Over my holiday break, I finally had time to finish reading The Women by T. Coraghessen Boyle (the author that brought you The Road to Wellville and The Inner Circle). The Women is a work of historical fiction about Frank Lloyd Wright... a seen through the eyes of his wives and mistresses. The book is a juicy, scandalous quick read that shows Wright's genius (and ego) in all of its prickly glory.
I give the book my wholehearted recommendation. If you're looking for some Holiday reading, it's not exactly the feel good book of the year, but totally engaging. One detail in the book that I hadn't known before is how much Wright loved the holidays. Even though he was all about micromanaging how his clients lived in their houses, he couldn't help but deck the halls at Taliesin with boughs of holly and whatever else he felt was appropriate.
- took over 12 hours to design
- It took Brenton and I around 40 hours to build and decorate
- There are around 164 different pieces of gingerbread
- It took roughly 12 square feet of gingerbread dough (that’s four large batches) to make all the walls, floors and roof
- Over 8 bags of powdered sugar were used to make all the frosting
- It took over 40 sleeves of large Smarties which are used to simulate dry stack stone on the building exterior
- The river and water fall are made up of three batches of hard candy
The little details are killing me. The Smarties are such beautiful pastel holiday stand-ins for the locally quarried stone that Wright incorporated into the design. The icicles, trees, candy waterfall and cantilevered slabs of ginerbread concrete are beautifully rendered. Melodie, the mastermind behind the gingerbread house, has a degree in landscape management, which she followed up with a stint in culinary school. It's good to know that those two skills can exist in perfect harmony (in Melodie).
Let's hope preservation of this gingerbread house takes less than the 11.4 million dollars (and counting) that the original Fallingwater has needed for restoration. Happy Holidays, everyone!