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  Gingerbread House & A Christmas Special - 1996
W. F. Heartwell OAA MRAIC
  Gingerbread House on Display with Historic Ducmentation  

While talking at the table after our traditional extended family Thanksgiving Dinner, Sandra Cranston Corradini and I began to discuss cooking, our usual topic of conversation, and our respective Christmas plans. Sandra wanted to make a non-traditional Gingerbread House suitable for gifts for her adult friends, and one that would reflect her interest in rural farm architecture. I suggested a Regency Cottage - a style of architecture found throughout Ontario, both in city and country. We happened to have a copy of architectural walking tours of Ontario towns. We browsed through the book noting all the details we would like to include in our Gingerbread House.

With a little bit of research, I developed plans for A Regency Cottage in Gingerbread. I decided to test the design in model form first, using foam core rather than gingerbread. Sandra liked the model so much she wanted to include it in a segment on her television show 'A Day in the Country'.

Sandra and I then worked on a method of turning the model into a gingerbread house, and together we explored various means of baking and assembling the cottage. In the meantime, the producers of her show liked the idea so much that they wanted to include a segment featuring the Cottage on the show, except filming began in four days. Needless to say, a lot of baking occurred in the next few days. And what had started as a simple after-dinner conversation, resulted in a full television production - a Christmas Special at that.

Subsequently, Sandra and I gave several one-day seminars on creating Gingerbread Regency Cottages. By the time we finished those, plus the ones we made for our friends, we had produced over 60 Gingerbread Houses that year. I also marketed the plans and instructions for people to give as Christmas presents.

  Gingerbread House - Detail - Front Door  
    Gingerbread House with Regency Cottege Model