Saturday, December 29, 2012

Exploded Gingerbread Meth Lab for Citizen Brooklyn Magazine

Photo By Icarus Blake

One of my jobs working at a small digital creative agency is acting as Managing Editor of Citizen Brooklyn, an edgy, crazy, cool, visual online magazine focused on music, fashion and art.  We also have a food section but we strive to make it as untraditional as possible, having musicians sing their restaurant reviews for starters. You can check out the EAT sections to see what I mean. I honestly don't know how we do it but we manage to squeeze out a new cover every two weeks without compromising service to our other (paying) clients. Sometimes we're producing 5 or more photo shoots a week just to cover our clients and our magazine. Definitely a labor of love.

We all love working on CBK. It it staffed mostly by very talented young people in their 20's and the flavor reminds me a bit of the 80's punk rock scene in NYC. Back then the action was centered on St. Marks Place which is where we have our office. For Thanksgiving we blew up a turkey and kicked it into the East River because that's how we roll at CBK. It's been great to see how the magazine has grown over the last months in style, substance and readership.

Photo By Icarus Blake

So for this latest holiday issue, it was a no brainer that we had to make a gingerbread house our way and a gingerbread exploded meth lab was born.

Since I am the resident baker in the office (aren't you all that person too?) I volunteered to make it along with one of our outside contributors, Shay Neary

Poor Shay. Every time she gets a phone call from me it goes something like this: "Hi Honey..how would you like to enter a dumpling eating contest for us?" or "Can you explode a turkey for us with fireworks?" (her uncle owned a fireworks store in PA) or "Will you cover a women's roller derby tournament?"

At least we're never boring.

Photo By Icarus Blake

It so happens that Shay has a culinary arts degree, is an amazing baker and used to participate in cake contests making creations of Cake Boss proportions. The last gingerbread house she made was 6 feet tall. I can bake a few things but she is seriously technically skilled AND way creative. So when she got that call from me - "Hi Lady, how would you like to make a gingerbread meth lab with me?", she immediately jumped on the crazy train. We were destined to come together to make this creation. It was born out of two wine fueled late nights and lots of laughs. 

Photo By Icarus Blake

Shay gave me a recipe for sturdy gingerbread she said was great for making houses but maybe not so tasty for eating. I cut a quick pattern, rolled out the dough cut and over baked it a little to get it as stiff as possible.

The best part about making an exploded gingerbread meth lab is that if things get broken or look a bit wonky, it all looks like part of the plan.

Photo By Icarus Blake

Since no one was going to be eating this we cheated and hot glued it together, then had fun adhering candies, piping frosting and creating the explosion part. I found little candies that had a dollar bill motif on their wrappers, so we threw them everywhere. Lots of white sugar crystals were also liberally sprinkled around, Shay turned ice cream cones into trees with her expert piping and I used Color Mist to create the graffiti on the outside.

Photo By Icarus Blake

The entire thing was professionally photographed by Icarus Blake from CBK on my back deck. I conveniently live in the building next door to my office.

For the magazine text to accompany this creation, I rewrote Twas The Night Before Christmas to explain how the gingerbread meth lab caught fire. You can find that and more photos HERE on the latest issue of Citizen Brooklyn.

I'm glad I have a year to figure out how I can top this next year. Any crazy ideas out there? Anyone?

7 comments:

  1. That's so creative!

    Happy New Year, Lora.

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  2. This is amazing on so many levels. Almost leaves me speechless.

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  3. Oh wow. This is so amazing but yet it still seems a little... disturbing. ;)

    Great job! This must have been WAY more fun to make than a normal gingerbread house. And love that you just used hot glue.

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  4. I knew you were and excellent baker but a writer of prose too! That poem is hilarious and this Gingerbread Meth House is phenomenal. I'll wait until my grand-daughters and grand-son are a lot older before I show it to them but their parent's will certainly enjoy it. I love that you found candy's with *money looking* wrappers and that all the photos in the article are marked as *exhibit #...*

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  5. Speechless is right. How did I miss this. Incredible on so many levels! Crap... just repeating comments but god it's so true.

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  6. Hahhahha actually the coolest gingerbread house I've ever seen. Crazy train = best place to be :)

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