The other night my boyfriend and I were watching this awesome show about gingerbread houses. You may not think a Food Network documentary about the Gingerbread House Challenge Championship in Asheville, NC would be an awesome show, but it is; it comes in on a special cable signal in the Fucking Awesome frequency that can only be picked up when Chris is near the TV. I mean when I am alone, nothing is ever on besides some Gilmore Girls rerun (typical summary: Lorelai names each of her potato chips after Osmonds; Rory awkwardly takes tea with the Illuminati; something about Kirk and a ladder), but when Chris comes over we are visited by R. Kelly videos, truly glorious Lifetime movies about cybersmut, and the wonder that is Competitive Gingerbread. Which consists of making gingerbread houses that look like the work of Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light™ brought to freakishly goopy third-dimensional life in a parallel universe based on sugar instead of carbon. We are talking some seriously fucked-up candy civil engineering here.
Maybe my capacity for holiday hoke has increased after ingesting massive doses of it at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland last month (the capitalization is not a typo, you secular pigs!). Or maybe I got so into this show because I’ve always wanted to make a gingerbread house but have managed to talk myself out of it on the basis of it being messy and time-consuming and obsessive. There were gingerbread castles, gingerbread Victorian mansions, gingerbread Tiki huts, a Diagon Alley made of gingerbread, and a gingerbread carnival with an actual moving carousel on gumball bearings for God’s sake, which apparently is so ahead of its time in terms of gingerbread technology that the judges couldn’t even recognize it for the interactive kinectic gingerbread sculpture that it was–which is to say, they didn’t spin the fucking thing. There were gingerbread controversies and gingerbread tragedy, and we ate it all up (not literally, but technically we could have, even though some of those things didn’t look like they’d be very good and would taste mostly like Karo syrup and compulsive disorder, but still).
It got us thinking of what we would do if we found ourselves in a competitive gingerbread situation. We imagined it would be against our wills maybe, sort of like the Thunderdome, which of course started us thinking about how cool it would be to make a gingerbread Thunderdome, because really, there aren’t enough post-apocalyptic themes in the mainstream gingerbread milleu, are there? Other ideas for elaborate gingerbread tableaus include: a gingerbread Alamo, a crashed gingerbread UPS plane with its cargo of candy spilling out the broken cookie fuselage, and a fondant Wu-Tang Clan in a gingerbread studio. Or we’d make meta gingerbread and make a replica of the Gingerbread Challenge, with little tables and little candy people looking at teeny tiny gingerbread houses. Then we thought about making gingerbread representations of famous disasters and had to stop once we realized that one needed only a very big tray of gingerbread men to make a gingerbread Jonestown. That probably wouldn’t go over so well in Asheville, or, really, anywhere, so we’re glad that we are not forced to 1.) make things out of gingerbread 2.) drink deadly Kool-Aid.
All the same though, I was at a craft store on Friday night and couldn’t help buying one of those kits to make your own pre-fab gingerbread house, where the walls and roof are already baked and cut so you don’t have to make them yourself, and I’m guessing they’ve already hooked up the licorice gas line and dug the gumdrop septic tank, right? I’ll let you know how it turns out.