Tradition Builder

Q. What is your goal for The Ohio City Gingerbread House?

A. To create another long-lasting Cleveland tradition that is self-sustaining. Generations past always had the giant windows at Higbee's to go downtown and look at. I want this to be something new, something that our kids can grow up with and remember. It really doesn't matter what religion you are; everybody has a holiday event, and I want this to be a tradition for everyone. After the event on the 17th, we will be donating [the house] to University Hospitals' new cancer center, the Siedman Center. ... A lot of those people can't really leave to experience Christmas with their families.

Q. How is the project going to sustain itself?

A. Bonbon is going to be throwing some holiday-themed events. The real purpose is to get people there to donate toward next year's house. ... Bonbon will be providing free refreshments, really kid-friendly foods, like pigs-in-a-blanket, mac and cheese, hot chocolate, that kind of stuff.

Q. Do you have any tips for gingerbread house builders?

A. Make sure your royal icing is fairly stiff, and all your royal icing needs to be is egg whites. You can buy them in a carton at your local grocery store. All you do is paddle them together in a mixer with powdered sugar, and you want to get it stiffer than the consistency of toothpaste, and then your stuff won't slide.

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