When I originally announced my plans for this year’s gingerbread house I had something very different in mind. I was in a Hayao Miyazaki mood ever since I learned of his plans for retirement. Since I didn’t have much time this year, I thought I’d go with something simple. I have to admit, I didn’t know what the house from My Neighbor Totoro looked like before I started looking into the specs. I thought it was just a square shack. For those of you equally unfamiliar, it looks more like a house with several unusual additions, which I admit didn’t all make it into the finished structure.
I spent more time adding bits of whimsy instead of trying to make an amazing structure. The outside edge is sushi grass, which turns out to be very affordable, and now I have a lifetime supply. The yard is filled with sprinkles, and the little garden patch is cinnamon. The roof is covered in fondant strips, which went a lot faster than originally I thought. I used a food coloring pen to get all those tiny details. The windows are my most exciting development in gingerbread construction. I wanted a material that would mimic Japanese paper doors, shoji, with it’s lattice texture. I thought about those Vietnamese spring rolls that you can see the ingredients through the paper, and when I found them in the store, I was happy to find they came already imprinted with a lattice pattern. They were very easy to cut, and I simply applied two overlapping pieces to control the level of opaqueness I was looking for. Here’s a rare look at the backside.
There wasn’t a whole lot of time to enjoy the house, but at least we didn’t have to go a year without one.
Here’s to another successful gingerbread house, can’t wait to see what next year brings.