THE "BLOB" HOUSE
A local mall sponsored a gingerbread house contest
(Yes, Charlie Brown, Christmas IS very commercialized!).
We chose this house as our subject. It is one of our favorite homes, in my hometown of Phoenixville, PA. It also has a bit of local notoriety, as being the doctor's office, in the classic 1958 horror movie, "The Blob", starring Steve McQueen.
We photographed the house from different angles and vantage points, then I went to the drawing board. Using graph paper, I created the dimensions of the house. Then I built the house, using 1/8 inch foamcor (to simulate the thickness of the baked gingerbread).
I disassembled the foamcor model, and used the (labeled) pieces as templates, to cut out the cookie shapes. For a more detailed process description, go to HOUSE ONE. For gingerbread and icing recipes go HERE.
We used red paste food coloring, to make the gingerbread, brick red, to match the original house. We also used a knife to gently cut brickwork into the dough walls. As the gingerbread bakes, the cuts swell, and produce striking architectural detail. Below, are the baked wall sections. We strengthened the cookies with a layer of icing on the backs. The windows are made of yellow icing. PEZ candies also were used for detailing.
The main tower was the first thing to go up. Here, black icing is being piped to resemble the scalloped wall shingles of the house.
Here the perimeter of the house is constructed.
The complicated roof and gables are finished, and the painstaking work of shingling takes place. For this house we used colored mini chiclets, candy cake confetti, and PEZ, to create the multiple shingle designs of the real house. Whole cloves were used to resemble the ironwork on the roof peaks.
One of my favorite details was the pair of lost mittens next to the snowman!
Here is the finished house. It sits on a 2' x 2' board, and weighed about 20 lb. (right after it was completed). It cost about $200 to make (counting all the novelty candies we purchased). I think we got 2nd prize that year (This was built way back in 1986!).
But the story doesn't end there. The owner of the actual house, purchased the gingerbread house from us. He said he was going to build a Plexiglass box for it.
Dateline: Halloween, 2003
While trick-or-treating with our kids in the old neighborhood, we stopped at this house. The owners were home, and we introduced ourselves as the "Gingerbread People". They were very excited to see us. Then they asked...if we wanted to see it!!!
YES, FOLKS, IT'S TRUE!
After 17 years, we once again looked upon our first gingerbread house! In perfect condition, in a Plexiglass case! The owners said that if you open the case, it still smells like gingerbread!