Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Family Gingerbread House Competition

Right before Thanksgiving, my brother (who lives in Mystic CT) emails my sister and I a challenge to a gingerbread house making competition. Hmmm...this could be interesting. I accepted on behalf of Ed and myself. My Mom accepted to be a judge as well as my Dad (who will judge with his glasses off). Final Entrants:

Keith (my brother)
Reg (my sister)
Morgan (7 years old--Reg's boyfriend's oldest)
Peyton (5 years old--Reg's boyfriend's youngest)
Nolan (5 years old) and Anita (Keith's son and wife)
Ed and myself

Once all have accepted the challenge, we were given our rules/instructions. Everything on the "house" must be edible. Graham crackers can be used instead of gingerbread. The deadline was set for Dec 21 @ 5 pm--no extensions allowed.

Well, since it was Thanksgiving...I put off even thinking about the competition. Meanwhile, Keith emails Reg and I with plenty of smack talking. He states how we "might as well start preparing ourselves for a loss since he's taking home the victory". Blah, blah,blah. I brush off the comments and reserve the right not to smack talk back. We'll just see who wins this thing.

Three weeks ago....I'm in a store with Ed and we are talking about the gingerbread house competition. I look over at Ed and say "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if we made an airplane hanger as our gingerbread house?" We both chuckle at the thought. Then I add..."yeah, and we could make a control tower and a plane to go with it." Chuckles, again. Ed shrugs and is thinking ...."Yeah, right! Whatever."

Two and half weeks ago... Ed comes over to my house one night to discover sketches on my kitchen counter of a control tower. He laughs..."is that a control tower?" I reply, yes. "Are you really going to build a control tower out of gingerbread?" I simply reply, yes. "Well, ok then, good luck with that."

Two weeks ago...I tell Ed I have a surprise for him. He again comes over to my house and discovers the "airport" in 3-D poster board design. I explain to him, that I had read if you can build something out of poster board, it is likely that you can build it out of gingerbread. He's amazed.. "my gosh, you really DID build a hanger and a control tower!" (Note: he hadn't seen the plane yet).

1 week ago...I gather all sorts of candy for the project

5 days ago....(Thursday) I made the gingerbread dough for all the pieces. In case, you're wondering, I used all the poster board pieces as templates. And I had to make the plane 3 times (out of poster board) since I had my proportions all wrong. I originally made it so big, that was the size of the hanger. Doh!

4 days ago...(Friday) Big snowstorm hits the Chicago area. I stayed home to work. Actually, I worked on my gingerbread pieces. Cut and bake, cut and bake, cut and bake. Ed calls me and invites me to dinner with some friends..."ok, but we need to work on the airport tonight, so we have to make it a short one". He agrees. After dinner, we're back at my house and I explain that we need to put the pieces together with a sugar/water combination. (It dries faster than frosting and is rock solid). He sees the poster board plane for the first time and exclaims "Oh, my gosh AND you made a Skymaster!" I should explain that Ed is an air traffic controller and a pilot by hobby. A skymaster is the type of plane that he flies; it is a push/pull plane since it has dual in-line engines. See pic of real plane:

We had some hairy times trying to put together some of the pieces and there was definitely a learning curve using the sugar/water "glue". In order to get the control tower windows together, Ed suggested that we mitered the corners. So the Bob Villa came out in me and I mitered the corners. That actually worked really well. I wish we had thought of that an hour earlier.

3 days ago...(Saturday) Ed and I decorated our airport. He was so excited. If you know anything about planes or airports, you would see that our airport has the correct color gumdrops for lighting the runways. We even included a VOR, a beacon light, runway numbers, elevation, and even a wind sock on the hanger. You'll also notice Ed's N number on the side of the plane. I was proud of my green-coconut covered tree that was decorated with small gum drop pieces (decorations on the tree). I got to say we did a very good job. We kicked some arse!

Drum roll pleeeeeeassseeeeee.....

After all said and done, Ed and I high-fived our success with the Gingerbread Airport. He still looks at it in amazement ...."how in the world did we accomplish this?" Being the perfectionist I am...I criticized my frosting application. It didn't help that I couldn't make a true red from my frosting dyes of pink, light blue, light green and yellow and it also didn't help that all the gingerbread pieces bowed while baking. But I am so proud of how we were able to pull it off. I mean, look at it... you can clearly tell what it is! And we have angled windows on the control tower!

Everyone else has submitted their entries...and I think all did a great job (well, maybe not Keith). I have to ask...Keith, what is it?. By the way, my Mom hasn't submitted the results yet.

Peyton's Graham Cracker House

Morgan's Graham Cracker House

Reg's Graham Cracker House

Nolan and Anita's Graham Cracker House

Keith's house??????? (sorry, pic is small. But believe me, it wouldn't help to enlarge it.)

Apparently, it is suppose to be a light house. Hmmmmm. Ok. Let's say it's Picasso style. I guess we can go with that.

NOW Let the smack talking begin!

Here is a message I received from Keith today...

"I’ll accept my last place trophy now. I was blown away with not only Reg’s entry but Ronda's. Wow!!!"

My response: I take it that you're not up to doing any more smack talking?

His response: No you both put me in my place. If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the bottom of the creativity chain. Doh!

Ha Ha....what a good laugh. Results of the competition should come soon. Stay posted....

1 comment:

WADDLER26.2 said...

You are something else!! Phenomenal!!! You and Ed did a great job! I will never challenge you!