The Christmas Gingerbread Train and Christmas, Birthday and Launch Cakes

I like to think that I rarely let things beat me, like assembly instructions on flat pack furniture, on toys or in recipes. I’ve survived the creation of about 30 Women’s Weekly Birthday Cakes, many Book Launch Cakes for myself and friends and cakes for the special birthdays of many family members and friends.

There have also been Christmas Cakes, home-made chocolates, gingerbread houses and chocolate Christmas houses complete with snow – maybe not perfect, but visually acceptable and appreciated by the receiver.

However, I decided this year to vary things a little and purchased a gingerbread steam train kit and set to work early Sunday morning. Things did not begin well. Icing got stuck in the icing nozzle and was so stiff it was like a lump of concrete in the piping bag, the only plus being that my arms received some exercise in trying to get the icing out.

What followed was 2 hours of sheer frustration. The sides of the train would not join or stand up straight, the meant-to-be-icing train tracks were substituted with Kit-Kats, and the Smarties were attached with blobs of the thick, sticky icing – not really the way it was meant to look.

I declared it as an unmitigated disaster, but somehow when I presented it to my 2 year old grandson yesterday, the joy on his face was so reminiscent of when I made the Women’s Weekly train for my son’s second birthday, 31 1/2 years ago and reminded me that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and perfection is not what matters . . .

and little fingers and taste buds found their way in.

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