It’s a horrifying world out there, poodle. Poverty, natural disasters, war, villainy. It’s why we NEED competitive gingering. There is no inequality here. No! I will treat each and every competitor like garbage. So gather ’round children! Let the magic that is Ginger 2018 wrap you in its straight-from-the-oven warmth.
BARB’S DECK THE HAUL!
My Ginger 2018 entry is named “Deck the Haul!” The truck is a replica of a toy 1929 Ford Stake Bed truck and is made from light and dark gingerbread, compressed and “stained” with diluted food coloring, after baking, to give it the wood grain look. The wheels are molded gingerbread, painted with black food coloring, then mounted on pretzel rod axles baked in gingerbread for extra strength. The characters and woodland creatures are made from rice-krispie treats, pasta and pretzel sticks covered with fondant.
Santa and Mrs. Claus (in their casual duds), along with Bear and friends, piled into the truck and headed out to the tree farm to select the perfect Christmas trees for the house and workshop. Our dog, Lucy, is there too – 1 ½ years ago, our “2016 Christmas Wishes” came true when we adopted her from “Home for Good Dog Rescue.” Lucy loves to play and this is probably the closest she’ll ever get to the bunnies and squirrels she’s always trying to chase!
Just like Mr. and Mrs. Claus, my parents like to cut down their Christmas tree at a tree farm every year. I do not. You know what lives in those trees? Wild animals. When you buy a tree in the city, a team of inspectors has gone over each tree with a fine-tooth comb and certified it Safe for In-House Use. I know because 2.0 told me that and he would never lie to me.
Wanna know why the Claus family had to start that fire? I’d put my money on truck troubles. Their friends were all: oh, this tree lot is just so lovely and nostalgic and straight out of a movie. UNTIL THE TRUCK BROKE DOWN. And now they’re freezing to death while piles of insufferable yuppie couples tramp by looking for the perfect Martha Stewart tree.
Yes, you might look at the perfect trees and the superb craftsmanship of this ginger masterpiece and think about how this scene is so entirely magical that it makes your forget that the world is on fire. And yes, it might make you want to cut down your own Christmas tree next year. And sure, you might want to live at that sugary tree farm because if Barb can make a truck out of candy, imagine what sort of house she could build us with lumber and all the things she would feed us and… actually, yah. Let’s just do that. Let’s move in with Barb.
Want to see more from Barb? You can check out her online ginger scrapbook by clicking here.
SHARON’S COUNTRY BARN
This is my 2019 competition piece, it is my county barn (I know, it is difficult to see that).
HOLD UP. Sharon is living in the future and travelled back to 2018 for this competition. SHARON, IS DONALD TRUMP STILL PRESIDENT OF YOUR COUNTRY IN 2019? Please inform.
This old red barn is a classic symbol of the American countryside. This barn shelters its stock of pigs, a cow, and of course, horses. The picturesque scene is completed by the grain silo to hold the feed. The barn and silo are gingerbread, with a pastillage covering to resemble wood and stone. The horses are made of pastillage with manes and tails of corn silk.
But of course our farm has horses! WE’RE NOT MONSTERS! Lemme tell you, corn silk is one of the slipperiest things I’ve ever touched, but also the softest. I wish real horses had corn silk tails.
The cow and pigs are ginger-clay. The ramp to the back door hayloft is built up with Ramen noodles then covered with pastillage. The cart and fences are all ginger-clay, and the alfalfa bales are made with parsley and royal icing. The dirt on the ground in the paddocks is made up of ground gingerbread and Oreo cookies. The grass is parsley. The tree trunk is cinnamon sticks covered with royal icing and the top is made from rice cereal and royal icing then painted with food colors.
I, for one, am glad that someone has finally found a use for alfalfa sprouts.
This is the sort of farm millennial couples would flock to. They’d really get into the whole farm to table vibe — especially the Ramen noodles. None of them would know what a paddock is, but that wouldn’t stop them from taking 1374 selfies in front of that “horse playpen.” Generation Y would be asking the farmer stuff like: is this free range? Organic? Gluten free? And the farmer would say, “Sure, all gingerbread is gluten free! Go ahead, eat that ginger pig!” And because no one knows what gluten actually is, they’ll buy everything from that farmer’s stand like goddamn SUCKERS.
Now that I’ve seen what a barn should actually look like? I’ll accept no substitutes. Perfectly designed and constructed with a colour scheme that is to die for. Look at that jolly wreath over the door! The animals that look like they aren’t the least bit filthy! The perfectly manicured everything! Old MacDonald would be right some proud.
Want to see more from Sharon? You can follow The Gingerbread Ladies on Facebook!
SARAH’S FAIRIE HOLLOW
This is Fairie Hollow. The majestic castle is home to some of the small sprites of the hollow, where the fairies are the care takers of the lands and dwellings. Set atop a tree, the castle allows the sprites to hide from the dangers in a big world. The butterflies aid in patrols.
This is basically my dream home. Aside from the perfectly manicured yard, impeccable craftsmanship, and flawless masonry, I watch A LOT of true crime on television and honestly? I’d feel a lot better if a crew of butterflies was protecting my property. Butterflies sting to kill, right?
The tree is a solid core of gingerbread, covered in pastillage to get the effect of the bark. The castle is also gingerbread with a stone-imprisoned pastillage covering. The tops of the towers are pastillage rolled in seeds. The fairies, flowers, bird, bunny, and mushrooms are pastillage. The ground coverings are various teas, seeds, and herbs as well as some ground gingerbread on the path way. Under the top layer of ground covering, there is a layer of pastillage over a layer of rice crispies mixed with royal icing to build up the ground and create texture on the board. The windows are gelatin. The wings on the dragonflies are dehydrated grapes.
Fun fact: before the sprites moved into this glorious abode it was home to Ernest J. Keebler. Ernie is head of the Keebler Elves enslaved by The Keebler Company in the United States of America. (I don’t know why more Americans aren’t up in arms about this cookie crime.) Ernie used to get so nervous when his nephews Zoot and J.J. came for visits that he eventually decided to sell his castle and not share a forwarding address. I can’t say I blame him — J.J. was responsible for a meth lab explosion at Hollow Tree in 2013.
Anyhoo, when Ernie listed his home with realtor Ben Dover, the sprites snapped up this spacious open concept home. What sprite wouldn’t want to live here? Large windows favouring the light and many upgrades including eat-in kitchen and recently renovated main floor? Yes, please. Everyone knows that sprites go apeshit for candy laden houses because they do a lot of entertaining, and when guests can nibble on your house it saves a lot of time on food preparation. And though the sprites would lecture you incessantly on the correct pronunciation of words like pastillage and foyer, I suspect any one of you would enjoy a lengthy stay at Fairie Hollow.
Want to see more from Sarah? Follow The Gingerbread Ladies on Facebook!
JAMES’S BEVERLY’S GINGER CANDLE ARCH James Beverly writes:
This is my gingerbread piece for the year. It is patterned after a German candle arch. It is two sided, you can see thru the arch to the other side and it has 12 houses, 8 deer, 8 bear, 4 rabbits, three squirrel and four foxes. A outhouse and a little cabin in the woods. The whole entire piece is edible. The arch is one piece of gingerbread for each side that was cut out with a x-acto knife. There are over 250 pieces of gingerbread. The flames and the campfire are made of isomalt.
There was some confusion with this entry because the email address indicated it was from a man named James. James didn’t sign his email, but 37% of Ginger entries are submitted by people who don’t understand the internet so these things don’t faze me anymore. But when I sent this year’s competitors information about their groupings, I immediately received a message from Beverly saying that she is actually James. Or rather, she used James’s email account to send her entry. Which allows me to share an important yelly lesson about SIGNING YOUR EMAILS WITH YOUR NAME BECAUSE IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND BEVERLY.
Beverly, if that is your REAL name, you are a Ginger marvel. Do you know how to sign emails? No, that’s obvious. But you sure do know your way around a ginger candle arch. Look at the details! The animals, the tiny cabins, the trees!
Let’s get gingercational! German candle arches have their origins in the mining region of the ore mountains. Some people think the arch represents the opening of the mining tunnels, others think it symbolizes the night sky. Candle arches have been around since the mid 1700s, and are often exceptionally intricate in design.
Cut to Christmas 2018. I imagine a rich woman in a perfect pale blue pantsuit purchasing Beverly’s ginger candle arch at an exclusive ginger auction. Mitzy Ainsworth’s house is a part of her town’s annual Christmas Home Tour, and she simply can’t wait to show off her newly acquired ginger art piece. Mitzy feels this masterpiece perfectly reflects an age that was more civilized and will give her house an air of distinction and pretentiousness. Unfortunately, the age she’s thinking of was brimming with disease-ridden sludge, rotten teeth and maladies that put holes in your brain.
James Beverly. This creation is divine.
TASHA’S PORTLAND HEADLIGHT
This year I wanted to do an iconic gingerbread house that hasn’t already been done hundreds of times. This is my version of Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I made templates by using pictures online and then used Google Earth to place the buildings, rocks, etc. in the right location.
The entire scene is edible except for the wooden base. I made the buildings, roofs and cobblestones out of gingerbread, the fence is gingerbread and spaghetti, the walkways are royal icing with coffee grounds pressed in, the lighthouse and rocks are made out of pastillage (a gum paste like dough) and the ocean is made of corn syrup, granulated sugar and food coloring.
Guys, I’m a maritimer. Lighthouses are my jam. So listen up, ginger morons: this is a goddamned masterpiece of scale and Google mapery. Look at it! The rocky coastline, the perfect little doors and windows, the warm light emanating from its innards! I would give up my entire button collection just to live there for a few days. What could be better than living in a lighthouse? Nothing, that’s what. You can strip naked and no one would be around to see it. And sure, you’d probably have to save the occasional tourist or sailor from a watery demise, but you can get dressed for that.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the importance of ginger architecture and construction can be underestimated in these dark days. This is the sort of display that captures the majesty of the sea, its keepers, and all things ginger. It’s also the sort of display you put in the centre of your dining room table and then spend all of December yelling at little kids not to touch. And that is, in my opinion, what the holidays are really about.
LINDA’S TELL ME A STORY
Here is my entry, “Tell Me a Story.” The giraffe is all gingerbread covered in fondant. The mice are gingerbread, fondant and covered in gray powder that is powdered gingerbread mixed with petal dust. The books are gingerbread and edible wafer paper that is printed with edible ink. The story that the mouse is reading tells part of the original story that the piece is about.
Listen here, people: you should never, under any circumstances, buy a child a book. First, books are used by insufferable parents for bragging — “That volume Brayden is reading? Oh, it’s just a picture book about quantum field theory.” Second, most kids take forever to read a book. They complain endlessly if you skip a bunch of pages and they always want to look at the same goddamned picture for three hours while you sit there trying to hold your eyelids open with toothpicks.
Now, what you should do is give a kid a ginger display like the one Linda has built us. It’s utterly charming! The giraffe, the mice, the books! It’s the sort of thing that could keep a kid occupied for hours and requires absolutely no interaction with adults. There’s a lot to look at — the meticulous construction and adorable detailing is off the charts — but if you’re at all worried you could tell that kid to find something like oh, I dunno, a hedgehog and keep it looking for that non-existent hedgehog for hours. “What? You haven’t found the hedgehog yet? Your cousin McKenna found it in under 30 seconds. Keep looking!” And let’s face it, kids are pretty high-strung nowadays so a little unsupervised binge eating would probably do ’em some good…
Polls now closed! Results:
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Polls close at about 12 pm AST, Tuesday, December 18, 2018.