Marge Woodfin, Pilot staff writer

What could be more of a harbinger for a joyous Christmas season than building gingerbread houses?

Anne Boulley, gourmet-cooking maven, provided an opportunity for a number of inexperienced builders to do just that Sunday at Sea View Assisted Living Community in Harbor.

The event took place in the Coca Cola Room at the center where Boulley provided materials and instructions for the project.

Most of the participants said they'd never built a gingerbread house before and appeared to be having recurring attacks of creativity while decorating their houses with bright and tasty candies.Boulley provided gingerbread walls, doors, and roofs, plus more than two-dozen different types of candy, candles, cereals, and nuts to use for the outer dandeacute;cor, plus lights to make the houses glow at night.

She said she brought the pre-baked parts because there wouldn't be enough time in the four-hour class to both bake and decorate them. She provided easy recipes for making gingerbread dough and encouraged participants to do some baking at home to share the fun with family and friends.

Boulley also provided a recipe for the frosting used to cement the pieces together.

To help keep up the strength of the builders, Boulley served homemade potato and ham soup and fresh homemade bread. To add to the atmosphere, there was jukebox music and spicy fragrances.

The builders ranged in age from very young to, perhaps, grand motherly, and included male and female. All seemed to be engrossed in creating a jolly and joyful decoration to brighten the Christmas holiday.

Boulley said she has a variety of additional cooking classes planned to begin in January. The schedule can be found on her website: She said gift certificates for the classes might make welcome Christmas gifts.

For information, to purchase gift certificates, or to sign up for classes, contact Boulley at 541-412-6491.