Monday, December 15, 2008

Gingerbread Squatter's Residence

Ahhhh..... the traditions of Christmas.

The scent of pine is in the air (I have a candle to remind me). Festive music is ringing out (thank goodness for ipods!). The Christmas tree is regaling standing in the corner (the Germans had a fake one left in the closet). And the scrumptious foods is taking the bite out of the chill (ok, no chill, but I'm doing my best with the foods anyway!).

Being the incredibly talented construction manager that I am, along with my love of all things sugar, I have always look forward to making gingerbread houses.

Now, as this talented construction manager, I am acutely aware that as you build in different cultures and climates, the styles and materials of the building also need to change correspondingly. However, gingerbread houses are rather confined in their options. Generally, you would go with gingerbread, although many go with the generic version - graham crackers.

Since I completely lacked molasses, actual gingerbread was not to be. So beginning with the graham crackers, I planned out a traditional nicaraguan ranch house.

At first when the porch roof started collapsing under the weight of the licorice, I thought to myself, well, this is going to be a bit more authentic than I was thinking! But in the end, when I realized that graham crackers in Nicaraguan humidity loose all structural value within 5 minutes, I had to 'value engineer' this baby down to the traditional squatters shack instead.

While it is still completely traditional (even little 'stones' on top to keep the laminated roof from blowing off! (nails and structure to nail to are too expensive to maintain when they're always rusting away)), it's a bit more humble than I was originally hoping (or maybe just more homely).

But I suppose that's the best Christmas reminder we could have going into this season. This year maybe a little different, not the same picture perfect of years past. But that will make no difference in how much I enjoy it, nor in how special it is.

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