I have grown up constructing gingerbread houses during Christmas season. Every year, come early December, a family-wide building contest ensues. We each make a gingerbread house to be displayed in various locations. This year, I brought my festive skills to college. Surprisingly, gingerbread house construction really does enhance your knowledge of material strength, following instructions and consequences of sugar overload.
There are a few different approaches to constructing a gingerbread house: some people use graham crackers (lame), others bake the gingerbread from scratch (overachieving and ripe for disaster) and the rest of us construct our gingerbread homes from store bought kits. When buying a kit, ensure that it comes with an easy tray with divots to hold the walls in place. I also suggest investing in an extra tub of icing to use for decorating and candy placement.
Gingerbread houses are a fun and relaxing study break during finals. They can also serve as an unusual holiday potluck contribution.
Zoë McKinnell is a senior at Brown who keeps reading and trying new recipes instead of studying for her many finals. Oops!