Gingerbread Bakery

As I recently noted, one of the projects we have to do on behalf of the Vancouver Island University is build a gingerbread house. This is an annual event at the school and is used to showcase the Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Program. It also helps raise funds as these houses are auctioned off while displayed at a couple of different venues. Any funds raised from the auction of the houses goes to the VIU Foundation, and a portion of this is earmarked for our Paris trip next March to help defray some of the costs to the students.

Although “Paris” was the suggested theme for this year’s houses, we were able to pick anything we wanted to do. A few of the students chose to follow along with this. I went in another direction. Below are the construction details (with usual copious photos)  of my chosen house.

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Songs About Food (but not buildings)

Mr B gave us a light (as in fluffy) assignment a few days ago to make a list of songs which are about food. The next night, as I was trying to fall asleep (and failing) I kept having “Songs about food” popping in my head. Finally, getting up at 4 a.m. before class, I tried to write all the ones I had come up with while also trying to fall into slumberland. I’m sure I missed a few.

I am also rather surprised how many of these food-themed songs I actually have in my iTunes library. Who’d a thunk!

For fun, I thought I’d share the list of songs I came up with (I’ll publish this post after we’ve done the class for it). The ones I already have are in colour, the others are some that popped into my head over the last couple of days. I then went online to find the recording date; seems a lot of food songs came out in the 60’s! I’m sure there are hundreds more food songs out there but I wanted to go with those I was able to think of myself, not just Google up someone else’s list. Surprisingly (or maybe not) much of the songs about food are from characters in play. I guess Top 40 stations aren’t so keen on that theme. Do they do food songs these days? Is hip hop and gangsta rap a good venue for food themes?

I also found songs fell into two different categories:

Songs About Food where the song is itself about the consumable such as “Worst Pies in London” from Sweeney Todd, where Mrs Lovett (Angela Lansbury) explains why her pie shop is doing poorly due to lack of available meat in 1785 London; video below. (I won’t get into the sad mess that was Mrs Lovett in Tim Burton’s recent film.)

Songs with a Food Reference have merely a passing nod to a food or uses food as a colloquialism such as The Beatles’ “Honey Pie” used as a term of endearment or Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” where he describes the moon as “a big pizza pie” but the song isn’t about pizza at all.

Note: There are no mentions of building in these songs (a 😉 nod to Talking Heads, for those of you old enough).


  • Food, Glorious Food! – Oliver! (1968)
  • Who Will Buy – Oliver! (1968)
  • Worst Pies in London – Mrs Lovett, Sweeney Todd (1979)
  • It’s Priest – Mrs Lovett, Sweeney Todd (1979)
  • It Couldn’t Please Me More (A Pineapple For Me) – Cabaret (1968)
  • Lemon Tree – Peter Paul & Mary (1961)
  • Toast – Streetband (1978)
  • Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens – Louis Jordan (1946)
  • Candyman – Sammy Davis, Jr, Willy Wonka (1971)
  • Just a Spoonfull of Sugar – Mary Poppins (1962)
  • Mama Come Home – Ella Fitzgerald (1944) (baking cake and other motherly duties)
  • Animal Crackers – Shirley Temple (1935)
  • Ham and Eggs – Children’s song
  • Spam, Spam & Spam – Monty Python (1970) – the origin of the term for junk email
  • Shortnin’ Bread – Fats Waller (1941)
  • Yes We Have No Bananas – Spike Jones (1954)
  • If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake – Eileen Barton (1950)
  • Bread Bakin’ Blues – Dave Beede (2011)


  • That’s Amore – Dean Martin (1953)
  • Sunshine, Lollipops – Leslie Gore (1965)
  • Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries – Rudy Vallée (1931)
  • Salt Peanuts – Dizzy Gillespie (1942)
  • Lady Marmalade – Patti Labelle (1974)
  • Honeycomb – Jimmy Rogers (1965)
  • Java Jive – Ink Spots (1940)
  • MacArthur Park – Richard Harris (1968)
  • Tea for Two – Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie(1963)
  • Petootie Pie – Ella Fitzgerald (1948)
  • I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket – Ella Fitzgerald (1946)
  • Watermelon Weather – Perry Como (1957)
  • Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino (1952)
  • In Our Mountain Greenery – Mel Tormé (1964) (beans, beanery, coffee)
  • Feed Me! – Little Shop of Horrors (1982)
  • Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree – Andrew Sisters (1942)
  • Tangerine – Sal Soul Orchestra (1977)
  • Sugar Pie Honey Bunch – The Four Tops (1965)
  • American Pie – Don MacLean (1970)
  • McArthur park – Richard Harris (1968) (melting cakes)
  • It’s a Marshmallow World – Bing Crosby (1950)
  • Sugar Sugar – The Archies (1969)
  • Do the Mashed Potato – James Brown (1959)
  • A Taste of Honey – Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (1965) Album contains:

    • A Taste of Honey
    • Green Peppers
    • Tangerine
    • Bittersweet Samba
    • Lemon Tree
    • Whipped Cream
    • El Garbanzo
    • Ladyfingers
    • Butterball
    • Peanuts
    • Lollipops and Roses


  • Breakfast in America – Supertramp (1973)
  • Honey Pie – The Beatles (1968)
  • Glass Onion – The Beatles (1968)
    (refers to a monocle but close enough) 
  • Strawberry Fields – The Beatles (1967)
  • Brown Sugar – Rolling Stone (1971)
  • My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small (1962)
  • Popcorn – Hot Butter (1972)
  • I Want a Little Sugar in my Bowl – Nina Simone (1967)
  • Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs – Kelsey Grammer, Frasier theme song (1993)

Can you think of more food songs, without doing a Google search? Check your music library and see if you’re already hoarding several food songs unknowingly.  Add yours in the comments below!

Luscious Lemon Curd

There I was, left with five naked lemons that had bravely given up their zest for use in last week’s delicious Lemon Pull Apart Bread. What to do with so many lemons, I thought? Lemon curd! Delicious, zippy, tasty lemon curd!.

If you’ve never had lemon curd, don’t be put off by its name: think of it as the tasty cousin of lemon meringue pie filling. In fact, some people use it as such. It’s a soft pudding texture loaded with fragrant and lemony yumminess.

And with just five ingredients, making up a batch is really easy!

After a surprisingly lengthy search and seeing some unusual videos, I located this recipe on YouTube from Larousse Cuisine, Larousse being a hugely respected French Cooking Academy:

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Black Bean Soup (or Dip!)

Here’s a recipe found on that we make somewhat regularly (and “we” here meaning Punkin specifically, I just get to taste test and blog it). It’s spicy, zippy and bursting with yum. The nifty thing about this is that the day it’s made, we eat it as a hearty soup. That takes care of 2 of the 6 serving amount made; the remainder goes into the fridge and becomes a really great dip for tortilla chips or raw dipping veggies over the next few days… if it manages to survive that long.

This recipe uses one whole fresh jalapeño, leaving out the seeds. It’s got a nice kick but since it’s only 1/6 of one pepper per serving, it isn’t deadly hot by any means. If you do like spicy hot foods, include the seed. If the idea of spicy food scares you a little, cut back on the amount or leave it out completely, although that does skip on part of this soup/dip’s appeal. The soup will still be delicious, just a lot more tame.

This recipe can easily be switched to a vegetarian one; see Note after the ingredients.

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