The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Edible Jesus

Occasionally my photography leads me into strange areas I would never have considered venturing. Yesterday, for example, I was photographing gingerbread nativity scenes.

The rather wonderful Renita Boyle is an author, storyteller, minister’s wife and good friend. The day before she’d had 22 people in her kitchen in Wigtown, building assorted stables, donkeys, stars, angels, camels, kings, shepherds, sheep, Marys, Josephs, baby Jesuses, mangers and, because of where we live, Galloway belted cattle – all out of gingerbread, icing sugar, chocolate, biscuits and breakfast cereal.

Next September Renita is bringing out a book, A Tasty Exploration of Advent, complete with recipes, templates, stories and reflections. She needed a photo for the book as well as some images of the other nativity scenes, created by the range of occupants of her kitchen the previous day, for potential publicity or the church magazine. As I already owe her a huge bunch of favours, I was more than happy to head over for the morning, which flowed into half the afternoon and a late lunch.

Despite the inherent edible nature of nativity scene, I wasn’t allowed to tuck into it. Besides, I wasn’t entirely sure whether it would be considered blasphemous if I started nibbling on the baby Jesus.

His manger did look awfully tempting though…

Renita with the gingerbread nativity

Marshmallow sheep

Galloway Beltie with the baby Jesus and a surprisingly tasty looking manger


debra said...

This is great! Would love to see more.

Kim Ayres said...

On one of Renita's Facebook pages, she has a whole pile of "making of" photos -

angryparsnip said...

I am not sure I like the idea of eating a Nativity especially a baby Jesus.
I never even liked eating the Chocolate Easter Bunnies either, so it must be me.
Saying that, I thought the nativity was very sweet and the sheep and the Galloway cow were wonderful.
As always wonderful photos.

cheers, parsnip

mapstew said...


Though we've been 'eating Jesus' for years! :¬)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Different kind of portrait taking here, eh Kim? :-)

As Parsnip says, the nativity looks very sweet. Mmmmm. I don't have a sweet tooth, but every now and then, one pops up, aaaand, here it is. I want chocolate and marshmallow.

hope said...

Love that sheep!

Interesting project. Big gold star to you for not eating the project.

Pat said...

I've just been drooling over my ancient crib scene. It always awakens the Christmas spirit in me.
Renita's look charming but I think they are a temptation too far.

Titus said...

That's supercool!

Hindsfeet said...

sweet, Kim : )

Guyana-Gyal said...

I kept looking at the first photo, couldn't figure out why. It's just struck's the contrast in sizes. Like the Lilliputians and Gulliver.

savannah said...

i like the idea of having a new nativity every year and never having to wrap it up for storage!! but then, what do i know? ;~) xox

Kim Ayres said...

Parsnip - now if baby Jesus had been chocolate, there'd have been no holding me back... :)

Mapstew - ah, of course - I'd forgotten about that tradition :)

GG - the marshmallow sheep looked particularly tempting :)

Hope - I know, I deserve a medal for my self constraint... :)

Pat - perhaps everything should be made out of licorice and marzipan - then I wouldn't be tempted at all!

Titus - :)

Liz - :)

GG - haha - I see what you mean :)

Savannah - wouldn't work in all religions - especially those where it's forbidden to make representations of holy figures :)

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