Bernson's Corner: Sweet Home Construction for a Cause - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bernson's Corner: Sweet Home Construction for a Cause

New-home construction may be on a slowdown because of our sluggish national economy. But in Bernson's Corner, we found some Oldham County homebuilders who are more than up to the challenge - and it's a sweet one indeed.
Chef Greg Donley says "Gingerbread is one of those temperamental kind of things: some days it works really well and some days it doesn't work at all."
Donley and his assistants are the kitchen staff at the Harmony Landing Country Club in Oldham County. For the seventh year, they're organizing a charity auction of gingerbread houses. Not just the ones they make, but incredible creations by restaurant chefs all over the country: Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, the French Laundry in Napa California, the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas and others in North Carolina and New Orleans. 
Donley says "The response to this has really been unbelievable. We're picking one up from Nobu in Las Vegas, one from Waikiki and Maui Hawaii."
The houses are fragile and Donley says they call them "our babies.  We go pick up our babies, put them in the airplane, put the seatbelt on 'em -- it's really delicate. Just to see the creativity and how unique each one is, is just exciting.  For us, we fly to these places, and it's Christmas."
A gingerbread house is, at least theoretically, completely edible. That means the construction materials range from jellybeans to candy corn, gumdrops to M&Ms, nonpareils to peppermint canes. And for a tree in the yard: empty grape stems.
Gingerbread houses became popular in America when German settlers brought the tradition here in the 19th century. It actually started with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, like Hansel and Gretel. Remember how the kids got in trouble with the Wicked Witch when they started nibbling the chocolate walls of her gingerbread house? Today, Hansel might go for those shingles made of Froot Loops.
The early German-Americans called them "lebkuchenhausle" -- these chefs call them money-makers for a foundation that fights childhood cancer.
And Donley says, "Now that's the joy of gingerbread."
About 20 of the gingerbread houses will be on display from December 7th through December 20th in the lobby of the Kentucky Center. The auction on December 18th benefits a charity fighting childhood cancer.
To find out more about the Evan Dunbar Neuroblastoma Foundation, visit

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