I’m writing about old buildings again, but this time they’re edible.
If we’re together around the holidays, my friend Megan and I make a gingerbread house. It always possesses a theme, though they’re not always wholesome. If you’re thinking “Santa’s Workshop” or “Victorian Christmas” you’d be off. Way off. This year’s theme was “Derelict Northern B.C. Log Cabin.”
Megan is an excellent gingerbread house-making partner for two reasons: she has a dark sense of humour and an extremely steady hand. Our masterpiece had ivy growing up its side, mould on the roof, an outhouse in the yard, and a gummy bear carcass in the snow (dead of natural causes, I assure you). We included a pile of rotting logs stacked in the yard, because any self-respecting northerner would know that’s a necessary feature. Gorgeous!
I also have a Christmas tradition with my friend Stephanie. We put on Sorel boots and “Go Trudging,” usually along the snowy trail that circles our childhood neighbourhood. This year I requested that instead of our usual route, we head up to the old trappers’ cabin near the university. Why? Because it was the inspiration for the gingerbread house.
The cabin was easy to find, though it’s in rougher shape than when I last I saw it. It resembled its edible counterpart not when we first baked and built it, but at its final, almost entirely-eaten stage. All that remains are the cabin’s lower walls, mossy old logs stacked ten high, which within a few decades will have returned to the earth completely.
With its life beginning at the grocery store and ending in the bellies of two hungry 20-somethings, the gingerbread cabin’s fate was far less romantic. But it was appreciated nonetheless, and held up well.
Happy 2012. May your year be as lovely as these cinnamon-spiced walls were to eat.