26 Oct2015

Fall Centerpiece

by Marketman

IMG_2981 (2)

Roughly PHP500 or USD11 and it will last you up to a month! Take a large round tray or basket, line it with hay or dried cogon leaves, purchase 2.5-3 kilos of unusual gourds locally from the biggest source/supplier Puentespina or if you are in North America, from the grocery or nearest farm stand (for peanuts I would imagine) and pile them on, taking care to mix up colors, patterns, shapes, etc. So easy, so practical, so pleasant to look at and it will grace your home for much longer than a bouquet of flowers. This is the sign that the hectic holiday season ahead is creeping up on a Marketman household that is increasingly, from year to year, caught unprepared… :)



  1. Footloose says:

    Counting myself with those who believe that refined language can convey the subtlest thought and the obscurest of sensations, my day to day usage usually excludes cussing. Why then do I find this profane paean to decorative gourds so oddly fascinating: http://goo.gl/qbIHJ2

    Oct 26, 2015 | 8:18 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    Footloose, that was TOO FUNNY, how DO YOU FIND these things?! But oddly, I can relate to his tirade, except that in Manila and Cebu, the most common questions we still get in the restaurants are “ano yan?” or “ay, ang cute na pangit” or “plastic ba?” and after squeezing and puncturing it with a fingernail, “totoo nga, real” and the best one yet, say out loud with a Kris Aquino accent “parang kalabasa with leprosy, di ba?”

    In a similar vein, as a lady friend of my dad (after my mom passed away) who commented after a lunch in our home, where she noticed some miniature pineapples arranged as topiaries in ceramic garden boxes with moss arranged down the center of our dining table… “darling, ang cute ng fake mini piƱa nila, no?” to which my dad apparently (out of earshot) replied, “I don’t think they would use anything artificial on their table”. Skeptical and unconvinced, the next day upon seeing me again, she insisted, “yung fruits on your dining table kahapon were so cute, artificial di ba?” and I gave her my best withering “OMG you could be my future wicked stepmother?!” look and said sweetly… “we don’t do artificial”… :)

    Oct 26, 2015 | 11:12 pm

  4. EbbaBlue says:


    Oct 27, 2015 | 1:44 am

  5. tnm says:

    Hahaha! Your killing me!

    On a serious note, each gourd costs 2 for $3 in our local farmers market. Di bale nalang.
    Bumili nalang ako ng squash na pang-ulam.

    Oct 27, 2015 | 6:26 am

  6. Paolo says:

    Just out of curiosity MM, can this be cooked after its centerpiece lifespan? Made me think after tnm’s earlier comment on buying squash for ulam instead. Maybe then it’ll be worth buying them cute gourds?

    Oct 27, 2015 | 9:05 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Paolo, yes, it turns out these are edible, in fact, our chef at the Italian restaurant just said putting butter and garlic in them and baking until soft yields a delicious side dish to chicken or steak…

    Oct 27, 2015 | 10:12 am

  8. Grace Chua says:

    Lovely colors. ? by the way sir, may i request for a reposting of your homemade bacon recipe? With the current findings of WHO that processed meats are cancerous, i remembered reading about your post on homemade bacon. but when i clicked the link to saveur website they must have taken down the recipe link already ???? hope you can post it . thank you ?

    Oct 28, 2015 | 4:43 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Hi Grace, here is the link… That finding of WHO is very interesting and not surprising… you have to wonder about things with added things that you might not really need… for years, we have also sold chorizo at Zubuchon without nitrates and not a few folk have criticized us for our grayish bland looking chorizo. I suspect we will see an upsurge in sales in the weeks ahead. At zubuchon, our food has the least possible amount of any additives that might turn out to be harmful… and I am so happy we stuck to our guns on that front. Having said that, I do love a good ham made with nitrates… but I will almost definitely curtail 90% of the minimal amount of corned beef, hotdogs and luncheon meat that I might eat in future.

    Oct 28, 2015 | 8:21 pm

  10. Natie says:

    Cute gourds are a Fall Staple, minus the deluge of curse words, MM , Footloose. That is so PG 13 or X rated depending on the reader. I should follow that funny blog.

    It will be a very sad day if processed foods are forever banned. The grand kids always prefer Red meats.. steaks and processed meats.

    Oct 28, 2015 | 10:36 pm

  11. Footloose says:

    @Natie, I previously posted the same site to link a funny series of dispatches from Manila.

    Oct 29, 2015 | 2:22 am

  12. Grace says:

    thank you very much, sir! :)

    Oct 29, 2015 | 3:49 pm

  13. EJ says:

    Hi, i was given several of those last year and then passed them on to a neighbour who then proceeded to cook them. Turned out that they were only for decoration and not really edible. Not exactly sure which ones were inedible, though.

    Oct 30, 2015 | 6:10 am

  14. mini says:

    wow! What a lovely and (later on) yummy centerpiece! :)

    Nov 12, 2015 | 8:22 am


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