I’ve never entered the gingerbread contest at the Orange Holiday Festival. The last time I attempted a house was making one with my daughter from a store-bought kit many, many years ago — It was a miserable failure. But she had fun.
About two weeks ago I bought a couple of the kits, thinking I could create something cool, but — maybe it was a sign or something — my dog jumped up on the counter and stole the box while I was out and ate all the gingerbread.
I decided to make my own, and after tons of Internet research I chose to use the structural gingerbread recipe which doesn’t contain any spices but it is super strong and virtually unbreakable.
I came up with a design, that my daughter said was insane for a first attempt, but I am so stubborn that I went forward with it.
Gingerbread people are very generous with their time and aren’t selfish with their techniques and ideas, so when I got stuck I could easily find a solution on the Internet.
I made 5 batches of dough and had several failed structures, until, finally – Success! I was able to accomplish the most difficult part of my design to my satisfaction.
The Royal Icing recipe I used contains egg whites, so there was no taste testing in the process. And it is the strongest “glue” I’ve ever used.
I struggled through the finishing touches, but in the end, everything in my presentation is edible (except for the “structural gingerbread” but that doesn’t stop my dog from stealing the discarded pieces from the trash).
I’m terrified that I’ll drop it on the way to the Clark Building tonight because of its shape and size, but if it survives the ride, walk up the stairs and opening the door, you will be able to see an entry that took no less than 26 hours to create start to finish.
I don’t expect to win because year after year I’m in awe of the amazing creations all the talented folks enter. I’m just happy that I have an opportunity to join them this year.
I did NOT win a prize, but I also never saw any rules for the contest. In retrospect, I think that it is for kids and families, although I never published anything like that.
Next year, my granddaughter will have a much bigger role than just looking at it and offering her opinion when she sees it. 2018’s entry will be by Amelie and Yia Yia!
Congratulations to all the winners, especially the little girls with the circular train set up — I really did love that one!