Sunday, January 07, 2018

2017 Annual Gherkins Gingerbread Competition

The most anticipated New Year's Eve activity around our home is the Annual Gherkins Gingerbread Competition. This year was no different.

The prize of this competition is the right to host this  "Gingerbread Gherkin" for 2018. The winners will take photos of his adventures, mail him to one another and I'll post him on the blog and on our Courageous Joy Facebook page. He'll rejoin us next New Year's Eve. This year Gingerbread Gherkin went to CA, CO, Mexico and places in between. He planted trees, helped pack houses, played with kids in Mexico, and moved to Alaska. He's looking forward to another full year.

Stacia and Nolan served as team captains again this year. Each team was provided the same gingerbread kit, spatulas, bowls, spoons, and $20 to shop for anything else they may want. Each team also got a challenge item or two.

We have noted that most of the contestants friends will vote on Facebook and not on a blog official this year will take place on our Facebook Page - Courageous Joy.

To keep everything scrupulously unbiased, we will no longer designate "Girls Team" and "Boys Team" until after a winner is declared. Entries are presented in alphabetical order.

Team A presents "An Alaskan Getaway". In this entry a Gherkin favorite getaway is recreated with gingerbread, frosting and graham crackers. 

Nestled around the lake is a Forest Service cabin and outhouse. 
Note the smoke from the chimney

Note the campfire and wood pile

A canoe on the lake - little figure is wearing a red shirt
 Forest trail dusted with snow

Note the dock for canoes

Team B presents us with "The Snowman's Lodge."  A winter wonderland we'd love to visit.
Note the hanging snowflake mobile

Candycanes make up the fence and ladder

Note Santa's Slide....

Perimeter fence - igloo and snowmen in the foreground

I'm running late on posting this and promised to do it TONIGHT. The rush/ Various ones would like to take the Gingerbread Gherkin on adventures.  The poll is pinned to the TOP of the  Courageous Joy Facebook page; voting ends Friday, 12 Jan at 9:00 p.m. AKST.

Past year's competitions and winners:
2013 Competition - Men won with their Town square complete with a clock tower.

2014 Competition - Women won with their sweet Chapel; Men's Night Before Christmas disqualified them according to judge Michael.

2015 Competition - Women won with Mad Hatter's Tea Party over the Men's rendition of Santa's Village.

2016  Competition - Women won with their  "Portrait of  2016."

Sonora Hot Dogs

Sweet! Krista asked if she could fund and fix tonight's Sunday Family Dinner. I was game. She fixed Sonora (as in Sonora, Mexico) hot dogs for us. She shared her memories of the stand near the orphanage where she lived last spring.

See that dog in the foreground and the suspicious looking bacon wrapped around it? That's my vegan dog and bacon. I discovered that it tastes much better if it's grilled with the real thing - in the bacon grease. LOL Yes, I'm aware it's not vegan if it's covered in bacon grease.

Maybe you don't know what a Sonora Hog Dog is either?  Hot Dogs are wrapped in bacon and grilled with onions. A Hoagie bun gets a layer of may, then the bacon wrapped dog, grilled onions, jalepenos, cheese sauce from a jar, and chili beans.

We ended the night with games and conversation. 

Sunday Afternoon Walk

Today, after church and lunch, we met the Eagle River Group at Reflections Lake.  We discovered while Krista was here that we don't all fit in the Jeep. Arielle came out with CoRielle and Bennett. BreZaak and kids stayed home.  This was Bennett's first family Alaskan hike!  It was a bit crisp - 20*, but beautiful and well worth a bit of cold.

It made me laugh to see the life jackets still hanging by the frozen lake with the warning that state law requires you wear one on the lake. I confess - we went out on the solidly frozen lake without a life vest.

We discovered that lakes seem to become dog parks in the winter around here. LOL

Michael & I
Krista, Alex, Nolan 

With two of gals - Krista and Larissa
Cory (Bennie in his coat), Arielle and Stacia


 The Gang - Cy was in Seattle
Michael, Bennie/Cory, Alex, Nolan, Jared,
Krista (batman pjs), Jamin, Arielle, Stacia, Rissa 

It was a gorgeous walk. On the way home, we stopped at the Matsu River  (or maybe it's the Knick) for a few more photos.