After cleaning the driveway and sidewalks following Saturday night’s winter blizzard, Julian and I put on our preppy blue blazers and headed down to Travers Island, the New York Athletic Club‘s outpost on Long Island Sound (down the street from our house). The NYAC hosted a special holiday brunch, and provided all the required assets to construct a gingerbread house. It was a surreal setting: dozens of large family groups in a formal dining room, except for Julian and me tucked to the side at a table for two. We downed a few Bloody Marys (for me), apple juice (for Julian), egg nog, mac’n cheese, fried chicken, smoked salmon, bacon, eggs, sausage and cupcakes.Â My stomach was full from the indulgence, though Julian still managed to sample every piece of candy during construction, including: gingerbread, chocolate and rainbow sprinkles, coconut flakes, peppermints, gummy bears, Swedish fish, hardball candies, M&M’s, Skittles, decorative Santa candies, icing and more. What Julian didn’t eat ended up in the concoction above. And that’s the right way to make a gingerbread house.