Just because I’m not going to bake this Christmas season* doesn’t mean I can’t watch demented Food Network shows about gingerbread, right? After discovering the wonders of competitive gingerbread last year we decided to make this a holiday tradition, albeit a really lazy and cheap tradition, and we set up the Tivo to record this year’s extra-pathological gingerbread challenge, in which five past National Gingerbread Champions were given only eight hours to work their compulsive gingerbread magic. They had to work side-by-side and scurry around with their cooking tools. If Santa had a meth lab it would look a lot like this show. Awesome!
I was excited that the main objective for the contestants was to “create a gingerbread showpiece that best portrays their favorite childhood holiday memory.” So we were really hoping to see gingerbread scenes like “Daddy Was Sober for Once” or “The Dog Pooped Tinsel” or “I Played With My New Atari and Ignored Everyone.” Just think of the possibilities! But unfortunately they all sort of ditched the memory theme, because surely Valarie E. of Sanford, Florida did not grow up in a chalet perched in a giant chocolate tree. Not even if she had hippie parents. Everyone’s creations were confusing, really. But anyway (SPOILER ALERT! GINGERBREAD SPOILERS!) we were rooting for Jim R., who I think was the guy whose all-candy-moving-parts carousel was sadly overlooked in last year’s competition, and this year (SPOILER) he was robbed. It’s a shame, really, that the gingerbread world has no place for a man with power tools.
And don’t even get me started on the winner, who (SPOILER) is the same asshole who won last year with the same kind of inedible-looking knickknack made from sugar paste and only two little strips of gingerbread. I call bullshit. Bullshit on you, Christina B, and your fakey fondant McMansions.
*But oh yes, I’m going to build something again this year. I’ll put up pictures if it turns out okay…
I am so glad someone else watches these challenges.
I liked Jim’s carousel but I really thought his New York street was way too ambitious for the time frame. The power tools were cool but the building looked awful. The painting for the bricks seemed all smudgy and melty. And while a street scene is cool it wasn’t very Christmas or wintery at all.
I do think Christina needed more gingerbread but I thought she had really good consistency of theme. The whole design was awesome.
But I wanted the woman with the Santa and reindeer carousel to win. It really sucked when her sign broke. I thought it was a good idea, planned well for the time frame and well executed overall.
And that ski chalet thing was just really damn ugly.
Tonight on the America’s Next Top Model finale, the remaining three girls have one hour to build gingerbread houses while flamenco dancing in a pool! I cannot wait.
We actually went to the Grove Park Inn to see them in person. The winners are so good that they’re unimpressive in reality because you can’t believe they’re made of gingerbread. The also-rans are somehow more impressive. They also smell absolutely divine.
Though they do make you think evil sledgehammer thoughts too
Last year I really meant to make a Martha Stewart Camp Cupcake Jail gingerbread house to enter in the Good Housekeeping Magazine’s annual contest, but I just didn’t get around to it. It *so* would have won, I just know it.
i was just laughing so hard i was actually crying. my dog was looking at me like something was seriously wrong. wow. that was a good laugh.
i know what you mean about that gingerbread challenge. i watched it last year and there was so much pressure i really wondered if someone might not crack up.
“If Santa had a meth lab.” Snort!
“Daddy Was Sober for Once.” Sputter!
And then Marianne’s “evil sledgehammer” thoughts! Choke on coffee!
I’m addicted to your site…and your comments…
Wow, this post had “doomed olives” everywhere. Thanks for the much-needed laughs and snickers. The dog pooped tinsel = priceless.