Friday, November 2, 2007

Something to do with all that candy!

Everybody I've talked to recently seems to have waaaay too much candy from Halloween, so I thought I'd share this flylady email about something to do with it (besides eat it or throw it away).

A "Bright Idea" from the House Fairy.

A POST HALLOWEEN PROJECT

I delighted in the piece that Connie Bennett wrote: Tips to Tame Your
Sugar-Shocked Little Monsters & Prepare Your Kids for the
Sugar-Focused Night Ahead, but it made me think 'what about the days
after?' and I just had to add something to Connie's great ideas. I
wanted to get my idea out to you before you go sneaking into your
kids' Halloween lute while they're at school today! Don't do it.
Just say "NO." I know you have such a great opportunity of getting
your favorite candies and while there's so much to choose from, one or
two or three pieces won't be missed. Just remember that Halloween
candy is old by the time ghosts and goblins get it! It was probably
made last year. If you are going to enjoy candy have a good piece for
heaven's sake. Enough lecture, here's my idea.

I came up with it last year while I was in Boston at our daughter's
home. It was mid-November and after a couple of days, I was privy to
a large plastic grocery bag on the top shelf in the kitchen. It was
full of trick-or-treat candy; a collective stash left over from three
little goblins who'd obviously cleaned out the neighborhood on
Halloween. Our daughter, Kristi is very strict when it comes to the
children's intake of sugar and each day the kids were allowed one
"sweet." At that rate, I calculated they'd just about finish the bag
on their way out the door to go to college. Then it hit me!

A Christmas art project! We could use the candy to decorate a
gingerbread house, only without the gingerbread! With Kristi's
permission, I gathered the kids ages four, seven and nine, around the
island in the kitchen and I dumped the sack of "sweets" into a pile
about the size of an extra-heavy load of wash and I instructed the
children to separate the candies into categories: suckers, M & Ms,
Tootsie Rolls, Red Vines, Whoppers, Skittles, Sweet Tarts and Goodness
knows all the other offerings. The separation process took a very
pleasant hour and we packed away each kind in separate Zip-lock bags.

After the kids went to bed, I made a house foundation using duct tape
and a cardboard box. I used a long skinny box to make a chimney on
the outside of the house.* Then I went on the internet and got a
recipe for gingerbread house frosting, the kind that dries into
something resembling sheetrock. Here is that recipe.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE FROSTING

3 egg whites, room temp.
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Combine all ingredients and beat for 7 to 10 minutes. Spread as desired.

The next day we prepared for the project. I made the frosting and
separated it into three bowls, and then I took myself into the next
room and had this talk with me.

"Okay, House Fairy, listen up, this is a KID project and you need to
keep your ADULT hands out of it. Let the kids decorate the house.
You can give them little suggestions, but you keep out of it! Don't
ruin their fun with your perfectionism. And one more thing, this IS
going to get messy. So be it! Put aprons on them and let them go!"

I totally agreed with myself and promised no matter how hard it was
going to be for me, I would let them do it THEIR way. They had the
most wonderful time. They assigned each other to parts of the house.
While one worked on the roof, another worked on the chimney and
another worked on siding. Kristi recently told me the house is still
in good shape after a year in storage!

I have pictures of the project so you can get a better idea of what
the trick-or-treat gingerbread house looks like. Just go to:

http://www.housefai ry.org

then click on Best Rooms and then go to

Bright Ideas and then

click on Building a Gingerbread House (

when you click on each picture you'll learn more).

This candy house is a great, fun way to engage the children in
disposing of all that sugar!

* If you do this project make sure your boxes do not have a wax finish
on them. The long box I used for the chimney did have a very smooth
wax finish and the frosting kept sliding off.

3 comments:

Hules said...

What a great idea. My Mickayla's a saver too... eating 2 pieces a day & saving the rest. I had similar thoughts that it'll take her until February at that rate. It's harder for me this year, because I know I can't eat it for my baby's sake & I know it would just go to extra pregnancy pounds. So, maybe it is time to make a gingerbread house!

kathy said...

or you could just give all the candy to us! :)

Brenda said...

great idea! I think we will do it. I wonder if my kids will protest though. I guess I can say you can eat the candy while you are doing it right? So, I still have Halloween candy from last year in my freezer!