Posts tagged: family fun

Gingerbread houses by designers and artists (but not bakers!)

By , December 17, 2009

For a holiday party this year, my dear friend decided to have a gingerbread house making party.  She provided the gingerbread and we each provided our own decorative elements, as long as they were edible. This sounded like a lot of fun could be had, so we accepted.  Little did we know what awaited us.

The group was five or six couples of varying professions, talent and training.  Several had done this before at parties.  I however, had never made a gingerbread house before, which I haven’t quite forgiven my mother for yet.  Maybe I should just go ahead and forgive her for this breadcrumb sin as my New Years Resolution. 

Couple #1:  was a graphic designer and a painter.  Wait a minute.   Already they are ahead of the the group.  They played together with only a minimum of conflict, a fair amount of tension, and a precise plan and design direction:  Black and white, with pez tiles on the side and red accents.  This is what they came up with:
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Pretty cute,isn’t it?  And see how tidy they were in their execution!  Good job, kids! 

 Couple #2.  Now, this next one was totally unfair!  He was not only a highly accomplished architect who held a high position in the national AIA, but she had taking, yes, Gingerbread House Making Classes at the country club!  Talk about a head start.  They also had a plan sketched out, had bought all the correct materials, a tool box, and hard hats!  Wait a minute!   I had in mind a spontaneous free for all that was destined for silliness.  But no, not with this group.  They were competitive to the end!  Anyway, couple #2 made this delightful home:

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Notice the red licorice pergola to the left?  How about the tootsie roll log ascending staircase?   The architect got an “A” for structure!

Our team’s efforts were not turning out ANYTHING like some of the things I have since seen on the Internet.  Look at this one from the blog “Houseboat Eats”: 


Ok, he wasn’t making this at a party, in front of others, with a 2-3 hour window.  What do you think?  Days/weeks/months of working on it? Come on!

And check out the details on this from the same post:


Rock Candy?  Or just rocks?  Does this look like it meets the “edible” criteria?

And then there was this one:


I mean, really!  I do love the pretzel ironwork on the mansard roof, but who knew there were professional gingerbread house makers out there?

Back at the party,  Couple #3 also had come equipped with a full design of a California Mission Style Gingerbread House, with LOTS of rust jelly bean roof tiles, and tinted plaster-like frosting, but they wouldn’t let me take a picture.  Perhaps it was because he was an accountant and she was an attorney, and they were concerned about the accuracy and legality of their listing-slightly-to-the-left house being published. 

By now my team member/husband and I are getting very insecure.  We had so much fun buying silly edible shapes at the party shop and other nearly edible things at the candy shop, that the party was already a success for us.  But talk about intimidation.  If I was a proper competitor and had googled “pictures of gingerbread houses” before we went, I would have known better what to expect.

Ok, I have been putting off showing you the one we, couple #4 , did but now it is time.  Please be kind and remember my mother never taught me this. 

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Can you say “Exuberant!” ???

Notice the blue M & M pool with the red fish and the boulder design around the pool.  Also, landscaping!  I get credit for foundation shrubs and ice cream cone trees, don’t I?  

Fortunately, I found this house later or I never would have even gone to this party.  I would have taken sick and needed to rest!  Some people do seen to have a lot of talent/time/patience/for this kind of thing and have obviously been planning and studying all year for the big reveal:



So, if you haven’t made your gingerbread house yet, there is still time. 

Throw caution to the wind, grab your courage and have a wonderful, light-filled and joyous Holiday Season!

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