Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Burlington's 1st Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest

It’s time to preheat the oven, gather your creativity and supplies and enter the 1st Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest sponsored by the Historic Burlington Business Association!


As part of the 2009 A Historic Burlington Christmas celebration, we are inviting people to register and participate in this exciting contest held on December 4th and 5th.

First Prize
The First Prize winner of the HISTORIC BURLINGTON BUILDING category will win a one-night stay at Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn (valid Sunday-Thursday, excluding all holidays) and the First Prize winner of the UNUSUAL DESIGN category will win a $50 gift certificate for dinner at The Tousey House. All ages are welcome to participate, but houses in these categories are required to be made from SCRATCH: photos will be required to prove that they are made from scratch with the person MAKING the house in the photos.

Children's Contest
The third contest is a children's contest. Children 14 and under will be allowed to use Gingerbread Kits. Children’s entries are to be dropped off at Burlington Elementary from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009. Judging will take place Friday at 7:30 pm at the school. Houses will be on display until NOON on Saturday December 5.

Deadlines
All houses in the historic replication and unusual design categories will need to be delivered to the Old Court House on Friday, December 4th, from 1:00 - 3:00pm to qualify. Gingerbread Houses will be located in the lobby of the Old Court House located at 2988 Washington Square (corner of Rt. 18/Burlington Pike and Rt. 338) in the center of historic downtown Burlington. Judging will take place at NOON on Saturday, December 5th!
For the children's contest deadline and judging information, please see the previous section.

How to Enter
To register to participate in Burlington’s 1st Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest, call Nancy Swartzel at 859-689-5096.

Contest Rules/Details
ALL HOUSES ARE TO BE MADE FROM SCRATCH IN THE HISTORIC BUILDING REPLICATION AND UNUSUAL DESIGN CATEGORIES OPEN TO ALL AGES. KITS MAY ONLY BE USED IN THE CHILDREN’S KIT CATEGORY FOR AGES 12 AND UNDER. For all participants in all three categories, photos will need to be taken during the process of making of the Gingerbread House, with the person making the house in the photos to qualify.

The slideshow below includes Burlington's historic buildings that can be reproduced as a gingerbread houses for the contest. You can also click here to see pictures with the corresponding house name. The buildings include: Burlington Methodist Church 1837, Boone County Clerks Office 1853, Willis Graves House c 1830, Robert Chambers House 1832-35, Central House Hotel c 1840, Boone County Deposit Bank 1925, Hogan Log House c 1860, Renaker House c 1830, Senator S Walker Tolin House c 1887, McKim-Crisler House c 1849 c 1897, Latimer-Walden House c 1867, Boone County Recorder Office 1939, Peoples Deposit Bank 1905, Joseph Graves House c 1817, Stephens-Yelton House c 1884, Erastus Tousey House c 1822, James Runyan House c 1840, Burlington Presbyterian Church 1833, and the Foster-Sandford House c 1831.



Need inspiration on how to make a gingerbread house from scratch? Martha Stewart is a valuable resource. Her book, Martha Stewart‘s Christmas Entertaining, Decorating, and Giving (1989), provides details and step-by-step instructions.





You can also visit her website to download templates, click here to see gingerbread information on marthastewart.com.

Martha's Gingerbread Recipe
This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Show (December 2005), adapted from "Martha Stewart Living" (December 1995).

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
6 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt. Beat in eggs and molasses.

Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide dough into thirds and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes, or using template instructions, if desired. Place dough shapes on ungreased baking sheets; chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake 15 minutes, or until gingerbread is firm in the center, but not dark around the edges.

Good luck!

A Burlington Christmas Event Schedule: December 4-6

Friday, December 4th
  • 6:00-3:00 Little Place Restaurant open for Breakfast & Lunch
  • 10:00-6:00 Shops open - Stroll through Town, Dinsmore Holiday Shop at Cabin Arts, Eagle Bend Alpaca Farm with items for sale at Cabin Arts as well as visitation at the Farm on East Bend Road, Operating Lionel Train Display at Farm Bureau Building, 2965 Washington St
  • 10:00-8:00 Kinman Farms selling Christmas trees @ Farmer’s Market, Burlington Pike
  • 11:30-10:00 Tousey House Restaurant open for Lunch & Dinner
  • 12:00-3:00 Little Britain House “Cream Tea” - $10.35 per person
  • 1:00-3:00 Deliver Gingerbread Houses for Contest to Old Courthouse
  • 3:00-6:00 Display of Gingerbread Houses (For more info & rules go to www.willisgraves.blogspot.com)
  • 4:00-7:00 Deliver Children’s entries for Gingerbread House Contest to Burlington Elementary, Judging at 7:30
  • 6:15-7:15 Carolers by the Gazebo
  • 6:30 Christmas Tree Lighting and SANTA ARRIVES! Have pictures with Santa at the Gazebo in an antique sleigh, collect Toys for Tots, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies
Saturday, December 5th
  • 6:00-3:00 Little Place Restaurant open for Breakfast & Lunch
  • 8:30-9:30, 10:00-11:00 Breakfast with Santa at Burlington Elementary
  • 8:30-12:00 Children’s Gingerbread House Contest entries on display at Burlington Elementary
  • 8:30-3:00 Burlington Elementary Holiday Craft Fair
  • 10:00-2:00 Boone County Parks – Crafting Ornaments – Old Courthouse
  • 10:00-4:00 Shops open - Stroll through Town
  • Dinsmore Holiday Shop at Cabin Art, Eagle Bend Alpaca Farm with items for sale at Cabin Arts as well as visitation at the Farm on East Bend Road, Operating Lionel Train Display at Farm Bureau Building, 2965 Washington St
  • 10:00-8:00 Kinman Farms selling Christmas trees @ Farmer’s Market
  • 11:00-2:00 Santa around town collecting Toys for Tots
  • 11:00-5:00 Gingerbread House Display at Old Courthouse, Judging at 12:00
  • 11:30-10:00 Tousey House Restaurant open for Lunch & Dinner
  • 12:00-4:00 Washington Square Café & Catering – Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Desserts – FREE!
  • 1:00-5:00 Dinsmore Homestead open for “Christmas in the Country” event for tours, special activities (small fee)
  • 2:00 Little Britain House “Princess & the Tea” for children ($19.95/person – reservations only)
  • 7:00-9:00 Dinsmore Homestead Candlelight Tours, historic dancers, refreshments (small fee)
Sunday, December 6th
  • 10:00-8:00 Kinman Farms selling Christmas trees @ Farmer’s Market
  • 12:00-4:00 Shops open - Stroll through Town
  • Dinsmore Holiday Shop at Cabin Arts, Eagle Bend Alpaca Farm with items for sale at Cabin Arts as well as visitation at the Farm on East Bend Road
  • 12:00-4:00 Washington Square Café & Catering – Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Desserts – FREE!
  • 1:00-5:00 Dinsmore Homestead open for “Christmas in the Country” event (small fee)
  • 2:00-4:00 Little Britain House “Cream Tea” - $10.35 per person
  • 4:30-9:00 Tousey House Restaurant open for Dinner

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Photos of Interior Updates: Exterior Door and the Graves' Suite

As we mentioned in a previous post, we have made a few updates in the Main House.


Things have come a long way since my dad, Bob, helped us with the renovation and construction beginning back in 1995.


We recently painted the former front door of the main house (now a private entrance to the Graves' Suite) using a special paint from an American company, Fine Paints of Europe, that sources interior and exterior paints from Holland. The door had some cracks and was not it good shape. I filled the cracks with spackling and then followed the paint directions. Even though it is oil based, it dried very fast. Using their high quality paint, we were able to extend the life of this historic door. We ordered SK36, Holland LAC Brillant finish.


In addition to the front door, the Graves' Suite living room has undergone a makeover. It started with new upholstery on the tufted couch and led to the entire room being repainted in a coordinating shade of green.


Then I made curtains for the window (fabric and trim from Making Ends Meet in Shelbyville, Kentucky) and we made a few decorative accessory changes.


Coming Soon: Changes to Thomas' Room and Catharine's Room.