Gingerbread: This Old House

gingerbread house I ade for Mutti

Gingerbread House I Made for Mutti

As we’re coming up on gingerbread season, I thought I’d share this project I did for Mutti years ago. It’s a near-replica of the house my parents bought back in the early 60s (pictured below). The original siding didn’t quite look like this, but strawberry wafer cookies only come in one shade, Pepto-Bismol Pink. On the real house, my dad, an early computer geek, extended the basement and first and second floors, adding a workshop, a family room, two bedrooms and a bath.

The shingles were fun to make, but not so appetizing to look at. They were bits of homemade Swedish hard tack painted with food coloring mixed to a greyish black. I also made a bow-window with homemade “glass” out of corn syrup that displayed miniatures of Mutti’s plants on the inside ledge made out of green gummy candy. Looking at it now I could have done better with venting on the roof and landscaping. I recall there was almost a roof collapse with this one early on, so I needed to add the spare gingerbread wall pieces that I had made to the middle of the structure before adding the shingles. Ah, the joys of construction without a permit. Don’t tell Tom Silva.

Like my gingerbread chapel, this was glued together with almond bark. Fortunately, I lost interest in making large gingerbread projects at about the same time I became aware that using partially hydrogenated fat as glue was not a healthy thing to do. I suppose I could have given traditional stiff frosting another try, but it didn’t seem to hold as well. Below is the house as it looked in the 80’s after the bow-window was put in. My older brother lives there now with his family.

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