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A sweet tradition in Plains


December 13, 2018

Shana Neesvig

BEST IN TOWN - Isaac Ericksen, 4 years old, confidently explained to Kathy Logan, Dog Hill Bistro owner, what he was going to do to make his house the best in town.

The nostalgia of holiday traditions is what keeps us looking forward to next year, and the next and next. Kathy Logan of Plains' Dog Hill Bistro recently held her fourth annual children's gingerbread house decorating extravaganza and did not disappoint those who have returned time again to partake in the sweet event.

A dozen children, and their parents, ranging from two years old to 12, spent one hour carefully selecting the perfect candies to create a sugary masterpiece. Over 36 cups were filled with licorice, candy canes, gum drops, M&Ms, pretzels, large sweet tarts, chocolate kisses, orange gummies, candy corn, chocolate balls, striped gum sticks, peppermint kisses, jelly beans, and various decorated hard candies.

"Oh my gosh, this is the funnest ever," Logan stated with delight and eyes full of excitement.

"It is so rewarding that this is something I started and has become a family tradition for some of these people."

Ginger Nestor, 6-year-old, and her 4-year-old brother Josiah are veterans in the gingerbread house decorating business. "We won it last year, so this is easy for us," remarked Ginger exuding confidence. Josiah agreed, admitting he enjoys eating the candy off the house the best...and licking the icing.

Lexi Deming, another returning expert, commented, "I did this last year because my friend invited me, and I wanted to do it again this year." Deming is only 12 years old, but her house showed maturity and was all about perfection. She created a simple, clean lined home that featured an adorable snowman on the side.

"I'm gonna put this huge whatever it is right here!" exclaimed 4-year-old Isaac Ericksen while he placed a gummy candy on the house with authority. His 8-year-old brother Jay continued to quietly work with concentration on the opposite side of the house.

After one hour of construction, professional gingerbread housing inspectors Cliff Allred and Steve Seilhymer arrived to make sure the homes were up to code. They brought out their tools to check for levelness, spacing, and overall safety.

"I am concerned about the sparks and flames coming out of your chimney," Seilhymer commented to a child who had candy canes and smoke coming from her chimney. "Aren't you worried about a fire?" he asked. Allred quickly intervened and stated that it probably wasn't a big deal since it isn't fire season right now, saving the girl from having to explain herself.

As the inspectors visited with every child and carefully inspected their homes, each received a certificate rewarding the outstanding features their creation exuded, and a toy was given to everyone for their efforts.

It took Logan one week to make the gingerbread house forms and construct the buildings. She also made royal icing for the children to use as glue in the candy decorating phase. Because of the time she needs to prepare for the event, reservations are required in advance to be sure she has enough houses for everyone...a message noted for next year's gingerbread spectacular.

Logan wanted to thank McGowan's grocery store for donating all the candy for the event.

The houses will be on display at Dog Hill Bistro throughout the week, spreading holiday cheer.


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