Another smashing success with students and staff getting into the spirit of creating whimsical structures using graham crackers, royal icing and lots and lots of candy. We had one suitcase dedicated to carrying the graham crackers, candies, dehydrated egg whites and cream of tartar from the U.S.
Preparation was easy because students are always eager to help. We make the icing and fill the pastry bags, We put the candy in bowls and set the table. Soon, one by one, students arrive from their internships, eager to see what this is all about.
The challenge is to prevent students (and staff) from eating the candy before we even get started. I do a brief demo on how to make a house, hold a pastry bag and then the extravaganza begins. With lightening speed, houses, castles and temples are built, decorated with colorful roofs, ornate landscaping and creative abandon. Candy is steadily consumed, fueling the speed of the constructions.
The results are stunning; pride, delight and laughter filling the evening. Will there be a 3rd Annual EGBOKERY Extravaganza next year? We sure hope so.
PART 1 – Mise en Place (for non foodies – preparation!)
Preparing the royal icing
Candy, candy, candy….
Construction material — lots of graham crackers (some didn’t make the trip halfway around the world) and ice cream cones
We made up 10 stations, 4 students to a station.
Getting ready and setting the table
Dara is translating for me, though candy is pretty universal
Demonstrating how to make a house
A finished example — it took little instruction to launch imaginations
PART 2 Construction – Pastry Bag Skills
Skilled and charming
Sev, our awesome volunteer coordinator (among other things), showing her formidable pastry skills
I am not sure what was being built, but it was big and grand
A future pastry chef?
Park Hyatt Siem Reap interns — They would make the hotel chefs proud.
PART 3 – Serious Construction Underway
Creative energy at work
EM = EGBOK Mission. Pretty sweet.
Sometimes more socializing than creating. This is Soknak, one of our social workers, with Omnot, a graduate who stopped by for a visit.
Reatanak, our teacher who goes to the villages and teaches English, looks like an Iron Chef contestant. Students are impressed.
The attention to detail was rather amazing.
Kandara, our project and program manager, shows her other skills.
Laura, another social worker, confesses she has done many houses during her life, creating a precise and lovely little home
Graduate Chantee and English volunteer, Sigrid, balance eating and creating.
Sev at work
Staff have their own table and put full attention to their creations
Work, work, work
Students with social work volunteer Sokha and teacher Reatnauk
PART 4 – Teamwork
No words needed
A natural flow of positive energy
We could learn a few lessons about teamwork from our students
Just plain fun
The motivation shown that night is similar to the overall motivation of our students. They just need opportunity and access to resources. But it is more fun when candy is involved.
PART 5 – A Few Proud Architects
Dara, our education coordinatora with his adorned house (looking a little like a wat!)
Edible Art at its finest
Paparazzi taking photos from all angles
Chantee is rather proud of her home and rightly so.
Reatnauk is the Iron Chef!
Proud builders of a beautiful building
Proud and posing with “style!”
A proud representative for many of the students
PART 6 – The Houses
House on an island of sprinkles
Candles or steeples on top. Doesn’t really matter.
A love house to EGBOK Mission
An ornate house for sure
A house in the forest
Holiday greetings to all
Love to EGBOK Mission
PART 7 – Celebration in the end
Country director Osman and volunteer “chef” Barbara
Hmm, no graham crackers? No worries. Decorate your hand!
Dara with house and hand decorated
Mission Accomplished. Many thanks to Dave – can’t count the ways he helps…
Dave, behind the scenes helping to make this magic happen
Reatnauk (on right) and me in front of the EGBOKERY sign.
Photo opportunity time!
There is Dave! See him?
Happy Holidays to everyone. And a special thank you for all who support the wonderful work at EGBOK Mission