Sunday, October 06, 2013

Hansel and Gretel, it all makes sense now!

   When dawn broke, they started to wander about the forest, seeking a path, but all hope soon faded. They were well and truly lost. On they walked and walked, till suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade.

   "This is chocolate!" gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall.

   "And this is icing!" exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage.

   "Isn't this delicious?" said Gretel, with her mouth full. She had never tasted anything so nice.

   "We'll stay here," Hansel declared, munching a bit of nougat. They were just about to try a piece of the biscuit door when it quietly swung open.

   "Well, well!" said an old woman, peering out with a crafty look. "And haven't you children a sweet tooth?" 

So it all makes sense now. After doing a wee bit of research i discovered we owe modern ginger bread houses to the the popularity the house made all out of food from Hansel and Gretel of Grimms Fairy Tales (c. 1812)!

Friday, October 04, 2013

What crazy baker invented this?

A miniature house, made out of a cookie? Seriously....? What insane baker came up with this?

I had always wanted to build a ginger bread house and for two years I had drooled over this great book... The Ginger Bread Architect that had sat patiently waiting on my shelf. But I was always a bit leary of what a huge project it would be.... and then... the grotto decided to do a bake sale for Octobers meeting and suddenly... i had the proper motivation!  I also had a brave friend that agreed to help me for two looong evenings assembling and detailing my first ginger bread house.

 So this is the photo from the book - the Second Empire ginger bread house that i mottled the Spooky house after.

Three shades of coconut grass. Black for the graveyard, and two shades of green for the yard.

The batch of ginger bread getting mixed up in my grandmother's mixer. Im glad i had it - cause with a triple batch of ginger bread... with 15 cups of flour... I needed it!
These are the plans for the house - each section measured out and laminated so i could reuse them. 
The first set of pieces all rolled out and ready to go.

First set of walls and roof, fresh out of the oven.

Butterscotch and Root Beer barrel windows with candy eyes.
Side panels with the first of the royal icing decoration

Tombstones for the greaveyard and bats for the tree.

The back of the house with fondant shutters and little cookie bats.

Side panels with added black vines and fondant shutters

Roof detail with royal icing, sprinkles and fancy decor.

Mary Lee laying down a bead of the green royal icing along the base of the house.

Me putting a bead of royal icing "caulk" for the small roof at the front of the house.

On the left - the beginnings of the Black fondant covered cemetary. The hill is ramen noodles.  On the right  side you see the beginnings of the chicklet pathway to the garden.

The finished pumpkin patch. Chicklet garden path, chocolate covered graham beds, Brach's pumpkin, sour apple laces for pumpkin vines, Amy's graham bunnies, and Mint Chocolate coverd pretzels for fencing.

Marbleized fondant wrapped over two caramels, Piped 1881 date for the above ground crypt.

Both roofs installed. Porch partially installed - note the pins holding it together while the icing dries.

Mary Lee piping the crypt fencing onto wax paper.
Mary Lee adding some white chocolate "limstone" rocks.

The almost finished grave yard.

The beginnings of landscaping the yard with partially installed coconut sod.

Popcorn ball landscaping, planted with pretzel sticks

The complete house!!

Twizzler licorice tree with hanging bat cookies and pumpkin patch in the background
The front facade of the gingerbread house with new landscaping.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jen and Chris

Jen and Chris
Originally uploaded by Brina Bat (Sabrina Simon)

A photo I took from Jen and Chris' wedding day.

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Nat Geo video!

Video on one of the discoveries that was made in the Yucatan expedition i was on:

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ah a christmas tradition

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Acorn Squash Recipe

These are so sweet and tasty they can even be served as dessert!

Wash, cut in half, remove seeds and strings, make foil ring so halves will stand upright. Place inside cavity 1tbsp of butter, and one box of raisins- sprinkle one tbsp of natural sugar over the surface and cavity of the squash, gentle sprinkle pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon over all. Wrap entire squash half and foil ring and place on hot grill for approx an hour- or till tender when tested with fork.

You can also cut and place the halves cut side down in an inch of water at 350degrees for 45 min, then do the foil ring and and butter and sugar and raisin- place back in oven for 15 to 20 min uncovered.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Its been way too long hasnt it? The past four months (May-August 2012) has seen me living out the dead of summer in a little tent in Mississippi working as an archaeological photographer for my continuing job with  TVAR.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Ancient Maya Cava Exploration Photos -- National Geographic

Ancient Maya Cava Exploration Photos -- National Geographic

The project I've been on for the last three summers... comes to NatGeo!

Friday, February 24, 2012

In the Field

In the Field
Originally uploaded by Brina Bat (Sabrina Simon)

This past Thursday was a gorgeous day to be working outside in the field! Here we are all screening one of the numerous auger tests needed for this project.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A Cavers Christmas

A Cavers Christmas
Originally uploaded by Realms(Nathan Williams)

Merry Christmas Everyone! If youre in the area to see the TR tree it will be up all the way through new years. We had a great set of folks come out and decorate this year. Thank you to all that helped. And may your season be merry and bright.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Foggy Work Morning

So I have a new job! I am working for a great company doing archaeology and graphic design... pretty much a meld of two of my most favorite things (besides caving - which i even got to do a bit of that too to check a cave on a sight). So far my time has been about equally split between lab and field. I got to spend all last week up in TN helping with a phase 1. On morning when we all went out into the field we were greeted with really thick beautiful but very cold fog. Walking out through it people would disappear and appear in front of you so ghost-like.... like the grand tree that kept us company.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Doggy Cave Trip

Just a little photo to play catch up with some of my photos. This is from the beginning of the this summer in May when i got to take my 11-year old pup on her very first caving trip!

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

More from what was Panoply

Just a few more photos of some work i did for the Panoply that wasn't. I have an opportunity coming up to try the Polly Crockett Festival in a couple weeks - hoping to try it out!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Did You Know Cave Photographer

Did You Know Cave Photographer

Friday, August 19, 2011

Panoply Tailings

So i have a few little photos of some of my artwork... my Panoply leftovers that I never got to show. I tended toward several different styles over the course of working. These are some of the more abstract pieces i did. Collage background, nice bright fabric colors and ceramic detailing.

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