Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gingerbread Nostalgia

I like gingerbread
the cake, not the cookie
no matter how frustrating they can be

but sadly, this year
I didn't plug time in the calendar to devote to one
because I have a gingerbread house problem

I am very supportive and genuinely so, when I see a ginger-house made up of four walls and a roof with a few half eaten candies pasted to it. I find all gingerbread projects charming and nostalgic. But what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.

I have issues
I can't just make a house
When in culinary school, the assignment was make a gingerbread house. I made a neighborhood of East Coast row houses with clear windows and decorated interiors.
One year I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to do a simple gingerbread centerpiece for Christmas and showed up with a shopping village replete with a bakery, art gallery and dress shop 100% edible and fully furnished.  The stone church even had pews.

I already admitted that I have a problem

A couple of years ago, I was asked to enter a gingerbread competition
The theme was Christmas Around the World.

Immediately I thought, Swiss Chalet!
 I then turned to my husband and said...
you have to help me
I am already going over-board and it is only in my head
which is how our gingerbread project was born
Mike built the whole structure from foam core to test the structural viability and appropriate scale
because he is a guy and does guy things
while I got to making caramel corn for the base of the mountain

It took us about 10 days to craft
but it was well worth the effort
we won lots of goodies and a bunch of cash
and it won just about every prize--except the fan favorite
or as we like to call it--be a college student and bring your class, then grab a school bus and drive around town picking up folks to stuff the ballot box.
but i am not bitter
because even without ballot pushing proletariats, we garnered second place in the fan fave category

and hear this...
we won the grand prize
from actual judges

And then we gave the chalet to the hotel
for their holiday display

We left that party
with our arms full of prizes
and our egos full of pride
even after 24 months, I can still feel the sunshine of that very good day
the day my obsessive gingerbread disorder
reaped rewards


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