Daily Dose: Gingerbread Houses

Add to TwitterYesterday was our first real Iowan snow of the season. Holiday lights are up, cars are skidding along the slushy roads and everyone I saw on the way to the post office today looked like they were itching to sing me a carol. The first rounds of: “If I don’t see you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” have also begun; I couldn’t help but be influenced by all these seasonal trappings! Thinking of the Daily Dose, I of course wondered if anyone (or how many people, rather) had constructed a life-sized gingerbread house. Turns out, it’s not as popular as I thought. Disney pulled through – their gingerbread bake shop is quite impressive. I did come across some other homes, though, that used highly unusual building materials and have included those as well. Read on –

Bottle House

Mortar and Bottle Wall

When I think of the word “recycle”, I generally conjure up images of plastics and papers by the curb, taken off to be turned into pulp and then… something new. Sometimes those items can be re-cycled through our lives without being made completely unrecognizable. Take bottle houses, for example. Most popular in the early 1900s (Nevada especially) when timber was scarce, these homes were built using empty beer bottles and mortar. The oldest remaining house of its kind used over 50,000 bottles in its construction!

Petrified Wood in Agate House

The Agate House in Petrified Forest National Park is also something of an anomaly, as far as building material goes. Petrified wood, which is preserved when silica in the groundwater crystallizes into quartz, is the primary material of the walls. The Agate House is meant to be a reconstruction of a pueblo – at least in design and layout.

Agate House

Disney Gingerbread House

And finally, the elusive life-sized gingerbread house. It is housed in Disney’s Grand Floridian Lobby and actually contains a real bake shop. The gingerbread for the house required 1,050 lbs. of honey, 600 lbs. of powdered sugar, 35 lbs. of spices and 140 pints of egg whites. Whew. It’s good to know that such a thing actually exists though, isn’t it? I wonder if anyone’s ever managed to filch a bit of the siding…

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