Too much icing and candy is OK

KINGSTON — It doesn’t matter if you are 8 or 80 — being able to decorate a gingerbread house with every type of candy imaginable has no age limit.

And there were plenty of houses to decorate during Farm Kitchen’s famous parties this year, as owner Hollis Fay and organizer Anna Joe Savage and their crew baked 720 pieces of gingerbread, creating 160 houses. They also whipped up about 300 pounds of icing to “glue” the homesteads together, as well as for decorating.

It’s not just children who have fun absentmindedly covering their hands and faces with remnants of various types of sugar —  anyone at any age can be a landscape architect when it comes to designing the exterior of a gingerbread house.

It was the big weekend event for Indianola resident Patti Horvath, who invited her sisters and friends to partake in the sweet activity Dec. 10.

“(I used) lots of cinnamon because I don’t want to eat it,” said Sarah Kerringan of Bellevue about the primary ingredient on her house.

“I just had an inspiration — is there any red licorice anywhere?” asked Gail Anderson of Bellevue, as she put finishing touches on her “front yard.”

“We always have a girls’ weekend around my birthday and this was the craft,” Horvath said as her friends worked away. “It’s a blast. (We) might make it an annual thing.”

Natalie Tang, 8, of Bainbridge Island, said she had a plan before she got started — she wanted to write “jingle bells” on the roof. She also came up with the idea to create Santa penguins by adding icing and red candies to black licorice penguins.

“I just kept it simple,” said mom Paula Tang, whose unique idea was making trees out of green, mint chocolate chips.

While some take a minimalist approach with their decorating, Myrna Ougland of Poulsbo did what she could with what seemed like every piece of candy available.

“It’s too much fun,” she said. “I love this.”

So why feel the need to fill every space?

“That’s a good question,” Ougland responded with a chuckle. Her friend Glenn Withey of Seattle, who was taking a similar approach, didn’t respond as he was concentrating on adding the final touches. He attended the parties last year and had been looking forward this year to a certain type of candy that is well known for its excellent use as shingles for the roof.

“There were no Necco wafers this year,” he said, clearly disappointed. “We had to improvise.”

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