Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Gingerbread village and other gingerbread

It seems there is quite a lot of gingerbread in my Christmas this year.  As I am under the weather, I thought I would give a quick gingerbread tour, including the Gingerbread Village at the Melbourne Town Hall.  Above are some gingerbread gift boxes we will be giving tomorrow.

We went to see the Myer Christmas windows a few weeks back.  For the out-of-towners, this is a Melbourne tradition.  I used to go and see the department store windows with their lights and moving characters each year as a child. 

These days they seem to focus on a book rather than a theme, which means they are selling a commodity rather than celebrating Christmas.  This year the book is Gingerbread Friends.  The displays were fun but the reading of each page of the book at each window really slowed the crowd down as the queue snaked along past the windows.

Inside Myer is a gingerbread theme in the children's clothing.  I have seen a picture of a kid with a cardboard box decorated as a gingerbread house on Pinterest.  These cardboard houses look like the sort of thing I would love to make if I had the time and space.

Yesterday Sylvia and I went to the city and visited the Gingerbread Village at the Melbourne Town Hall.  It was both amazing and slightly disappointing.  Amazing because of all the detail, especially in Melbourne icons that I recognised.  Slightly disappointing because it was so much smaller than I had expected.  (What was I thinking!  The amount of work for the display was incredible!)

The lighting also was so dim that it made it really hard to take photos.  So dark that I had to use the flash in the Luna Park photo.  (Though not in the other photos.)  Luna Park is a fun fair in St Kilda, a seaside suburb of Melbourne.  The model had the big dipper, the roundabout, clowns and carnival food.

Even more iconic than Luna Park is the MCG.  (The Melbourne Cricket Ground if you want to be proper or the G if you go there a lot!)  How amazing that this gingerbread model included the light towers lit up and the footy players in the middle of a game.  Yes the attention to detail was fantastic.

As well as Melbourne icons, there was the generic snowy scenes that are not seen in a Melbourne Christmas but that many of us still think of when we think of Christmas.

I loved Santa and his reindeer on the rooftops in this scene.

This gingerbread Melbourne Town Hall had the artistic licence of being in the snow and having a train line whizz by out the front.  They would have been more accurate to have trams and tourist horse and carts going by on dusty dry roads.  But gingerbread houses are never about reality, are they?

I loved the details here in this row of shops.  Little loaves of bread and kebabs and cheese.  At the end of this row of shops was the Melbourne Arts Centre complete with the spire.  Unfortunately, like the Melbourne Zoo the lighting made it hard to photograph so you will just have to imagine it.

Finally, in my kitchen we have had more gingerbread stars.  Despite lots of fanciful notions about making all sorts of other foodie gifts, I decided to make my favourite gingerbread recipe.  Sylvia had fun with the sprinkles and I tried out a new silicone icing bag.  We are packaging some stars in the gingrebread gift boxes (top photo) and other individual ones into cellophane bags.

So after all this gingerbread, I am hoping that I might make my own gingerbread house this year.  However it depends on the weather and my energy levels.  I hadn't planned on being poorly this week and having the temperature soar to 40 C on the day I planned to bake.  I am still hoping I might mange it.  Stay tuned....

14 comments:

  1. oooh love your recap, I haven't taken the kids to the windows or village yet, I had hoped Thursday but now the weather will be feral. Get well soon!

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    1. Thanks veganopoulous - Thursday wasn't as bad as some 40 C days but not really a great day for it - hope you might find time (I have sometimes gone to the Myer Christmas windows after christmas and the queue is just disappeared - it is great)

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  2. After all that "gingerbreading," Johanna, it's no wonder you aren't feeling well.

    I do love seeing all the gingerbread creations though. They are all so magical! I have always wanted to "build" just one ginger bread house, a HUGE one, lol...Perhaps...I'm surprised to see the Luna Park display. There is a Luna Park in the state of Ohio which appears to look a lot like yours. Is it possible?

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna..feel better, Sylvia has grown!

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    1. Thanks Louise - Gingerbread houses are magical aren't they. And it was great to see just what you could do with it (lights in gingerbread - that is OTT) Yes I am sure the Luna Park is the one - I know they also have one in Sydney so why no all over the world.

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  3. I haven't been to the Myer windows yet but was disappointed in the gingerbread village because it was the same as last year - except they swapped out the Swans for the Dockers in the MCG scene.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I really wanted to go to the gingerbread village last year so perhaps for me that is ok that it is all the same - I had thought I had read there is new stuff but perhaps I was just hopeful. I think royal arcade is more fun than myer christmas windows for me - especially if you want to avoid queues

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  4. I'm sorry to hear you're under the weather. I hope your gingerbread has a restorative effect, and thanks for sharing these pictures. Those gingerbread creations are amazing!

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    1. Thanks Kari - I am doing better now. Must be all the gingerbread - ginger is very good for the throat - am annoyed I forgot to buy some ginger beer at the night market we went to tonight

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  5. This is incredible! So much work must have gone into the display. I wonder what happens to all the gingerbread afterwards...
    Sorry you're not feeling too well. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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    1. Thanks Emma - I wonder how edible the gingerbread is after sitting on display for a month - I find my favourite gingerbread recipe keeps well but this would be a test for it

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  6. That is a lot of gingerbread for one person! These are some awesome houses and displays.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I think this is my gingerbread christmas - it just seems everywhere

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  7. It definitely is getting hot and that is certainly creating issues in the kitchen. Sorry to hear you haven't been well. Every year I visit the DJs windows and this year their display is truly wonderful and there's zero commercialism involved and it even ends with a nativity scene with a scripture - long may it continue. Some of the gingerbread houses/shops/buildings you've shown are amazing - so much talent there! I hope you do get a chance to make your own house. I made mine when the weather was a little cooler. I think it will be 35C tomorrow xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - had a quick look online and from what I saw it seems it is less commercial than Myers - it used to be themes like fairy tales or nursery rhymes - (I just found a list of past themes http://www.emelbourne.net.au/biogs/EM01038b.htm)

      I have got as far as making the gingerbread dough so hopefully will get it into a house - or a helluva lot of gingerbread stars :-)

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