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Calling all holiday bakers and gingerbread makers

Monmouth library holding contest to test creativity

Sydney Amerman, 12, carefully lays the frosting on pieces of gingerbread before assembly. The frosting is key to making a strong building.

Lucinda Amerman/for the Itemizer-Observer

Sydney Amerman, 12, carefully lays the frosting on pieces of gingerbread before assembly. The frosting is key to making a strong building.

December 10, 2013

MONMOUTH — The Amerman family has been building gingerbread houses for years, starting from scratch.

"We are a gluten-free house," said Lucinda Amerman, the mother of the family. "We have to make the dough."

This year, her children Sydney, 12, and Clay, 10, have an opportunity to display their creations at the Monmouth Public Library as part of its inaugural Gingerbread Building Con-test.

Clay said he enjoys making gingerbread houses because they are yummy.

"You can eat them afterward," he said. "You can make cool designs on them."

This year he used a gingerbread man to help hold up the pieces as he assembled the house.

His sister Sydney said she thinks placing the first vertical piece is one of the trickiest parts of assembly.

"Or if you want to balance things," she added, "especially if you want to balance it and put candy on there. You can put candy on there and have it suddenly collapse."

She said if she had to pick a candy essential to the process, it would be gum drops.

"You can be creative and stick candy wherever you want," she said. She is building a hobo hut this year.

Unlike the Amermans, library director Krist Obrist said she would rather go with a prefab gingerbread house.

"They're already put together and you just decorate them," she explained.

She and other library staff members built a few houses to kick off the display, and to give patrons the idea that it doesn't have to be perfect, she said.

Mellissa Magill, in charge of the display, said there aren't any rules for the contest.

"They can be graham crackers, prefab, make-your-own," she said. "Use your creativity: as long as it's family-friendly, it's OK."

Magill would even welcome decorated gingerbread men.

"They have kits of those, too — rather large cookies," she said.

Library patrons may vote on houses until Saturday. The cookie buildings will be on display through the end of the month.

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