"Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base." ~ George S. Patton
The people in my family have a lot in common.
But if I had to pick one thing that's most prominent,
it would have to be this:
We are competitive. We like to win.
So when we decided to make Gingerbread Houses this year,
what fun would it be if it we didn't make a competition out of it?
We paired up into teams and went to Stop & Shop to buy what we needed.
The only rule: it had to be totally edible.
Team #1: Kerry and her friend, Melissa
Team #2: Emily and Joe
Team #3: Lori and Hali
Team #4: Gayle and Adam
"The pressure people put on themselves and the rivalry between the teams is much more marked. And I think that's a good thing. As long as that rivalry remains within the spirit of competition, it can only spur everyone on.
~ Eric Cantona
"I think there's something wrong with me - I like to win in everything I do, regardless of what it is. You want to race down the street, I want to beat you. If we're playing checkers, I want to win. You beat me, it's going to bother me. I just enjoy competition."
Kerry and Melissa made a sweet cottage. It was covered with sweet tarts, twizzlers, candy canes and shredded wheat cereal on the roof. There was a pretzel fence, a tootsie roll log pile, jolly rancher pond and fire pit, and real gingerbread people warming themselves by the fire. A nice finishing touch was the snowy frosting drizzled on the roof and windows.
"You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that." ~ Michael Jordan
Emily and Joe had a very unique design with a lighthouse made from rice krispie squares, a boathouse from vanilla wafer cookies, and a boat floating in a pool of melted Jolly Ranchers. Rocks were chocolate covered raisins. There was even a gingerbread girl sunning herself on the roof.
Lori and Hali went with a very detailed chalet design with lots of frosting details. The path was made from slivered almonds. The trees were fresh herbs (thyme or rosemary I think). Their coup might have been their intricate fence made out of piped chocolate, except we think the light above the table was too hot and their fences kept drooping!
"It is nice to have valid competition; it pushes you to do better." ~ Gianni Versace
Adam and I designed a New England cottage with a fall theme. It was sided with peanut butter and potato sticks, pretzels, and golden grahams on the roof. The grass was made out of coconut sprayed with food coloring, the trees out of popcorn, and the pumpkins from cheese balls. Adam made dormer windows with hershey chocolate bar roofs and baskets of apples. The chocolate chimney had popcorn smoke coming out of it. On the other side of the house was a lean-to with pretzel rod wood logs. The orange leaves were lentils.
"Some people don't like competition because it makes them work harder, better"
~ Drew Carey
Annie got home from college toward the end of the competition and Grandma Alice came over for the dinner we didn't have time to make!
In fairness, we needed judges that were totally objective and didn't know who made each house. We called upon our neighbors, Linda and Ron.
They were feeling the pressure, though, and we had to convince them that nobody's feelings would be hurt.
Vance had the honor of tallying up the points and announcing the winners.
First Place: Gayle and Adam
Second Place: Kerry and Melissa
Third Place: It was a tie. Lori and Hali, Emily and Joe.