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The Mariposa is hosting a gingerbread house contest

  • The Mariposa Museum is hosting its 2nd annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit this year. Entries can be dropped off between Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. and Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. with contest winners to be announced on Dec. 15. Last year’s inaugural contest saw 15 entries (pictured) and the goal is for even more this holiday season. There is no entrance fee or guidelines, so let the creativity flow. Courtesy photos

  • The Mariposa Museum is hosting its second annual gingerbread house contest and exhibit this year. Entries can be dropped off between Dec. 1-12 with contest winners to be announced on Dec. 15. Courtesy photo—

  • The Mariposa Museum is hosting its second annual gingerbread house contest and exhibit this year. Entries can be dropped off between Dec. 1-12 with contest winners to be announced on Dec. 15. Courtesy photo—

  • The Mariposa Museum is hosting its second annual gingerbread house contest and exhibit this year. Entries can be dropped off between Dec. 1-12 with contest winners to be announced on Dec. 15. Courtesy photo—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, November 23, 2018 11:9AM

The construction of a gingerbread house can mean different things to different people.

For some it’s a way to usher in another holiday season, while others view it as merely an opportunity to spend precious moments with family and friends that involves both food and creativity. And since the important role food has played in cultures all over the world is something the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough greatly values, the organization’s 2nd annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition is much more than just walls that can be mistaken for cookies, some hardened icing and candy decorations.

The folks at the Mariposa hope the community uses this as an opportunity to take time out of their busy schedules to gather round the family table and make something that not only people will want to look at and enjoy, but make lasting memories in the process.

“We view it as something that brings families together, kids and their parents together,” said Sam Blair, outreach coordinator for the Mariposa. “The idea is for people to come together around making food and eating food around the holiday season.”

There are no guidelines for the contest. You can make the gingerbread yourself or purchase a kit from the store – it will not be judged on taste. Build a simple house, a village or a mansion; there really are no limits.

“Some people like to go traditional and others go a little wild with their entries,” Blair said.

Entries just need to be dropped off at the Mariposa between Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. and Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. during Mariposa operating hours, which are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Entries will be judged by a committee and winners will be announced by Dec. 15. And with categories still being decided, participants are encouraged to give their entry a title and even a category they think it belongs in.

“We just encourage people to follow their imagination,” Blair said. “This evokes that creativity. It's pretty wide open.”

In the first year, the contest had just 15 entries, but the hope – and goal – is to have way more this year.

Entries are free to be picked up after the judging takes place, but for those who wish to leave their creations at the museum, they will be displayed through the end of the year.

Blair said he assumed that gingerbread was a product of Germany, but upon researching the food, he discovered that the first known recipe for gingerbread came from Greece in 2,400 BC, while others sources referenced ancient Egypt.

He said that most agreed that some version of a gingerbread recipe followed the Silk Road trade route and arrived in Europe around 1,000 AD. Chinese recipes, he said, were developed during the 10th century and by the late Middle Ages, Europeans had their own version of it and that it was a staple at medieval fairs in parts of Europe.

“It became a real high art, high craft,” Blair said.

Blair added that the first gingerbread houses seem to have been made in Germany, and were “popularized right around the time of the Hansel and Gretel story.” It then came to the U.S. in the 1800s with German immigrants.

“We thought it’s a fun idea and fun opportunity to take gingerbread back into the home kitchens,” Blair said.

For more information, visit mariposamuseum.org/event/2nd-annual-gingerbread-contest or call 924-4555.