Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gingerbread News - The Good and the Bad

The bad news is that there will be no gingerbread house contest this year. I was beginning to get a little panicky because the contest is normally held the first weekend in December and I needed to get moving on my design. The creative juices were flowing but nothing had jelled mentally.

Chef Alain Roby and his wife Esther have hosted the event for the past two years. This year Chef Roby has previous commitments. This is very understandable since he is a world class pastry chef who has been inducted into the Pastry Art & Design's Hall of Fame. You might have seen him on TV because he's appeared on the Food Network Challenge and made the Guinness Book of World Records by constructing the world's largest chocolate sculpture.

Hopefully Alain and Esther will take a breather and be back next year.

The good news is that everyone seems enthusiastic about a gingerbread house tutorial. I'll be putting it together in the next two weeks and I'll give you plenty of notice so that you'll be sure to clear your social calendar and join me. Believe me when I say that producing a gingerbread house for the competition is very stressful but now we can just have some fun together and not worry about winning!

I thought you might like a look at the house I made for the first competition.


I really loved this little house and I had lots of fun with all the details including the dog house and little puppy prints in the snow. I was nearing completion of the house when I stood back and said, "It's just missing something......a picket fence!!" I proceeded to stay up until 3 o'clock in the morning cutting and baking hundreds of pickets and fence posts.


So, get your aprons laundered because in a couple of weeks we're going to do gingerbread!


Laura said...

Wow! I love that gingerbread house! Can't wait for the tutorial. :-)
Have a great day!

Susan said...

You are quite creative and an architect to boot. Would love to see your tutorial. Always wanted to try this but feared I'd end up eating the disaster instead.

Significant Snail said...

My mom and I used to admire the creations at the state fair.

Louise said...

That has to be the cutest gingerbread house I've ever seen! I can't believe you cut and baked each fencepost!

belladella said...

I love that one too. I'd be lucky if I could construct the doggie house! I can't wait to see how to do this.

Miri said...

oh! my! god!. that is amazing, i really really want to make one for my family!

bj said...

This is soooo sweet, Farmer's Wife...just precious. I have a Christmas photo somewhere of one my daughter and her kids did last year. I'lll post it when I find it...I do believe it was a kit....and so cute.
love, bj

PatQ said...

Woo Hoo. I can't wait. I've never been able to make a gingerbread house and always wanted to know how it's done.

Mamahut said...

Your little house is the best I have ever seen. We try every year to make one of those kits...they're ok, but not so much adorable. My youngest would probably move in with you if he seen your house. I can't wait for some idea's.

lifeinredshoes said...

I would like to live in this one. No time to make one this year, but I'll watch.

Princess S said...

Miss Sue you put Martha to shame!!! I am inspired to make a ginger bread home...that is if the gingerbread is around long enough to assemble. I have a couple of awards for you if you want to stop by. Have a Fantabulous Day!!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That is one gorgeous creation! I can't wait...

Mrs. Familyman said...

A friend of mine told me about your blog -
It seems that we've been entering the same contest.
(the internet really DOES make the world seem smaller....)
I went through the same thing as you - I was getting panicky, thinking that I should have received information by now, but then found out as you did, that they aren't holding the contest this year, but hope to hold it next year.

To be honest - I'm a bit relieved.... one less big stressful thing on the holiday "to-do" list....

Two questions:
Did you compete last year?
And did you place with your entry from the first year? (If you didn't, I thought you should have...)

you can see pictures of my first year entry on my website:

click the link for "cookies, favors, fun stuff" and then click on the gingerbread thumbnail.

I hope to have pictures of last year's entry posted soon - I'm at least a year behind on updating my website!

Good work! and I hope to meet f2f soon!
Too bad we won't be at the same contest this year!

Suzanne said...

Laura, I've got a chair right up in front, just for you.

Susan - I'm not much of an architect. There are several places on the web that share gingerbread house designs. This was the first year I was going to attempt to design the house myself. See, I've got an entire year to come up with something now. There will be no eating of the disaster because my recipe is for something called "Gingerbread Plywood".... harder than the hardest biscotti.

S-Snail I don't think they have gingerbread houses at our State Fair. They'd probably all melt.

Louise - Thanks, but you did see the other ones. So creative and so cute. One was the house from A Christmas Story and included the leg lamp in the window.

Belladella - We can include the dog house if you want to start small.

Miri - Yes, and you should get the family involved in the decorating. The Roby's started this as a way to get families to spend time together doing something creative as a family effort. They are an amazing couple, very interesting people.

BJ - Oh, I want to see the photos. The kits are great too, especially for busy families who don't have time to mix that stinking royal icing. I had purple icing in my hair for Pete's sake.

Patq - you can do it....yes, you can.

Mamahut - Children really, really love these gingerbread houses. Their imaginations run wild and their eyes are as big as saucers. You should have seen them when they walked in and saw the gingerbread skyscraper, every bit of 6 feet tall.

Red Shoes - Move in, please. Watch and you can make one next year.

Princess S - Thanks for the awards. I've added you to my list of daily reads. That list is getting longer and longer. Thankfully not everyone updates every day or I'd never get away from the computer.

Vee - Choose an apron, any apron in your collection and get ready.

Mrs. Familyman - Welcome!!! Look everyone, it's a local. Woo Hoo. I'm getting quite a local contingent and we're going to have to get together.

To answer your questions: I did compete last year and took third place with the Nightmare Before Christmas. If you scrolll down you'll see the previous post with photos.

My first year's entry did not win anything.

I visited your website ....WOW what beautiful cakes and cookies and stuff. Everybody, go over there right now and check it out.

I did look at your first year's entry and I'm going to venture a guess that I know EXACTLY which entry was yours last year. IT SHOULD HAVE WON, and I'm dead serious here. My son and I were crazy for "Santa's Candy Factory". I'm right, aren't I? Everything about it was so wonderful. It was very graphic, a great scale to it, it was just terrific. We were shocked when it didn't win.

I want to thank everyone for visiting and leaving comments. I really appreciate when you take time out of your busy day to visit here. I'm sorry that I've not been able to answer comments in the last week. There's lots going on around here that requires my attention! Darn responsibilities.

- Suzanne