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Looking good enough to eat

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By Kirsten Laskey

Fuller Lodge will look delectable on Saturday. So sweet you will want to eat it or at least the gingerbread model that Althea Duffy created.

In celebration of WinterFest and the county’s 60th anniversary, Fuller Lodge is hosting an open house starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The occasion will include the Chamisa SingSations, Los Alamos High School jazz band, a performance by pianist Frances Meier and a short ballet by the New Mexico Dance Theater.

It will also feature a gingerbread display. As part of this display, Duffy will reveal her edible replica of Fuller Lodge.

The process to get the miniature house baked and assembled has been lengthy. She went to the Los Alamos Historical Museum to get historical photographs for the building. After making a copy of the building’s blueprint and creating a pattern, she then baked pieces of gingerbread according to the pattern.

Duffy produced 21 pieces of gingerbread and constructed a house that is 18 inches by 18 inches.

Besides gingerbread, Duffy used Rice Crispy treats for the chimneys. She estimates the total project took about 20 hours.

It was time consuming, but enjoyable.

Duffy said she made gingerbread houses as a child and has always enjoyed baking.

“I love making cakes and this is a challenge … it just seemed like a fun thing to do,” she said.

She is also looking forward to taking part in the 60th anniversary festivities. “It’s a fun community thing to do,” Duffy said.

Duffy’s creation will not be the only one on display. During the open house, participants can also feast their eyes on houses two Los Alamos High School cooking classes made for the event.

Students in the Baking I class and the Pro Start will submit entries to the display.

Baking I teacher Jinky Romero said the students are getting more out of this than just a candy house.

To produce these houses, from baking the gingerbread to gluing the walls with icing, the students had to work together as a team.

“They had to collaborate with one another,” Romero said.

Three class sessions had been dedicated to the project and she said the students seemed satisfied with the results.

“They’re really satisfied with the texture of the dough and how their pieces worked out,” Romero said.

Plus, it was a different project from what the students typically did in class.

“It’s something different … than a cooking class will do … it was different. It was out of their normal routine,” Romero said.

Creating the gingerbread houses has also captured the attention of other students. Romero said “it has inspired other students to take a baking (class).”

She added, “I think it will inspire others to join the culinary classes at the high school.”

The students’ houses will be auctioned during the Fuller Lodge open house to raise money to support the culinary classes at the high school.

A third gingerbread house, produced by Lisa Lloyd and Lori Dauelsberg, will also be showcased.

Gingerbread is just one of several activities that will be featured during the event.

At 10 a.m., the Chamisa SingSations will take the stage followed by the LAHS jazz band at 11 a.m. The Los Alamos Trip Club will serve up bowls of posole from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and pianist Frances Meier will perform holiday music from noon-1 p.m.

New Mexico Dance Theater will perform “The Magic Toy Box,” at 1 p.m. and the Los Alamos Arts Council will serve cookies and punch from 1-3 p.m.

The Voices of Praise, the home school choir will step into the spotlight at 2 p.m.

Through the event, participants can pick up holiday gifts such as the Los Alamos Animal Shelter calendars, Boy Scout Troop 71’s holiday wreaths and LAHS band’s poinsettias. Additionally, information will be available regarding Self Help Inc.’s Empty Bowls fundraiser and UNM-LA.

“We’re looking forward to just a whole day of festive activities all day long at Fuller Lodge,” Executive Director of the arts council Marlanne Hamilton said.