What’s new, Porkchop? Are you excited? Would you like to know who won Ginger 2018 — the sweetest battle on the planet? Excellent. We’ll get to that, but first I’d like to delve into the history of royal icing. We’ll begin in 1769 when Elizabeth Raffald’s The Experienced English Housekeeper was published with one of the first known references to the confectioner’s treat. Then we’ll tour through decades of recipe development and piping techniques.
Classic white or brightly coloured, royal icing is a staple in many baker’s kitchens at this time of year. A favourite topping for sugar cookies and a key component in ginger architecture . . .
No? Not interested?
After some serious deliberation, the 2018 Ginger Panel has selected our champions!
1st PLACE: TASHA’S PORTLAND HEADLIGHT
In his fourteen page Ginger judging dissertation my brother wrote:
It’s an astonishing accomplishment – the colour and texture of the rocks mesmerizes me. The attention to detail is first rate . . .
. . . this is something I would almost want in my house for my son to be able to play with, to have as part of his childhood like the sea, lighthouses, and giant granite boulders were in mine . . .
Tasha’s entry gave me the feels in the place where a heart would normally be. (Nova Scotians are suckers for lighthouses.) Congrats, Tasha! Yours is a well-deserved victory!
2nd PLACE: KERRI’S THE OLD BARN GINGERBREAD HOUSE
On page 10 of his Ginger dissertation my brother wrote:
. . . Mrs. Adopamop (Isopabopeloplopbope), who has an absolutely ginormous soft spot for big red barns, first saw it basically said “oh wow, well there’s the winner right there . . .”
This thing is just incredible to behold in its own right . . . plus this thing is just oozing with “festive.”
Three cheers for the prettiest (and probably least stinky) barn of all time! Congratulations, Kerri!
2018 PEOPLE’S CHOICE PRIZE: TASHA’S PORTLAND HEADLIGHT
Tasha’s entry garnered more online votes than any other creation this year. In fact, more than any entry in Ginger history! Well done, Tasha! This is also the first time in Ginger history that our 1st Place winner has also claimed the People’s Choice Prize. Tasha has proven once and for all that social media can be used for something other than cat videos and beauty vlogs. (But someone please put more cat videos on the internet. I’ve run out of new ones to watch.)
Congrats Tasha and Kerri on your sweet victories!
Thank you to the members of the 2018 Ginger Panel, tasked with picking the winners from 21 glorious entries. Please keep your hands off my inheritance, k?
Thank you to me for reading the essay my brother submitted with his Ginger Panel decision. And additional thanks to myself for dealing with 2.0 during the voting process. (Because he doesn’t read instructions or know how to use the internet.)
At times this planet can feel pretty bleak. Maybe you find this time of year stressful, maybe you’re missing someone, or maybe things seem especially overwhelming right now. Know that every one of this year’s competitors — and every competitor since 2010 — was told that they could withdraw from the competition if they were uncomfortable with being teased and tormented by yours truly. No one has ever taken me up on my offer. In fact, many return year after year for more of my shenanigans. I like to think it’s because Gingerers enjoy laughing as much as I do, but I suspect they are also happy to take a hit for those of you who might really need it these days. So thanks, Gingerers. Thanks to all of you for being such good sports, for letting me make fun of you, and for spreading a little laughter around these here parts. You done good.
Happy holidays, friends!