Gingerbread Contest: Part 1

Stephanie Webster

The phrase that keeps going through my head as I painstakingly roll out sheets of fondant to recreate wood siding for the CTbites entry in the Stamford Museum's Gingerbread Exhibit is "What was I thinking?" I'm a professional eater, not a professional baker. Knee deep in food dye and frosting, I am so far out of my element, I could be in another country. Obstacles aside, team CTbites is up for the challenge, and driven by the desire to raise money for Stamford Museum's educational programs, we embrace our inner cake decorator. (And thank you Michele Klem of CakeSuite for not screening my distress calls.)

Day 1: 

After a 1 hour planning session with our staff baker and contributor Deanna Foster and our own Chef Nicole, we decide to go with a local CT farm stand theme. Fruit, veggies, grass…with the added bonus of a structure that only requires three walls. How hard could this be? 

Suddenly grateful for my brief foray into architecture school, we construct a paper model, and go home to bake us some walls. That night I dream of royal icing and catastrophic gingerbread failure.

Day 2:

The next day we begin laying the foundation with the tough realization that our gingerbread may be too thin and the farm stand may not hold. We decide to closet this thought for later and instead carry on with the task at hand. Chef Nicole and I shingle our roof with Golden Graham Cereal (keeps the rain out…and it's tasty), while Deanna layers our walls with the above mentioned fondant wood siding (a substance I had never touched until today). Table cloths are painted, tables collapse…children run to get their nursery blocks out for reinforcement. Again…that phrase…"What was I thinking??" 

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we find out if the roof will hold up under the weight of its layer of crunchy (and surprisingly heavy) breakfast cereal.

Follow this link for more information on The Stamford Museum's "Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects" exhibit.