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Examiner
  • Truman Home inspires gingerbread artist

  • Blue Springs resident Pamala Lair, formerly of Independence, took a chance last year in entering the Holidays in Crestwood featuring Gingerbread Lane event in Kansas City.

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  • Blue Springs resident Pamala Lair, formerly of Independence, took a chance last year in entering the Holidays in Crestwood featuring Gingerbread Lane event in Kansas City.
    In her first try, Lair won Best In Show and Merchant’s Choice. This year, her second entry is inspired by the Truman Home. Holidays in Crestwood, which benefits the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired through a silent auction, continues today and Saturday. Visit www.gingerbreadlane.org for more information.
    1. How did you become interested in making gingerbread houses?
    Actually, it started with my mother, Cheri Elder. We have a business called Sweet Bliss Cakery. We’ve been doing it just in Independence for the past two years – now, we’re in Blue Springs. She was previously in Clinton. She’s been doing the Gingerbread Lane probably since it began. I always helped her deliver, and the year before last when I helped her deliver, I thought, “Wow, you know what? I’d really like to try this.” I did my own, and she did hers, and I entered last year for the first time. Lo and behold, I won, and I thought, “I’ll do it again.”
    2. What inspired you about the Truman Home this year?
    (Lair’s 8-year-old son, Drew) had a Cub Scout requirement that required him to go visit some of the historical sites in Independence. He and I and his cousin and grandma went there, and I got to looking at the home – just the details, I thought, “Wow, that would be really pretty in gingerbread.” I took a bunch of pictures and kept them and started designing the house. My gingerbread house is not white like the Truman Home is, but I don’t like to cover up all my walls with fondant, and I want it to look like it’s actually made out of gingerbread. The only thing it doesn’t have is the second window up at the top – there’s a size limit, and I just couldn’t quite get it to scale to make it completely perfect.
    3. What is one of the most challenging aspects about building a gingerbread house that people may not know about?
    The most challenging is making it stand up, really, and making sure that your gingerbread dough, when you bake it, it stays flat, and when you stand it up, it stays standing up. I wouldn’t give my recipe out, but I have kind of a secret recipe of ingredients that is supposed to be hard as rock when you bake it. It still tastes good and smells good, but it bakes really hard.
    4. What is special about Gingerbread Lane?
    She (my mother) has gotten to visit the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired – that’s what the benefit is for, for the children. She’s told us stories about the kids and how they teach them life skills so they can live normal lives, even though they are sight-impaired to different degrees. They’re celebrating their 60th anniversary for the school, and we helped them celebrate with a birthday party for them with cupcakes, so it’s just really for the benefit for the kids. It’s a lot of fun to build the gingerbread houses, but it’s for the kids.
    Page 2 of 2 - 5. What advice would you offer for beginners who are wanting to build a gingerbread house?
    You can start off with the kits that you can buy. Those are fun. We’ve done that. Sometimes, they don’t always go together like they are supposed to, but that’s a good start. From there, just see what you can do – see if you can roll out some dough and put four walls up yourself. Have fun with it. It’s a lot of fun.
     
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