Saturday, December 8, 2012

This One is a Winner

...or it would be, if it was entered into a gingerbread house contest somewhere.  Well, oops, no - it's not even gingerbread, so it would probably be immediately disqualified.  Whatever.  It's amazing and I smile when I see it.

When I used to teach at The Pennsylvania College of Technology, the culinary arts department had an annual gingerbread house contest at Christmas time.

Competition among the pastry arts students was fierce; the first prize designation was a coveted award to receive.  But let me emphasize - these are students majoring in baking arts.

The gingerbread house that was constructed in our home was made by amateurs, son Caleb and his friend Hannah, over a period of several evenings.

Let's look at the process from "ground" up.

First Caleb built the basic structure from cardboard.  Then the first evening together as a team they worked on "logging" the cabin.  An icing, found on the internet and recommended for gingerbread houses, was mixed.  Using an icing syringe, Hannah put a string of icing down the length of each long pretzel rod, then Caleb placed the logs, one by one.

Tootsie rolls were used for the entryway, and individual pieces of licorice were placed in the windows.
Here is the progress at this point:

During the next work session, the roofer used chex type pieces of a generic cereal to make shingles.

It was a slow and painstaking process, but it's starting to all come together now.

Now for the fun part - placing the exterior decorations and features.  

A snowman made of marshmallows
A tootsie roll pile of "firewood"
And here is the finished house.  Notice the peppermint "water well."  There is blue stuff in there which cannot be seen in the photo.

If I were judging, I'd certainly say this one is a winner.  

Just don't ask me to eat any of it.  And keep it away from the edge of the table.  We have a large puppy, you know.