Gingerbread pro wins two titlesThe public library announced Friday, Dec. 16 the winners of its 7th annual Gingerbread Contest and awarded 11 total prizes. Audrey Martin won two of them -- the People’s Choice award as well as the judges’ vote for first place in the traditional category.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
The public library announced Friday, Dec. 16 the winners of its 7th annual Gingerbread Contest and awarded 11 total prizes. Audrey Martin won two of them -- the People’s Choice award as well as the judges’ vote for first place in the traditional category.
Martin said she makes a gingerbread house every year as part of a family tradition that started when she was a little girl. She heard about the gingerbread contest last year but not until after the entry deadline.
She made a bigger house than she’s tried before and said it took about 25 hours to bake, make and assemble. Martin entered her creation in the traditional gingerbread category.
She hadn’t taken the library’s how-to-bake gingerbread preparatory class but knew many tricks from her years of experience. Martin said she once made a replica of the Octagon House in Hudson.
For this year’s contest creation, she heated heart-shaped red candy melts to fabricate red roof tiles and mixed a special kind of meringue-like frosting to create a snow-capped look for the roof.
She used brightly colored pieces of Chiclets gum to make a walkway to the front door and candy canes to make support poles on the porch and light post in the yard.
Tootsie Roll pieces make a realistic-looking stone chimney, and Martin built upon sugar cones to “grow” outdoor trees.
She formed a small, blue pond in the yard out of melted Jolly Rancher candies that features skating gingerbread figures.
A look around the yard and house also reveals a gingerbread dog house, window treatments, “glass” window panes,” and a wreath on the door.
More winners claim a prize
The Gingerbread Contest awarded 10 other prizes, one of them to a whole group of tots from the River Falls YMCA Pre School. The Y kids worked together on one house for the graham-cracker category, earning a second-place prize.
Winners received a small cash prize sponsored by the River Falls State Bank.
Traditional by adults
- 1st: Audrey Martin
- 2nd: The Simpson Family
Traditional by youths
- 1st: Lily Schartau
- 2nd: Ella Putzier
Whimsical by adults
- 1st: Kay Huppert
- 2nd: Kim Kiiskinen and Jackie Davis
Whimsical by youths
- 1st: Ellen Somerville
- 2nd: Alexa Hudek
Graham cracker by kids
- 1st: Daniel O’Malley
- 2nd: River Falls YMCA Preschool.