Quintana Kelley, library assistant at the Jefferson County Library, holds the gingerbread house-making kit that the library is passing out for its annual edible house-building competition. Registration to pick up the free kits closes Saturday, and photos of the finished houses are due by Dec. 13. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Quintana Kelley, library assistant at the Jefferson County Library, holds the gingerbread house-making kit that the library is passing out for its annual edible house-building competition. Registration to pick up the free kits closes Saturday, and photos of the finished houses are due by Dec. 13. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Edible house contest goes online

PORT HADLOCK — There’s no wrong way to build one, Kim Tingelstad said.

She’s the librarian expanding the Homes for the Holidays edible-house contest this year.

The Jefferson County Library is packing up supply kits now — graham crackers, candies, gluey frosting mix — for kitchen architects. Sign-ups are open through Saturday at JCLibrary.info if you’d like a kit, Tingelstad said, but you can also skip that and use your own ingredients to enter the free contest.

“There’s really no limit,” she said, adding contestants in previous years have built hobbit houses and bird’s nests, using whatever they had in the pantry.

Tingelstad noted, though, that the supply kits have a frosting recipe with superior adhesive quality for houses that won’t fall down.

Once builders are finished, Tingelstad encourages them to photograph their edible creations and send pictures in to the library by the Dec. 13 deadline.

Then, much like a real estate magazine, the structures will be posted on the library website for people to browse. The public can vote online for their favorites Dec. 15-20, and the library will announce winners in the youth, adult and family categories Dec. 22.

“We used to have the voting at our holiday open house,” with all of the entries lined up on site, said library manager Brywn Griffin.

With no such gathering this season, “Kim figured out how to make it fun anyway,” with the supply kits available for contact-free pickup at the library, 620 Cedar Ave. Curbside delivery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Builders also can pick up kits from the bookmobile, which travels to Quilcene, Brinnon, Paradise Bay, Gardiner, Port Ludlow, Cape George and Coyle; times are listed on the library website.

The Homes for the Holidays competition has already gotten abundant attention on the library’s social media pages, Griffin said, possibly because people have a lot of pent-up creative energy.

“It’s been amazing,” she said, “to watch how everyone has changed their behavior to adapt to everything online.”

The library staff, for example, will host an hourlong trivia game at 6:30 p.m. this Friday, toddler storytime at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday and a live discussion of Tara Westover’s memoir “Educated” at 6:15 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 10.

To reach a librarian, phone 360-385-6544 or email [email protected].

________

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected].

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