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I was ready to move into more than one of the little houses on show at the second annual Gingerbread House Event at the Parkinson Rec Centre in Kelowna last weekend. With their royal icing eves troughs, gumdrop shingles and icing sugar snow, who wouldn’t be tempted?

The sweet infused competition and show close to tripled in size from its debut last year, as word of its existence spread. Not only is it a fun, family activity – whether you enter a house or just stop by to see others’ handiwork – but it’s a good source of inspiration for those thinking of building their own gingerbread home this year. And a portion of the proceeds made from the event went to help the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.

The photos above are from the only “professional” entry this year, titled “Candy Cane Lift Adventure” by Olivia Harding, a chef at the Delta Grand Hotel.

The ski hill and chalet were completely edible, with a candy cane t-bar and little fondant people and trees. The structure was all gingerbread, and even the “glue” was made from royal icing and melted, semi-sweet chocolate.

I loved this gingerbread bird house, made with treats a feathered-friend would enjoy – popcorn, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and anise seeds. The little blue birds are made from gum balls. I happened to talk to the maker of this one, Michele Rule, and she said her family plans on eating it themselves – although they may share some token seeds and popcorn with the birds that inspired it.

This grist mill was so handsome and tantalizing, despite being so unadorned compared with some of the entries. The main structure is gingerbread scored with a knife to make it look like wood panels. The windows were made from melted candy and the water is butter cream icing sprayed with edible food colouring. The bushes are rice crispy squares covered in icing, and the tree is an upside-down ice cream cone with icing piped on. Most of the trimmings are a mix of icing and fondant.

This North Pole Candy Factory is so Willy Wonka! I love the fantastical colours, the heavy, marshmellowy trees (not really marshmellow, of course, but they look like they should be) and candy motifs.

I want to say I was inspired enough to bake and decorate my own gingerbread structure. Mostly, though, I’m just inspired to eat one or two or maybe three of these gorgeous ones that are already made. But in the big scheme of things, that’s really not such a bad thing…


We’re linking up with Good Life Wednesdays over on A Beach Cottage.

– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier



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One Comment

  1. The grist mill is my absolute favorite one pictured! I can’t believe these bakers are that on the ball that they have already made their gingerbread houses. I’m not even thinking about it until a couple of days before Christmas. But, that’s why my gingerbread house is not “show-worthy”.

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