Composing dishes and assembling ingredients is one of the essential parts of my life. Today I was reminded of something to avoid--gingerbread construction.
What is gingerbread construction? I believe it is a new term coined today while walking the sandy wind and ocean swept beaches of Fire Island. Looking at many of the beach houses and cottages I noticed a style and pattern. These buildings all had a base structure with additions and off shoots added at a later date; not integrated into the style of the homes but rather stuck or glued on like additions to a child's gingerbread house with lots of royal icing. The idea and need for these improvements is probably justified though a seamless integration into the existing structure is not apparent; just as children dresses up and accessorize their own constructions.
I then began to think about cooking and ingredients and the assemblage of dishes and these thoughts of gingerbread construction became hitched onto my train of ideas. I have previously compiled ingredients in a manner similar to the beach homes I observed. What became reawakened in my thought process was that an assemblage of ingredients must blend naturally and seamlessly. I certainly find pleasure and intrigue in the construction of dishes with last minute additions; yet in retrospect and now with for thought these additions and new looks at the whole should be a new dish rather than a concept glued onto a solid and sound structure.