A couple of years ago at Christmas I made a bunch of gingerbread cookies that were all in the shape of my favourite farm animals. Which would be all farm animals except the rat.
They turned out beautiful and I loved them. They were perfect for me and I was sick of making my usual Gingerbread men wearing a thong. But when I put them out on a plate or even a platter they didn’t look nearly as impressive. Therefore I didn’t look as impressive. Now, when you have everyone over for dinner there are two things you want to accomplish in the small amount of time that people are in your home. 1) You want them to feel at home and welcome. 2) You want them to be insanely jealous of you, your life, your home, your food and how effortless and impressive you are all at the same time. Also it’s nice if one of your guests who lives really far away in a place that doesn’t have mail service accidentally forgets their beautiful scarf at your house.
I put a lot of work into these stupid farm animal cookies that summed up my whole life into 3 delicious bites. I’m traditional but untraditional at the same time, I can cook delicious gingerbread and I’m way more fun than any of you. Without those cookies looking their best I was just another schmo having a Christmas Eve dinner. So 10 minutes before everyone was supposed to show up (they actually showed up an hour after they were supposed to show up which is pretty much the way in my family) I ran downstairs, found a length of 1×4 piece of wood and some trim and made a cookie stand.
I cut two triangles and screwed them into the back of the wood so it would act like a really, really long cookbook stand.
And then I glued a thin piece of trim to the bottom of the front of the board so the cookies would have something to rest on and stand upright.
Depending on how long you make it, it can either run all the way down a dining table or in the corner of a kitchen counter or wherever.
This particular board runs the entire length of my dining room table which is where it’ll be for Christmas Eve when I have everyone here for dinner. And cookies. And snowglobe à la modes.
The angle of your triangles should be somewhere just less than 45 degrees. It doesn’t really matter. As long as your two triangle supports are the same angle and stop your board from falling over, your cookies from falling off, and incite a crowd of people to applaud cookies for the first time in their lives.
This year I went with Gingerbread houses and as you saw a couple of photos ago, a few Gingerbread apartment complexes. Because not everyone lives or wants to live in a house. I made them quickly with the leftover gingerbread dough from making my Snowglobe à la modes.
They’re not my best work but guess what? People will still applaud and give each other knowing glances that they came to the RIGHT house on Christmas Eve, because of the kick ass stand.
Many years ago Martha Stewart told me (O.K. she was on TV so she told everyone) that “You should feel good about making your home nicer for your family and your friends. And if they secretly hate you for it you should feel really, really good about it.”
I might have added that last bit in myself, but we all know it’s what she really meant.
If you’re going to do something, DO IT. Don’t half ass it. Kick ass it. Always.