One year, I actually constructed the sleigh--reindeer and all!
But now, here's the thing. Ever since I started teaching near the Village Grocer, I've been obsessed with their gingerbread cookies. They are the best ever. Not only are they true works of art, they taste awesome! I have tried no less than four recipes recently--some of which I had to toss the dough. DH thinks I've gone mad and perhaps he's right, but I desperately want the recipe! So. How does one go about asking a baker to divulge their culinary secrets? It would be like asking a magician to tell you how their tricks work. Strictly taboo.
Soooooo, here's my idea. I go to the store once a week for the next, oh, say, several months. Each time I buy a cookie and ask, "Is there nutmeg in this? Because I'm allergic to nutmeg..." Next time, "Is there cardamom in this? Because I'm allergic to cardamom." "Is there brown sugar in this? Because I'm allergic to brown sugar..." Slowly, but surely, I will amass the ingredients. Is this a great plan, or what???
At this point you may join DH in thinking I've lost it, but I've actually tried this twice. White sugar, not brown sugar and no cardamom. The third time, I felt I had to vary my tactic lest they begin to suspect a gingerbread spy in their midst. I said, "My mother and I are having this huge argument. I hope you can settle it. She says you use sugar beet syrup. I say molasses. Can you please tell me who's right?" Worked like a charm. Molasses. No sugar beets.
I think I've been writing too many zany scenes in my new WIP. Am I beginning to act like my MC or even worse, am I in denial that my MC is actually ME???!!!