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shannon and the wee one’s entries for Ginger 2012: time to vote!

Ginger 2012: let’s get right to it, shall we?

We’ve been talking about this, but obviously I have entered Movita Beaucoup’s Ginger 2012 Competition. I have little to no experience making gingerbread houses. We used to do them every so often in school (with graham crackers and candy) but I haven’t ever made an actual one by myself. To summarize: I don’t know what I’m doing.

 But someone in my family does. My mother.

I asked her to help me make my ginger structure over Thanksgiving. I just thought two sets of hands would be better than one when trying to affix large slabs of baked goods to each other, at precarious angles. And mom loves being asked to help. No big deal, right? Just a little mother/daughter gingerbreading over the holidays.


 As it turns out, I blocked a few things from my childhood; barred them forever from my memory. No sooner did we slide that baking sheet in the oven did those memories come rushing back.

 My mom is a Ginger Ninja.

 Take a look:

See that? That’s a scale model gingerbread replica of my elementary school. Mom thought it would be “fun” to make that one year for my teacher.

Oh, and that? That’s my first grade classroom. I think you’re getting my drift. I had completely forgotten about all of this.

 Were I to have remembered this, I’m not sure I would have asked for her help. Maybe I would have. Either way, now I have something new to block from my memory; the night we made the ginger houses. I’ll spare you the details, except to say there was more shouting, and sweat, and tears than typically exist in my kitchen. Or during, say, a civil war.

 But it got done. And then it sat. and sat.

 Because if there’s any genetic trait I’ve inherited from the Ginger Ninja, it’s procrastination. Sure, we like to make detailed architectural models out of cookies and candy, but we like to do it under the most stress imaginable. We live for it. It makes us better. And so, to carry on the traditions of my family, i chose to decorate my house the day it was due.

I agonized. I fretted. I messaged Katherine at Eggton for moral support, only to find out she had overdosed on strawberry Starburst candies right about the same time as I was getting buzzed from all the royal icing (contact high.) We fretted together; a bond was formed. She’s a procrastinator too. It was not looking good.

But then: i finished. and I felt so proud. I thought “okay; this isn’t so bad. Cute, even. Quaint; not the historically accurate Swiss chalet I had envisioned, but still pretty nice.”

Meanwhile, I had set up a little gingerbread house action for the Wee One, thinking she would like to do the same thing I was doing. I had no idea the genetics were so strong at such a young age.

 Because she produced this: a structural ode to her favorite treat cereals. I liked that she chose to stick with a theme. No mixed media for this toddler; she’s a purist.

So I submitted my Ginger 2012 entry, and the Wee One’s entry (yes, she’s competing too), feeling pretty good about our odds of winning.

 And then I checked Google reader Wednesday morning.

Now, in Movita Beaucoup competitions, there are some really excellent competitors. And although I’ve had my booty handed to me by a ‘tween during Bake My Cake 2012 (Hi, Elsa!) and didn’t even make it to the finals in Pumpkin Carve-Off 2012, I’d like to think I’m decent competition.

Not this time, friends; not this time. When started reading through the other entries, I knew not even the magic of the Ginger Ninja could save me, because my unassuming little Ginger chalet would be competing against the flipping Ginger Buckingham Palace, sweeping ginger lighthouses, and an entire miniature ginger village shoved inside of a glass.

And that’s only if it wins. You see, that was just Groups 1-3. I’m in Group 6 today. The post is up now; I’ve been cuddled under a blanket with my coffee waiting for it. Silver lining? I’m competing with some of my favorite people on earth; The Katherine/Scott duo, Scott’s sister, Movita herself, and my own daughter. So it’s a pretty awesome group, full of people who are probably capable on some level of creating an entire ginger community, but who would much rather kick back, drink some wine, and wait until the last possible second to produce anything. How do you think we all ended up in the last group together? Movita places people into groups based on the order in which the entries are received. You do the math.

And so I ask you for your vote. Although, here’s the thing: my sweet Wee One made a house, so I’m mostly asking you to vote for her. Because she’s adorable, her little cereal house is her first real big art project, and this is her first competition. Also, can you imagine how baffled the ginger Buckingham Palace creators will be when a two-year old smokes them in a ginger battle? They’ll probably retire from the sport.

So please vote today. Please? Mostly, I want to see our ginger-hovels kick the pants off of actual, professional work, and I know you do too. Vote for the Wee One, or vote for me. I’m voting for the Wee One, because I at least want to tell her she totally made it to the finals. She would be stoked.  We are in Group 6, and the poll is at the bottom of the post. Also, feel free to make this totally viral; I bet any one of you has more friends than I do. Let’s win this, somehow. Certainly it’s not going to be with talent, so let’s let it be with the purity that is the popular vote. Go now: to the voting booths. To Twitter. To wherever you actually need to be today. I will keep you updated on Facebook so you know how the hovels are faring.

Thank you, albeit ahead of time. You all are the best, anyway, but certainly in times like these, I find you particularly adorable.

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  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina December 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

    This was like the most torturous experience ever…choosing between you and The Wee One.

    I need some spiked eggnog for breakfast.

  • Reply Hillarie December 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Love the houses and the story. I can just see you and your mom in the epic 2012 ginger bread battle. 🙂 Love you most off all, but I voted for the Wee One! Best of luck to her in her search to become ginger bread royalty.

    • Reply shannon December 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      thanks hil. 🙂 and yes; mom and i had quite the multi-generational throwdown the evening (or should i say early, early morning) we decided to bake off all these house pieces and then slap them together. it was amazing we both made it without scratches.
      thanks for selling me out to vote for the wee one! and i mean that…she’s pummeling me in the polls, as it should be. 🙂

  • Reply Emma December 20, 2012 at 8:44 am

    All those professionals houses made me kind of sad. I mean, they’re amazing and beautiful and exquisite, but they’re nothing compared to a scene with a yeti and things that glow in the dark, or a hovel made by a toddler, or things with soul:) Pretty glad I didn’t have the time to make one this year, I would have been smooshed hardcore by the competition!

    • Reply shannon December 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      i was aghast at the professional houses. just in the way that you know…i never envisioned they would be there, i guess? certainly there’s no rules against it, but i was expecting some – like you said – meringue yetis and quaint houses decorated with candy canes and cereal treats. so when i woke up to groups 1-3, i was like, “WHAT.” and then i thought, “The wee one is going to kick the TOODLES out of those houses.”
      and so far, she’s doing pretty well. I felt a little defeated, but i’m pretty happy for the practice this year, because next year? coming out SWINGING.

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats December 20, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Wow, Shannon, now I know where your talent comes from!- check out those past creations from Momma Table. I can only imagine what the Wee One will be crafting up in the years to come. Speaking of which, I’ve been waiting for you to post a picture of your little girl, and she is even more ADORABLE than I could have imagined! Not to mention she obviously already possesses a much larger attention span than I would ever hope to have- her house was amazing!

    • Reply shannon December 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Momma Table is like, our matriarch crafter. We don’t always have pictures (she’s one where she never things what she’s done is very good, and she’s super wrong about that), but without her massive skill set and genetics, i would be nowhere. I try to post photos of her here and there on the posts; she’s so hard to get on film because she just never sits still! Thank you; i am biased, but i do think she’s beautiful. And very focused, yes, when there are projects to do. She seems already very amenable to crafting and basically doing what i do, so i’m totally looking forward to the near future when we can color, and paint, and clay the day away. 🙂

  • Reply Ashley December 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I would totally sip some hot cider and spiced rum inside your ski chalet, especially with it’s swirly ombre facade and shingle detailing! Love it! And Wee One’s house is spectacular, showcasing a keen eye for color and texture. It was tough to decide, but I had to case my vote for Wee One. It was her utter concentration and deft skill with Fruit Loops that were the deciding factor. Good luck with the competition, both of you!

    • Reply shannon December 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      You’re a good woman, Ashley: the Wee One thanks you for your wise decision. she’s doing great in the polls; only has a few percents to go and she wins! I’m hoping she stays near the lead for the rest of the day.
      are you getting any of this crazy freak storm we are? Had to ask…part of our tree came down, and i’m snuggled under a blanket watching the snow and the temperature fall. sort of a great winter day for some hot cider and spiced rum, i think. 🙂

  • Reply sister table December 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    sorry, but i voted for nutter’s house. i didn’t want there to be a giant ginger elephant in the room when i come home for christmas. ….and she’s the cutest thing i know.

    • Reply shannon December 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      no apology necessary; i think we all know what she’s like when she’s ‘displeased’ with something. i’d rather there not be any discomfort during our time together.
      She says she “doesn’t like it when you’re gone” and she drew you a picture today; rather, it’s of her, you, me, and mom together. She put it on the fridge and wants to show it to you “right away when you put your bags down.” 🙂

  • Reply movita beaucoup December 24, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I’m starting my house for next year tomorrow. Because apparently, that’s what other people do. They must… RIGHT? I’ve gotta say that Group 6 was my most favourite grouping of ginger magic…

    • Reply shannon December 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      I want to interview the Yehlings to find out when they start their “tradition”; really i want to interview everyone, because there’s no WAY they just start that any later than, like, March. Unless they are a family cursed with some odd deformity where they all have 8 hands; then i can see it taking less time.
      i loved our group 6…it was magical, and easily my favorite grouping. I say we unofficially win for “best sportsmanship” or “most effort (on the final day they were due”.)

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