Making Gingerbread houses is a bit of an obsession for me. I see bridges and old buildings, or the house you’re buying, and think; “how can I make this out of gingerbread?”
In July is when I really begin to obsess. This year I entered Gingerbread City, which benefits the National Epilepsy Foundation. The theme this year is “Light.” After discarding many sketches I settled on a beach house made mostly of glass, reflecting the sunset, named Even Song.
So how is a Gingerbread house made of glass? Very carefully. To make the glass, you must melt hard candies. It was really hard to find hard candy this year. I began shopping at Halloween and everything was sour and gummy, even at the discount stores. Finally I settled on Jolly Rancher candies, but they had no yellow. For yellow I used butterscotch. The Jolly Ranchers were very slow to melt (in the microwave) and set up very quickly. But once they were in place they didn’t move or crack. I wanted the colors to gradually change as the window went up, but they set up too quickly for that. Lemon drops turned dark when melting so they were out. The butterscotch melted well and didn’t set up too quickly but the windows cracked while cooling.
There are sailboats and a small houseboat in the bay. The sails are made of pastillage with pretzel masts. The water is royal icing with blue food coloring. Just a few days before finishing I almost gave up when I dropped a large piece with several windows in it and it shattered. But determination won out and I baked a new piece.
There are some very talented artists who enter this competition and I did not place. There was a very imaginative Whoville, two different nativity scenes and a Hogwarts that was amazing. Last year in this same competition with a partner I entered a “Norsk Pole” santa’s village.
For several previous years I entered the Discovery Science Center Science of Gingerbread competition and won best of show in 2013.
And of course, there has to be a way to use this in my business right? 😉