Gingerbread house a tasty place to live

December 05, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The rules for Renfrew Museum and Park's 1998 gingerbread house baking contest urged contestants to bake from scratch. They said nothing about getting hints from Martha Stewart.

The Davis family - Robert, 41, Jean, 38, Becky, 11, and Cory, 7 - won best of show in this year's contest with their creation of a two-story house, barn and motorcycle shed.

The Chambersburg, Pa., family designed the structures with their own imaginations. They scanned the Internet for ideas and visited Martha Stewart's Web site, Robert Davis said.

"Jean and I made the big house, Becky made the barn and Cory made the motorcycle shed," Davis said. The family made drawings to guide the cutting of the gingerbread into the desired shapes and glued everything together with icing. Icing in gingerbread house construction acts like concrete in real buildings, Davis said.


"It took us about four days. You have to let the gingerbread harden. We worked on it a little at a time," he said.

It was the first time the Davises got involved in the contest. "We were really surprised that we won. There were some nice houses there," he said.

A lot of imagination went into all of the entries. While gingerbread was the main construction material, roofs were made from bite-size shredded wheat, gum drops and jelly beans. Fences were built from pretzels and peanuts were used as fireplace stones.

A replica of the Red Run Railroad used black licorice sticks for tracks and Skittles candy made a pretty rainbow over Noah's Ark.

Other winners were:

- Janet, Connie and Joel Kauffman, first place, family category.

- Martina Pfeuffer, first place, children's category.

- Jenifer Bliemester, first place, adult.

Judges were Anthony Ebersole, executive chef at the Waynesboro Country Club, and Michael Mahr, executive chef at Grove Worldwide.

The gingerbread houses will be on display at the museum through next weekend.

Jeff Bliemester, museum curator, said there were six entries this year, the contest's second year. Last year there were 14. The houses will be on display through next weekend in the museum's changing gallery.

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