Gingerbread Philly Landmark – Boathouse Row

My professors sent out an email last week asking if any of us were interested in participating in The Logan Hotel’s gingerbread competition.  The requirements were only that what we had to make out of gingerbread, also needed to be a Philly landmark.

Nora, my good friend, texted me immediately after receiving this email asking if I wanted to be a team — of course I couldn’t say no!

Nora and I decided that given the time constraints of the competition (1 week to do everything in between classes and studying) we were going to keep our gingerbread house simple.  We did a lot of piping work on the cookies, but architecturally we kept it basic.  For our Philly landmark, we decided to make Boathouse Row.  For those of you who don’t know, Boathouse Row is a row of 19th century boathouses that line the Schuykill river.  The Schuykill path is on the opposite side, and is my favorite place to run in Philly.  I also used to race on the Schuykill river when I was on a rowing team in high school.   Nora and I both agreed that it was an underrated landmark in Philadelphia, and is especially beautiful at night with Christmas lights lining the buildings and reflecting off the water.

The week before finals week at Drexel was filled with an immense amount of gingerbread and icing for Nora and me.  We started by constructing the four main boathouses out of foam board.  With these cut outs, we cut the cookies hot out of the oven, so we could get precise, uniform shapes.

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After the cookies cooled overnight, we started piping! There were so many pieces to these four houses that it became difficult to keep track of them all!

As I decorated, Nora worked on the sugar mixture we were going to use as the “Schuykill River”.  Nora and I both agreed that we should color the sugar with a little brown and green too because the Schuykill River is NOT blue….

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Me, posing with the gingerbread after a long afternoon of decorating.

On our last day of working on the houses, we were also gifted a free lunch at the Academic Bistro.  It was great food (the focaccia was AMAZING), and a nice break from the stress of classes and gingerbread making!

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The menu for our lunch
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Back to gingerbread making!

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Piping on the snow.
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Alissa took this photo of me showing off the shirt my mom made me for Christmas!  I also had gingerbread earrings in to fit the theme of gingerbread!  Alissa wrote an article about our gingerbread on DrexelNow which you can read here if you are interested!
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A side view of the water and docks! – not quite done with decorating in this photo
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All finished and on display at the Logan Hotel through the holiday season!

Overall, this was a great opportunity to have some fun and build gingerbread houses! Nora and I loved every second of it.  I had a final exam on Friday so I was unable to drop off the gingerbread at the hotel.  Now, I have just finished my last final here at Drexel which means I have officially finished my first quarter of college! Tomorrow I will be heading home for Christmas break.

Alissa Falcone came and asked questions about the gingerbread project on our last day of decorating and assembling.  If anyone is interested to read more you can find her article here.  Thanks again Alissa for writing this article and talking to us!

Also, I would like to thank Ally, the Food Lab manager, for helping Nora and I with our gingerbread!  Ally helped us immensely and delivered the gingerbread safely to the Logan Hotel.  I love that Drexel gives us so many opportunities to participate in fun things like this happening all over Philly!

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