We're unclear on what motivates people to spend hours laboring over edible creations like the over-the-top gingerbread houses in this gallery, but there must be something satisfying about eating a house nicer than the one you live in.
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I'm from Oak Park, IL, which is, if not the Frank Lloyd Wright Capital of the World, a very strong candidate for it. I've been wanting to make a Frank Lloyd gingerbread house for years now, but I'm just not that talented. (I have made a couple of modest g-bread houses in my lifetime, though.)
If anyone's interested, I got the recipe from Time-Life's "The Cooking of Germany," part of the venerable "Foods of the World" series. The gingerbread is a special recipe that cools to the texture of drywall, and the icing is, yes, a type of royal icing you can chip a tooth on. My mom and dad made a house from this recipe in 1969 that lasted until 1981. I'm absolutely convinced that it would still be around if I hadn't devoted all the Christmases of my childhood to licking the candy.
BTW, the book is out of print, but shouldn't be hard to find.