In case you hadn't heard, employees at Texas A&M Traditions Golf Club recently built the largest gingerbread house in the world (verified on November 30th by a Guinness Book of World Records official) right here in the Brazos Valley. Because you can't live in the same city as a world-record-holding gingerbread house and not see it in person, the four of us bundled up - figuring a gingerbread house couldn't possibly be heated - and drove out to the site where the house had been constructed. Well, Tom, Hallie, and I bundled up. Despite asking the kids to "get your coats and hop in the car" three times, Will only caught the second half of that two-part instruction. Needless to say, he asked to go home first.
I hate to say it, but I found the gingerbread house somewhat disappointing. The exterior looked like a gingerbread house - the walls were constructed entirely of square and rectangular slabs of gingerbread held together by (I assume) royal icing; the windows were made of translucent candies, melted flat and then melted again to one another; and the accessories on the outside of the house and in the lawn (house numbers, lamp post, etc.) appeared made of candy canes and licorice. But the interior? The interior was made of…wood. That's right, they'd built a very basic wooden structure, and then attached the pieces of gingerbread and melted candy windows to the wooden frame and glass windows.
Maybe our expectations were too high, but both Tom and I truly thought we would see a house made exclusively of gingerbread, candy, and frosting. Instead, we walked in, realized we'd paid money to see the inside of a regular old house, turned around, and walked out. On the plus side, we enjoyed the hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies (made from the same recipe as the gingerbread used on the house) sold inside the neighboring clubhouse.
So while I'm glad we had the opportunity to walk through the biggest gingerbread house in the world, next year - and I'm talking to you, gingerbread house makers - I want to walk through an actual house of gingerbread and not a house of wood with gingerbread siding. And if that can't happen, maybe our family will build such a house ourselves…with an engineer (Tom), a baker (Erin), and two candy exterior designers (Will and Hallie), what could go wrong?