten by dinosaurs, and knocked down by Sauron. We liked our ewok village best - although I think the gummi bear ewoks were a little more war-like that the original Star Wars ewoks. Plans are underway for this year's creation, but I'm not sure how it will turn out yet.

4. Favorite Christmas memory? Another tough question. I love Christmas Eve, singing in candlelight at worship; and I love opening presents around the tree. That last sounds a bit greedy, but I love watching my family members open their gifts. I remember my grandma sitting with her lap loaded with presents, wearing a bright pink pair of ear muffs I had given her and smiling. I'm pretty sure she didn't really like them, but she loved me  and graciously thanked me for my dorky present to her. She knew I just wanted to keep her warm. :)

5. Favorite Christmas cookie recipe? (With recipe) Gingerbread!
I actually use the Betty Crocker recipe with just a switch of flour.

Tyrean's Gluten Free Flour Mix
Equal parts of these two products:
Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo and Fava Bean Flour Mix
and
Bob's Red Mill Sorghum Flour
I mix these together in a giant bin, and then just scoop the flour out when I bake.
(I'm not going to go into why I'm gluten free because I don't want it to be the center-piece of my existence. It just is.)

Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening (we use canola oil)
1 and 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups flour (all purpose or gluten free)
If gluten free, add 2 teaspoons guar gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
1. Beat brown sugar, shortening (or oil), molasses and water in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet lightly.

3. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick on floured surface. Cut with cutter or use pre-made design cut-outs of paper and a sharp knife. (We create our own designs with paper, pencil, a ruler, and scissors beforehand.) Place on cookie sheets. (about 2 inches apart for regular cookies)

4. Bake 10-12 minutes (or 20 if you are creating big shapes), or until no indentation rmeains when touched. Immediately remove from cooke sheat to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Decorate with colored frosting, colored sugar, and candies if desired.
(On decorating: you can decorate gingerbread house pieces before putting them together or after putting them together. It can be tricky either way.)

Gingerbread Glue Icing (for houses and other structures)
This nasty tasting icing is edible, but it is mainly used for making sure that the house stays standing, so just use it on the joints of the house or structure.

1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup egg whites (or comparable egg replacer)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Beat slowly until icing is smooth. Use immediately before it dries. If it dries, add a small amount of water, and re-mix it. 

 Tyrean's award winning gingerbread castle.


The blood-thirsty ewok gummi bear village. The ewoks are hunting gummi worms and roasting them over fires. Tyrean blames this non-conventional ginger bread worm hunt on her children.


Tyrean is a writer, blogger, and mother. 

Always a support and positive spirit, Tyrean is a blog friend I consider a blessing. 

You can find her blog here and her books here.

Thanks for stopping by Tyrean!!
     
Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in!  
1. Christmas is coming and I will be ready!!

2. My boys won their state championship game!! (gratuitous mom brag pictures below...my kids are #s 54 and 75)

3. Boy #3, Carter was named 1st team All-State in football. He's having a good month. 



Game over. Magnolia won 62-0.
Time to relax. 


Our silly seniors may be relaxing too much. 


The little brother with the big brother.
Conner and Carter after the game. 


Bringing the gold home to Magnolia High!


Carter feeling speechless.
Got to love my baby's fashion.
He's in the 2nd row, with the hat.
His style is only topped by the lucky banana's style. 
         



22 comments:

  1. Lots of great Christmas memories and traditions! Hope you have the best Christmas ever!

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  2. I love Tyrean's gingerbread creations. What a lovely tradition! Congrats to your boys on their football successes! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

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    Replies
    1. I love them too. I can't even make a proper gingerbread house with a kit.

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  3. Christmas memories usually are the best!!!. Merry Christmas!!

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  4. Awesome with all the football wins. Great christmas memories and traditions too shared for you while you get things done at your zoo.

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    Replies
    1. It is great to have good friends who will pull through.

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  5. Lovely idea this Liz. I like reading what other people do. I am like Tyrean, I love belting out the songs but can't sing a note. I know most of the words however. I was actually in the school choir. Delighted for your boys' success. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.

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    1. I was in the school choir too, and the church choir. I have always loved singing, and like you...I don't do it well. But singing is very uplifting. You can't think about problems if you're singing!

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  6. Tyrean and her family are so wonderfully adept at the great gingerbread creations! So creative! (I adore gingerbread but am not as ambitious as they are and just buy some. LOL!) Congrats to your team & sons, Elizabeth! What a great way to start the holiday season! Have a lovely weekend! :)

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    1. Thanks Lexa! I'm with you. I am not crafty. If I do one, I buy the kind in a box and glue the candy to it. Never had much luck with frosting, but hot glue works. I mean, no one is ever really going to eat it, are they?

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  7. What an awesome Christmas post! Memories are the best. And I'm impressed with the Gingerbread creations (no matter how good they come out.) Those are hard.

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    Replies
    1. They are hard! I love Christmas. It's just magical.

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  8. Congratulations to your boys!!! That's awesome!!! I love that Ewok gummy village. Very original.

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    1. Isn't that funny? It'd be perfect for this Friday and the Star Wars opening!

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  9. What a huge accomplishment for your boys, Elizabeth!

    Tyrean, I love your tradition. Gingerbread creations are the best!

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  10. Wishing you the best Christmas! And congratulations to the boys :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! And many blessings to your family too.

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  11. Wow! Thanks, Elizabeth! Per usual this month, I was completely clueless until now . . . sorry.
    Thank you for your willingness to let me post. :)

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  12. And,
    A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to your boys and their team!!! Way to go!

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