My mom always told me that when I grew up I'd make my kids do all the same things that I was made to do when I was a kid because I'd look back on those things and have fond memories. She wasn't wrong.

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There are seven kids in my family and we were always everywhere and into everything.  So, while the adults cooked Thanksgiving dinner, we were given a task. We had to sit and make gingerbread houses. The first year it was fun. And then someone had the idea that we should judge houses. We are a competitive bunch. All of us. Literally, there's not one of us who doesn't want to win at everything, even at gingerbread house making. So you can imagine how things went down when it came time to build our houses.

One thing that we learned pretty quickly was that no matter what anyone may say, frosting does NOT hold together gingerbread houses, especially ones that are top-heavy with candy. If you're thinking of making gingerbread houses with your kids, tuck this little nugget into the back of your mind: go with a glue gun. Always. It'll save a lot of tears later on when the whole thing starts to cave in because the frosting gives way.

Now that I'm a mom, I've brought the Thanksgiving gingerbread house-making tradition to our home and while it makes an awful mess, it's also so fun and I hope that my son will carry on the tradition one day. Now that I'm an adult, I cringe when I think back on how we actually used to eat the houses we made. So much sugar and the crackers would get so stale because it would take us what felt like (yet in reality wasn't) weeks to eat our houses.

Have you heard what the "new gingerbread house" trend is? It's something called "Charcuterie Chalets" and I'm intrigued. I don't think that I'd have the patience to make one of these with my five-year-old, but it looks much more appetizing to me than the old school gingerbread houses although the part of me that doesn't want to eat anything made by hands that are not completely clean cringes a little especially because dairy is involved.

Charcuterie Chalets (charcuterie is pronounced "shaar·koo·ta·ree) are adorable chalets are made with things like salami for shingles, rosemary for evergreen trees, snowmen made of cheese, even pretzel rods, mini breadsticks, or meat logs are used to give the structure a cabin-like feel. The possibilities are endless and this is a 2020 food trend that actually looks and sounds delicious. But please, clean hands.  Nobody wants dirty fingers massaging the cheese they're about to eat.

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