Monday, December 26, 2011

The Gingerbread House That Wasn't

So, constructing a gingerbread house has been a family holiday tradition for a couple years running, and this year the tradition continued. But with less successful results:

Sarah baked the gingerbread. The girls had made two icecream-cone-and-M&M trees for out front. I did the initial construction and was shingling the roof with Necco wafers. Then it all went to hell. The walls started warping and collapsing. I tried to save it: realignments, reenforcements, more icing-glue. It held for a while. But then... flump. There were a couple further attempts to salvage it, but we at last deemed it fundamentally strucuturally flawed, and we abandoned the task.

We were a little mystified. We'd done everything the same as years past. What was different? We learned we weren't alone. Friends had almost identical travails, a city-wide gingerbread house calamity. (I'm extrapolating here from an admittedly very small set of data points.) The cause, apparently: our near-seventy-degree temperatures and current sauna-like humidity, which rendered the gingerbread soft and loosey-goosey.

Hmm. Collapsed roofless houses. Water rendering them structurally unsound. Sounds kind of familiar. A very New Orleans sort of holiday failure. Oh, well. Next year. (If ain't seventy and sweltering.)

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