This year we are not baking ginger bread, and definitely not attempting to make a gingerbread house… Maybe last year’s result has something to do with it? O and my sister were the architects (or maybe just builders?) and since melted sugar is not allowed in our family, they tried to attach the parts with frosting, which didn’t want to dry in the tropical heat! I don’t know how long they spent holding the pieces together while waiting for it to dry…
So, why are we not using melted sugar? Well, when I was a child we never made a gingerbread house, but in 1996 my brother, my sister and I decided that it was time to start a new tradition! On Christmas Eve morning we started baking the pieces and melting the sugar to use as glue… Our parents were running some last errands while we were busy in the kitchen (after all we were not that young, I was 21). The assembling of the house went very well but then we couldn’t decide what to do with the left over melted sugar… and somehow, probably when trying to pour it out in the sink, it ended up on my fingers!!
Needless to say that having melted sugar on your fingers is not a very good idea, and while my siblings panicked, I turned on the cold water tap and put my hand under it. I don’t know how long I stood there in the kitchen but at one point my father came home, and immediately came up behind me and I collapsed in his arms – probably fainting from the stress and the pain. I spent the rest of the afternoon on the sofa, in a lot of pain. My mother, who is a nurse, spoke to the burns unit at the hospital and they said that there wasn’t much they could do, so she bandaged my fingers with some wet compresses and told me to try to keep the hand high.
The blisters on four of my left-hand fingers (I am of course left-handed!!) were quite impressive and very painful – and not very practical… I couldn’t cut my own food, wash my hair or write! And I didn’t look very cool with a white glove on my hand, a poor imitation of Michael Jackson 😉 However, there was one thing I could do – play badminton since for some reason I always hold the racket in my right hand! After a week I remember trying to sleep while the fingers were hurting more than before – the reason for the pain was that the blisters were actually expanding!
To make a long story a little shorter – a university nurse in Linköping cut the blisters open after 2-3 weeks and somehow I managed to write an exam in January even though I couldn’t bend my fingers for a while (when I had the blisters I couldn’t straighten them). Eventually the fingers healed and nowadays I don’t even have one scar to show! But, I am very scared of getting burnt again and I will not go near any melted sugar ever again!