by Ashleigh BeaudoinSpecial to the Langley Advance
Holiday baking has turned into a tradition on a grand scale for a local mom-and-daughter baking team.
Dianne Fraser and Summer Stewart’s latest baking masterpiece, a scale replica of the Fort Langley Community Hall, was a showpiece at the Langley Centennial Museum this holiday season.
Stewart, a 35-year-old pharmaceutical rep, and Fraser, 66 and retired, are self-taught bakers and decorators, who took to YouTube to help them with their baking skills.
Previously the Walnut Grove residents made and decorated cakes together, but after a few years, they were looking for a greater challenge.
“We used to make cakes, but we got bored with that,” said Fraser.
The pair began to work with gingerbread in 2014, building a small log cabin, which only took a few hours to build.
In 2015, they upped the anti with a house from the classic holiday film Home Alone.
It was a more ambitious endeavour, taking roughly a day to complete.
They were so happy with their creation that they kept it displayed on their dining room table for two months.
The choice for this year’s build was inspired by a trip Fraser took with her son to the Langley Centennial Museum.
“I found this postcard with a picture of the community hall on it,” she said.
“It was just so beautiful, how it was captured and, well, everyone loves that building.”
This year’s work was the biggest undertaking that Stewart and Fraser have attempted, taking a few days and the utmost attention.
Not only was this a baking challenge, but according to Fraser there is elements of drafting and architecture.
“My daughter designs the templates, we cut them out and then she bakes them off,” Mom said.
Stewart is the craftsman when it comes to designing the panels for the house. But once baked, it is a team effort to get the piece built and decorated.
The piping for the hall’s siding was Fraser’s masterpiece.
“I’m the decorator, I also have the steadiest hands,” Mom explained.
Each panel of the house is outfitted with window, and inside, lights are strung up and fixed on with royal icing to help them stick.
“We try to make everything where we can, I like to be creative,” said Fraser.
When it’s all decked out with lights and decorations for the holidays, the miniature Fort Langley Community Hall is an incredibly accurate replica of the real one.
It’s a family tradition of baking that also shows a truly traditional part of the Fort Langley community, a warm and welcoming community hall to be enjoyed by everyone, said Mom.
The one thing that Fraser and Stewart felt was missing from their creations was the chance to share it with more people.
So this year, Fraser, who also volunteered to play Mrs. Claus for Fort Langley’s Pioneer Christmas on Dec. 3, chose to share this replica of a much-beloved landmark with the community.
She and Stewart donated the creation to the Langley Centennial Museum.
After a few days on display at the centennial museum, the piece was seen by Hannah Bennet, the arts and culture programmer for the Fort Langley Community Hall.
The piece has since been moved into the community hall, where it will remain for display indefinitely.