Constructing a gingerbread house? Award-winning baker Beth M. Veneto shares tips on building the grand design.
1. Royal icing is your glue: Mix three egg whites with one-eighth teaspoon cream of tartar and one pound confectioners’ sugar.
2. To secure walls, make the icing nice and thick (whip until it forms stiff peaks). Thin out the icing with water and use a pastry bag to make shiny icicles.
3. For different colored icing, use gel food coloring instead of the liquid you buy at the grocery store. (The gel has a richer consistency and makes deeper hues.)
4. Gumdrops are a must; nonpareils, M&Ms, and colored sugars are great for trim.
5. Ice cream cones make great Christmas trees, candy canes are good for sleighs, and Neccos make perfect flagstones.
And there you have it: Home seriously sweet home.
Shop, take a tour, and get tips from gingerbread technicians at Ginger Betty’s Bakery, 215 Samoset Avenue, Quincy (617-472-4729 or gingerbettys.com).
Winter Solstice Celebration
What: Hear ancient tales about the darkest day of the year, make candles to mark the return of the sun, and visit farm animals in the barn.
Why: Light up the night.
When: Fri., 4-5:30 & 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 S. Great Rd., Lincoln (781-259-2206). Registration required.
A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan
What: Music, songs, dancing, and stories with the charming Irishman.
Why: Get jiggy with it.
When: Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.
Where: Cutler Majestic Theater, 219 Tremont St., Downtown Crossing. Tickets at 800-233-3123 or online at wgbh.org.
High School Musical 2
What: School’s out for summer for Troy, Gabriella, and friends.
Why: Go wild, cats.
When: Thurs.-Jan. 11. Times vary.
Where: North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly. Tickets at 978-232-7200 or online at ev12.evenue.net.