Woo hoo it's a monkey head
The Great Halloween Gingerbread Holocaust (GHGH) 2005

In short, there was a contest where I work, I love baking and icing, Jason loves castles and destruction, and we both think Halloween is a Good Thing. It was a perfect match. Here, in photos, is the story of our haunted gingerbread creation. We started planning on Thursday, baking on Saturday, decorating on Sunday, and brought it all done by Monday morning at 8 am.

We first decided on our theme: Vlad The Impaler's Castle & The Killer Moat
The Plan

Here we have the "working model". Note the doodles that we called "plans". I think we were still actually using a ruler at this point which was a good thing since the original "plans" would have been way oversize for the limiting factor: our cookie sheets and the size of our oven.

Next year, we'll find a way to make a child size gingerbread castle... you just wait!

bakingGingerbread is very sticky. It took me yelling and hitting, and Jason biting his lip and saving my sanity to figure out how to cut out pieces, get the stencil off of them, and get them onto the cookie sheet. This is also where we discovered that one of our sheets is twisted just enough to make our icing-stuccoing skillz later come into good use. This might also be where we first wondered "Have we bitten off more than we can chew?" and "will we ever eat gingerbread dough again?"

Please standby - this is where we held the Saturday night Halloween Extravaganza (thanks Jeff & Tracy!) intermission. With the styling action of Jedi Jason & Pimpin' Derrek, we found that one CAN cram 8 people into a Mazda 3 sedan. In fact, it looked more uncomfortable getting OUT than getting IN. It was truly a weekend of adventure and discovery.


But I digress: Sunday afternoon - the Architectural Conundrum continues...

After shopping extensively for a solid base (Rona $5.01 plywood), Jay put the aluminum foil to work. I think the only other comment I can make right now about the building of this thing is that it was a hell of a lot more finicky than we suspected. Each piece seems to break into 2 pieces just by looking at it. It's a very good thing that "glue icing" (yes edible) is easy to make!

Other high and low points: the piping bag blew up, jujubes burn in the microwave at 32 seconds (Check out the jujube stained glass windows, yo!), gingerbread is never as stable as it looks, it's surprisingly easy to tie a noose out of strawberry licorice whip, Jay's mom does NOT have a gingerbread bit for her dremmel, and edible glitter rocks out when all else is lost.

Mad Skillz
The Final Product:

Inside the Keep

The Horror!

Melted JuJube windows

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