Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gingerbread Inert Gas Hood

Preserves gingerbread houses so you can eat them later.
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Gingerbread houses are fun to build, but by the time you finish your masterpieces, they usually have gone stale. Where is the fun in that?

I propose a collapsable inert gas flow hood that can be set up each holiday on the kitchen table. Basically an acrylic box, with two holes for your hands and rubber gaskets around the holes. Attached to the back of the unit is a small canister of a compressed inert gas, say nitrogen or argon. There is also a small fan inside the box to provide circulation.

When you've got everything you need to make your gingerbread masterpiece, you simply load the materials into the hood, flood the box with the inert gas, and stick your hands through the holes. Since this is not a chemistry or biohazard setup, the holes don't require gloves attached. It doesn't have to be a perfect seal. You just want to be able to work with the foodstuffs in an envelope of gas that excludes oxygen. The fan will circulate the atmosphere enough to provide evaporation for the construction icing (mostly egg whites and sugar).

When finished, you can transfer your house to a smaller clear plastic cube and fill that with the same inert gas for display purposes. You can also reach in and eat it if you like. Keep away from Hansel and Gretel.

tourist, Dec 09 2005

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       What would be more convenient is some edible sealant spray, that you can use to seal the various components until they are eaten. Then you can take hours to make your precious masterpiece, display it for days or weeks, and still have happy smiling faces when it is finally demolished.   

       Might give the surface a slight shine, but if it tastes fresh, who's complaining?
DrCurry, Dec 09 2005
  

       Perhaps freezing it in liquid CO2 will also help preserve it.
Jscotty, Dec 09 2005
  

       Jscotty: *liquid* CO2? That would be somewhat tricky in normal homes.
DrCurry, Dec 09 2005
  

       Do halfbakers live in "normal homes"?
gardnertoo, Dec 09 2005
  

       Liquid nitrogen is a standard cooking ingredient in my kitchen. I think even better would be a walk in chamber where the kids could enter with oxygen masks and partake in their yearly tradition. This way the ginger bread houses could be build in a 100% oxygen free environment and therefore would stay fresh. One could even add refrigeration to the chamber mix as well.
Verbose, Dec 10 2005
  
      
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