When I was in junior high and high school I threw a ginger bread house party every year. I’d help my mom prepare little gingerbread frames, whip up enough royal icing to frost our actual house, denude the grocery store of colorful sugary junk food and then have five or six friends over to spend the afternoon and evening trying to achieve sugar nirvana. It was a lot of fun and I’ve missed doing it every year since.
Architecture school might have seemed like a particularly appropriate time to try it with a bunch of designers but the timing of final reviews and final exams and then the demands of our families that we all go home afterward prevented it pretty effectively. This year I determined to try again. I spent last weekend baking little gingerbread panels and invited a few friends and a few people I’d like to be friends from around the La Crosse area to come over Tuesday after work and play with candy. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. After barely a dusting a snow this year we got our first real dump. An official blizzard swirled in on Tuesday night. It was not a good time to be out and about let alone driving 15 miles over windswept ridge tops through empty farm country and so the party had to be curtailed. In the end Laura came over (she can walk) and Amelia, Roald, Stella and Cameron (my boss and his family) all came on up to get out of the storm and re-group. So we decorated them anyway. It was a lot of fun, if not exactly as planned. Stella (who is three) got her own house to decorate and had a GREAT time doing it. She really got into the colored frosting and was extremely concerned that I’d decided to play it monochromatic. She offered me bowls of colored frosting all night “but … do you want some of the lellow frosting?” Laura created a green sod roof with a reindeer grazing on it from mini marshmallows. We all had a blast. And as for new friends … I’ll just have to try again when there aren’t any national weather service alerts out.