I made gingerbread houses as a kid.... take a few graham crackers, glue them to the side of a little milk carton (probably left over from lunch), cover it with frosting, sprinkles, gummy candies, and a hodge podge of other cheap sweets. After a few days on display in the classroom we were all supposed to take them home to show our parents. I'm sure I showed my beautiful creation to my family, but I gurantee it didn't stay on display for too long. Not because my mother wasn't proud of it... I'm sure she was. She probably would have even packed it carefully away in a box to save for the rest of our lives if it would have lasted. But, as I said, it never stayed on display. Why? To be completely honest (and embarassed) I probably ate it. That's right. Glue and all. Of course I tried to peel as much glue off of the crackers as I could, but hey, don't judge. All 1st graders eat glue.... right?
Last Christmas I bought a gingerbread house kit from WalMart to put together with Paige and Nathan. To say the least, it was a gem. We probably built the best house any college students could build during the hight of final exams. I can't remember what courses I was even taking that semester, but I remember that the candy Christmas lights were aligned and patterned to perfection.
Just when I thought gingerbread couldn't get any better than last year (ha, yeah right) I am bombarded by the Food Network Queen of gingerbread architecture herself. Last Monday we took a field trip to a quaint little bakeshop to observe a gingerbread demo by the owner, Jennifer Bartos. Not only was her creation completely facinating, but she is partner in crime with Bronwen Weber, Food Network's "Incredible Edible Mansions" gold medalist and creator of several other crazy cake constructions. Jennifer's demo was fun to watch, and she made it all look so easy, so of course I knew it wouldn't be.
After we returned to school we learned that we would be making our own gingerbread pieces to donate to the Dell Children's Hospital to be put on diplay this December. I always get a bit nervous when I find out that we will be required to take our pieces of art somewhere for others to scrutinize, but I'm actually excited about this one. I know that constructing the house will be a challenge and take a lot of patience, but I think I'm ready. I also found out that there is a gingerbread competition in my hometown, but submissions are due in just a few weeks, and I don't think I'll have time to create something too spectacular. Maybe next year.