Nothing says holiday cheer quite like the scent of a gingerbread house. For me at least, the warm spices mingled with sugary royal icing is the olfactory equivalent to watching It’s a Wonderful Life. To put it simply, a whiff of a gingerbread house reminds me of everything that is merry and bright about this time of year. So when the opportunity to brainstorm events for VRG came about, my mind immediately jumped to gingerbread house decorating. And thanks to the tireless work of those of us involved, the Friends of Robinson Gardens’ sold out, virtual Gingerbread House Decorating Event took place on the morning of Saturday, December 5th.
Participants were provided with a gorgeous, pre-assembled gingerbread house made by local bakery Tutto Bene; royal icing; figurines of trees, sleighs, Santa, snowmen, and more for their gingerbread house gardens; and deluxe candy kits (based on their pre-reserved color palette). The heart of the event was the hour-long decorating lesson by Della Gossett, Spago’s Executive Pastry Chef. Everything from her tutorial on piping the royal icing (which dries faster than you can believe) to best practices for applying the candy, gave guests professional insight into making a great house. Additionally, Chef Della interspersed fun gingerbread house trivia (did you know Queen Victoria’s wedding cake used royal icing which set a new standard for wedding cakes, and weighed over 300 pounds?!). Della truly was an excellent teacher and made the morning very special.
I am so proud of the event and glad I was able to chair something so joyful and uniting during these challenging and isolating times. A special thank you to Leslie Kavanaugh for her incredible efforts in helping make this event a reality; Betty Goldstein for answering my numerous questions; my mom (Lori Gordon) and sister (Victoria Gordon) for setting aside many nights to package candy kits and pickup and distribute houses; Tim Lindsay and April Walton for their assistance; and everyone who attended for making the event so much fun.
The Gingerbread House Decorating Event was an exciting reminder that the holiday season can still be festive, even if none of us can be together. In the words sung by Judy Garland in “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from the movie musical Meet Me in St. Louis, “Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.” So until that reunion day comes, muddle through we will. And if you’re a FRG member attending one of our wonderful, virtual events, you’ll muddle through in style.
Post by Natalie Gordon
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member and Membership Chair
Photos by Natalie Gordon and participants