Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gingerbread Masterpiece

One of my favorite holiday shows is the yearly tour of the white house showing the decorations and the amazing gingerbread house displayed in the East Room created by the head pastry chef. I just love the detail, design and artistry that is displayed each year... and you know I'm sitting there thinking, I could do that. What is wrong with me that I always say that? But I could you know.

This year I got my first shot at it. Not the White House, can't go for the big dog for my first structure ever. Instead I made a gingerbread replica of Sandburg Middle School in Anoka, Minnesota for the annual holiday luncheon for the teachers. Now, as many of you know, my life has pretty much been a big pile of crap covered in poo since my mom went into the hospital after Thanksgiving. Life, schedules, sleeping and sanity hasn't been real regular (much less existent) and there was a real possibility I wouldn't get this house made. The stars aligned and my baking ability was good enough to get all the parts and pieces measured, designed and baked by the evening before the party. Now all I had to do was assemble all 27 walls, 18 internal structure pieces and 4 roof's to complete the final school.

I'm all about deadlines. I need a deadline to get something done. Well, I had one (it needed to be up in Anoka by 9:30 am on Friday morning). So of course I wouldn't begin this until the evening before, correct? As of 10:30 p.m. on Thursday I started making the royal icing to glue and construct the house. I was going to do it. I had a bet going on completion time, I said 3:30am and Nick said 4:10am. I won, to the minute (and I wasn't even trying!). I made my deadline with 3 hours of sleep to spare.

The next day I got the 40" x 18" x 11" structure out the door, down to the garage, into my car, up to Anoka, out of my car, up the school stairs and into the party room without one, I repeat one broken piece, trip, spill, fall or break! It's a Christmas miracle. The school was complete except for a few gingerbread men that I added courtesy of Lisa and Megan. My first gingerbread house, next stop... food network challenge. It's on.

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