Pimp My ‘Choo

It’s a Dunsmore family tradition to make gingerbread constructions when Christmas rolls around. I’m not sure when we built the first house (1993?), but once we got the hang of it, we went to town. Over the years we’ve built gingerbread versions of Stonehenge, a Buddhist Temple, Alpine chalets, and even a backwoods cabin complete with outhouse. This year we strayed even further from tradition than usual and went for trains.

My sister Cleo beats the dough into submission
My sister Cleo beats the dough into submission

Jack cuts out an engine piece
Jack cuts out an engine piece

Thanks to ingenious design work by my brother-in-law Jack and my dad, we wound up with pretty convincing trains. Once the parts were glued together, we got out the candy and went to town.

Kurt's first year decorating but you'd never guess it
Kurt's first year decorating but you'd never guess it

We made two engines and a bunch of cars, including one oil tanker. It looks like they are held up by their wheels, but if you look closely at the cars, you can see how we did it – hidden feet.

Red Engine with Licorice Car, Honey Tanker, and Peppermint Car
Red Engine with Licorice Car, Honey Tanker, and Peppermint Car (photo by Don Dunsmore)

The Green Train (aka the Bavarian Express)
The Green Train (aka the Bavarian Express)

Everyone got involved in the decorating and despite our best efforts, we still had bags of candy left over. No worries, though. We’ll use them in our next gingerbread extravaganza.

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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