Delicious domicile gets raffled for charity | AspenTimes.com

Delicious domicile gets raffled for charity

Scott Condon/The Aspen TimesThis gingerbread house will be raffled off to raise funds for Lift-Up.

EL JEBEL – Betty Zordel is putting her baking talents to good use for the holidays.

She and a co-worker at Eagle Crest Nursery, Priscilla Cooper, created a two-story, mouthwatering gingerbread house that is being raffled off to raise money for Lift-Up’s effort to feed folks who aren’t faring well in the Roaring Fork and Lower Colorado River valleys.

“There are a lot of people hurting,” Zordel said.

She loves to bake, and last year brought a gingerbread house to show her colleagues at the El Jebel nursery and floral store shortly before the holidays. They convinced her to do an impromptu raffle while displaying her creation at Eagle Crest. It worked well, but this year’s gingerbread raffle was better organized, so it is raising more money, Zordel said.

The gingerbread house is prominently displayed at Eagle Crest. The entire two-story structure is made from a base layer of homemade gingerbread, usually covered with other goodies. The main roof as well as mini-roofs for porches and additions are made from Frosted Mini-Wheats. The logs are pretzels, and the chinking is icing. Larger pretzels were used for the support beams.

Garland was made from Royal icing, and icing icicles hang from the eaves. Two fat bushes adorning the front of the house were made from jumbo marshmallows dyed green. The evergreen trees are sugar cones slathered in icing. The windows were made from crushed Lifesavers, stretched and reformed during baking. The chimney was painstakingly fitted with chunks of rock candy.

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It was a labor of love for the bakers.

“Sixty hours [of work] is what we came up with,” Zordel said. She found the design in a magazine and relied on past trial and error to guide her through this year’s effort.

The gingerbread house has been on display since Eagle Crest’s open-house weekend, Dec. 3 and 4. It will remain on display at the store through Sunday, when a drawing will be held. Raffle chances are being sold for $1. All proceeds go to Lift-Up.

Zordel envisions turning her love for creating and baking gingerbread houses into an annual fundraising effort for Christmas.

The raffle winner gets to take the gingerbread house to their home and eat it, if so desired. Zordel said she ran into the mother who won the raffle last year. She said her two sons devoured the house.

scondon@aspentimes.com