One of my favorite things that comes with the Christmas season is the creation of the Gingerbread House.
I remember when I was a small child, going to the Christmas Stroll in downtown Bozeman (which, by the way, is going on this afternoon) and waiting in line for what seemed like hours to see the best gingerbread houses in the whole town, on display in one of the banks. When I got older, I entered the gingerbread competitions myself and even won first prize a couple of times for my age group! The last gingerbread house I did was a few years ago for the Conner Prairie Gingerbread Competition in Indianapolis. I didn’t place at that one… much bigger pond and all!… but I still loved doing it.
I hope to find time to do one this year with Frank… there’s nothing my imagination likes quite as much as doing something creative with sweets! If we do, I will post pictures, promise!
But in the meantime, I found this cool article online – based in my dad’s home region of Long Island! If you’re in the area, go do this – sounds like a blast!
Home Sweet Home: You can decorate your house — and eat it, too
BY PAT BURSON – firstname.lastname@example.org
December 1, 2008
Gingerbread University is one of the most delicious and delightful places you’ll find on Long Island.
Housed inside a 4,000-square-foot red barn in Baiting Hollow, it includes a cookie factory, a retail store and rooms with tables where individuals, couples and families can sit and decorate preassembled, prebaked gingerbread houses and specialty cookies.
Frederick Terry Sr., 64, a retired Nassau Community College professor who has seven children and 12 grandchildren, says he opened the business about nine years ago with a desire to create a special place where families could spend time together and engage in an old-fashioned, quiet activity “in the face of a world where I saw everything having to do with pinball palaces and party centers where there was a great deal of chaos and noise.”
“There’s nothing better than to see a grandma sitting with her 3-year-old grandchild, decorating gingerbread,” he says. “It’s a consummate artistic endeavor – whether it’s a cookie or a house – and everybody leaves with such a feeling of self-fulfillment.”
AT THE STORE
Visitors are greeted by the sweet aroma of baking gingerbread. They can buy and decorate small, flat gingerbread pieces in different shapes or a 6-by-9-inch three-dimensional gingerbread house, using their choice of colorful icing and candies.
When they’re done, each person leaves with a decorated, edible creation in a gift box and a diploma noting their new degree in “gingerbreadology.”
On December weekends, patrons can decorate edible gingerbread ornaments, meet Santa Claus and wander through a holiday “candy land” ($2-$3 a person, 5-8 p.m. Fridays, noon-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays).
With 6,000 reservations on the books between now and Christmas, Gingerbread University will be buzzing with excitement this holiday season. It also will be taking its show on the road to holiday gatherings, festivals and fundraisers all over the Island, including these holiday workshops:
WHEN 9:30-11:30 a.m., 1-3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE Nassau County Bar Association, 15th and West streets, Mineola
Children of all ages can enjoy light refreshments while they design and decorate their own gingerbread houses to take home. Proceeds from the event will support the Nassau County Bar Association’s WE CARE fund, which donates money to local charitable causes.
WHEN Noon and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14
WHERE Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook
PHONE 631-751-0066, ext. 212
COST $25 per creation. Space is limited, preregistration required. Terry will show visitors how to make their own unique, edible gingerbread carriages.
WHERE 3225 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow
WHEN Daily except Tuesday; reservations recommended
WEB gingerbreaduniversity .com
COST $27.50 plus tax to buy and decorate a gingerbread house (other projects from $9.95)
WHAT Second annual ARTree
Celebration & Gingerbread House Workshop
WHEN 1-3 p.m. Dec. 11
WHERE Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington
Kids ages 8 or older will decorate a gingerbread house as well as design an ornament for the museum’s tree.
Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.