My First GISH!
This past week, I finally took part in GISH - GISH - the "Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen”.
For a few years now, I’ve watched as friends have participated, but it just never worked out for me to join in, between convention season, the start of costuming season for a few of the sports I do Spandex Costuming for , etc.
Between a pandemic closing my costuming business, coming to the end of over a YEAR of getting old blog entries updated as my pandemic income source, and being sidelined from pretty much everything else on account of being crippled (Foot tendons destroyed by Cipro, relearning to walk, etc)... I guess this was the time to get in on it!
A friend of mine from back in Minneapolis posted about looking for people to join her team, and here we are!
What is GISH?
For those not in the know, GISH is a charity-oriented scavenger hunt that takes place for a week every year.
On the appointed day, a huge list (around 150, IIRC) of wild tasks drops, and you race to finish the ridiculousness. Throughout the week, more tasks drop, and it’s utter chaos.
Some tasks involve volunteering or donating to charity, and others are wild art projects from bizarre materials, pushing your limits, etc.
You know, exactly the kind of nonsense I needed, after the past year and a half.
So, last Saturday I looked through the list, narrowed it down to the items I was interested in, then further narrowed it down to a handful that I thought I could get done in time.
For my first year, I joined a “just for fun” team, so there hasn’t been a ton of pressure to get it all done.
However, I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS, so I kind of threw myself into it. Here’s what I did, and how it went!
GISH Day #1
As I mentioned, I started the day out by going through all the tasks and picking a few. (Spoiler: One was to make a wedding cake out of cement - keep reading for those pics at the end!)
Then, I figured out a basic plan for each, and a materials list. I ordered a few things I needed (Skittles, M&Ms, Potatoes, etc), and called it a day.
I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed at that point, LOL.
GISH Day #2
Figuring I should ease into it, I decided to tackle two of the “easy” tasks:
Item # 42
After seeing your decades of Skittles portraits, the God of Mischief has commissioned one in his likeness, but you’re nothing if not a rebel. Create a portrait of Tom Skittleston—we mean Hiddleston—in costume out of Skittles…AND M&Ms. Your move, Loki.
I traced and simplified a photo in photoshop, printed it out, and set it up with some parchment paper in a baking pan.
Whipped up a batch of royal icing, and was mostly good to go.
I think I did OK, until I got to the face:
Oh boy. Sorry about your face, Tom Hiddleston. I did you dirty, and was DEFINITELY not trying to!
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm recently charmed the world with a photo of one of their residents as Alligator Loki. The Farm has a list of small changes that anyone can make to help out the environment. Disguise yourself as a Loki variant of your choice while undertaking one of these small changes.
We decided to go with “Turn off water when brushing your teeth”:
We put a bit of an Easter Egg in the mirror reflection:
GISH Day #3
Gishers, I miss you all and can’t wait to reconnect and hug you. Meanwhile, check in: Have every member of your team take a picture of themselves somewhere or with something that symbolizes the region where they live and a sign that says “GISH YOU WERE HERE IN (YOUR STATE/REGION/PROVINCE & COUNTRY)!”* Note: If you have already completed this item, you may photoshop the sign - and only the sign - and re-upload.
* This was originally supposed to say “GISH takes (your area)!”, but it was changed after I took my photo.
Some things absolutely should be polished, and some things should not. Until now, it has been pretty much universally agreed that coconuts should not be polished. But we are never bound by tradition! Go polish a coconut. Like, to the point that it doesn’t even look like a coconut any more, but now it looks like a really-really-highly-polished coconut.
So, we polished a coconut. LOL, not much to say on that one:
Aging hand puppets need routine medical screenings, too. Let’s see a doctor or nurse performing a stuffed animal colonoscopy. (On the stuffy, to be clear.)
As soon as I read this one, I KNEW I’d have to call one of my skating buddies, who’s a physician.
Jim is awesome, a ton of fun, and was down to do it! I love the photos we took, the moose’s eyes really made it!
GISH Day #4
The GISH and Random Acts communities just lost one of our own to cancer: Holli was a dear friend, Gisher, and volunteer. She was also a longtime champion for food equity, so we’re taking up the mantle: Sign up to volunteer or make a donation to , the food bank where Holli devoted her time, or your local food bank or a food equity program while wearing a crown of holly, real or manufactured. Post a photo of you in your crown with proof of your donation on social media tagging @randomactsorg, #GISH, and #RandomActs4Holli.
So I made a crown of Holli and brought a case of KD to a local food pantry. It’s a really cool set up - a pantry for the dry items, a fridge, and a freezer.
It’s out in the open, so you can take or leave food at any time.
GISH Day #7
Potato Ships. This is not a typo. It must float.
This was my big fail of the event. I had carved the main bowl and tested it for floating, had big plans for using a mandoline to make sails for my pasta masts...
... but then I got a really, really terrible comment on the blog that ruined my day to the point of just not being able to complete this.
There’s nothing like someone leaving a long, gross, eugenicist comment about autistic people being gene edited out of existence, to just really kill the mood for carving potatoes, I guess?
So this was as far as I got:
GISH Day #8
On the last day of GISH, I banged out a couple last minute entries:
Pop culture is taking over everything—even breakfast. Create a yogart (yogurt art) portrait of your favorite pop culture character on the top of a bowl of your yogurt, with colored yogurt and inclusions. Maintain edibility.
... and this was the day I learned that piping our a freehand yogurt design out of yogurt and fruit puree is harder than I thought it would be! Yikes, hope it was at least somewhat recognizable!
The base is Liberte’s Coconut Yogurt*, sprinkled with my Yogurt and Ice Cream Topping (YUM!).
The mango is Canned Mango Pulp, the blue is blueberries, a little yogurt, and some food colouring. The red is just straight pureed raspberries, and the black is coloured yogurt*.
Not my best work, but hey, it was fun!
*Side note: When piping yogurt, choose one that DOESN’T have coconut in it!
Item # 105
Occult food? Mystic pizza. Bake one and show your otherworldly entrée off to fellow Gisher, Annabeth Gish.
This one was fun, even if I couldn’t have any!
It’s a stuffed crust pizza... but SALTED stuffed crust.
Figured that a ring of salt sounded appropriate, AND would work well with the stuffed crust aspect - Almost like a stuffed breadstick!
Tomato basil sauce, mozzarella cheese base.
Pepperoni triangle, ricotta eye with a sliced olive pupil. The design was piped out of pesto, and there are rings of olives and green pepper slices.
The learning opportunity here?
Using my billowy, rising crust recipe (The one from my Perogy Pizza!)... is not a great idea when wanting a certain design. It kind of sent things moving all over the pizza!
Next time, I’ll use a thin crust!
Still, I like how it turned out.
It smelled amazing, and somehow I managed to NOT kill my husband when he was sat next to me, carrying on about how good it was, and what I was missing!
GISH Days #1-6
Cement your love: Create an ornate, 3-tiered wedding “cake” made out of 100% hand-piped concrete. Include all the usual wedding cake decorations, but all made out of concrete.
This was my BIG project for this, and one I’m weirdly proud of.
Early on, I decided I was going to do a Lambeth style cake, loosely inspired by a Lambeth Wedding Cake I’d blogged 11 YEARS ago:
Yes, it’s been 11 years since I piped a Lambeth cake.
Yes, there’s a reason for that.
No, I did not let common sense get in the way of a dumb idea.
Shockingly - although cement is WAY more finicky to work with than royal icing - it was actually a lot easier on my wrists than the royal icing version was!
The reason for that is because you basically have to to mix the cement thin and watery enough that it basically oozes everywhere, with very little control.
SO, as you see how messy my piping is, know that I was piping with a wide tip (necessary due to the texture) bag filled with something the consistency of yogurt.
I had to approach each pass of the cake with the tip held upwards, then quickly invert where I was hoping to start the flow, cross my fingers that it would land in the right place, and let it go!
Really different experience from the super stiff, exact nature of piping Lambeth style from royal icing!
Some Photos of the process:
I had a lot of fun with this, and I’m pretty happy with the results.
Here are some more photos (with more - the pro shots - further below!)
More Cake Photos
Interested in seeing - and reading - more details of some of my favourite cakes I’ve made over the years? Check out these links:
Bubble Bobble Wedding Cake
Clarice, Have the Lambs Stopped Screaming?
Dalek Cake for a Doctor
Lambeth Wedding Cake
Snowflakes Wedding Cake
SO.. I made a Cake for Amanda Palmer (NSFW)
Spumoni Cake & The Art of Trolling Cake Competitions
That Time I Made a Cake for a Pack of Klingons
The Story of Foopmallet
TARDIS for Wil Wheaton
Tremors Wedding Cake
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SO, that's it - my first GISH experience!
I had a great time - and it was SO needed, after the last year and a half.
I have no idea what the next year will bring, or what my availability will be like... but I hope to participate again next year.
What a great event!