14 Dec2006


One of the great tasks related to creating a gingerbread house is accumulating the candy that you and your kids are going to stick on the house. I could easily make a gingerbread can2house with no candy…the fragrance of the gingerbread combined with lots of snow white icing can look incredibly elegant. But it isn’t as much fun. At what other time of the year does your Dad or Mom drag you to different candy stores and basically tell you to get as many different items as possible? Maybe only 50 grams of each and with time you will know which ones work best, but the whole thought of candy excess is just too good to be true. In the end, a small house takes only 500-800 grams of candy maximum, but we always start out with a lot more. As the Kid and her friends say, decorate one, pop two in the mouth, decorate one, pop two in the mouth…heehee. That lasts only so long, trust me…


Because our annual gingerbread house is a known event, we start stocking candy as early as September when we see something that will keep well. But this year, we had the added advantage of a sister who was flying in from New York the day before we were can4to do the gingerbread house. I had asked her to bring candy and she did a visit to the Economy Candy Company in downtown New York and picked up what must have been at least 15 pounds of candy! So this year we had an incredible palette of items to work with…amongst the biggest in recent memory: jujubes, green peppermints, chalky bears, sour patch gummies (a 5 pound bag worth, at 1/5th the price in Manila malls), green jelly beans, gumballs, spice drops (a classic gingerbread candy), chocolate rocks, large and small jelly beans, blue and red stars, candied Jordan almonds, gummy bears and that’s just the “multi-colored” pile of goodies…


We also had a tremendous selection of black (licorice, blackberries) candies as well as red and white ones: red hots, Boston baked beans, raspberries, several shapes of red and white peppermints and dozens of straight and tratidional candy canes. I think we can5had other candies as well but I can’t recall all of their names…suffice it to say we had a good 20-25 pounds when everything was laid out in individual bowls and trays for these photos. Now, I know, a few of you are rolling their eyes, thinking what an incredible profligate waste of money. But I would argue that, for say USD20-40, this will be one of the most enjoyable and memorable activities you can do with your kids and several of their friends, and that they will recall long after that cell phone you buy them, ½ hour at the Mall game room or mediocre meal you have at a quasi fast food restaurant, is long over. This was enough candy for at least eight houses with lots of munching in between… I live my life this way…when I am on my deathbed, assuming I am not hit by a bus on Edsa and suffer instantaneous expiration, and I look back at my life, it won’t be about the next promotion, the higher salary, the most brilliant speech in front of the world’s finance ministers (I already did that), but it will definitely be about the time spent with The Kid, Mrs. Marketman, family and friends, and THIS activity will be one of the finest memories I shall possess as the lights dim, in movie-like fashion. Cost is NOT a major consideration when it comes to the Gingerbread candy in our home – at least once in your life go wild with the candy, it costs far less than your shoes, of which you have multiple in the closet, di ba? Next up, this year’s Winter Scene a la Marketman & Family…



  1. joey says:

    That array of candy is mind boggling! I think I will wait for a kid of my own before doing this because (don’t think I’m weird!) I don’t eat candy (!!!). Yikes, I know. But the gingerbread with “snowy white icing” sounds great!

    Although…even if I don’t eat the stuff, it all does look gorgeous, like jewelry :) It reminds me of this cake in Tessa Kiros’ book Apples for Jam on which she sticks candies all over the icing…It’s so vivid and flamboyant! And everyone could use a little flamboyance in life (and to hell with the expense!) I totally agree with you on the memories…these are definitely the things remembered (along with wild scavenger hunts!) :)

    Dec 14, 2006 | 11:55 pm


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    Fond memories with family members and friends are priceless. They are forever embedded in our memory chips. Foods/candies bring people together. The candies bring a lot of life to the gingerbread house. They sparkle, give beauty and kaleidoscopic effect and great teasers too.

    Dec 15, 2006 | 1:26 am

  4. Jacqui says:

    You must be the coolest dad ever?! You must hear that a lot from The Kid.

    Dec 15, 2006 | 6:13 am

  5. consol says:

    What a wonderful bonding experience with The Kid! You’re absolutely right, dear MM, memories of the gleeful decorating (and mouth-popping of the goodies which are, as Joey said, mind-boggling) of the gingerbread house will be seared into memory. Quality time, indeed! You’re such a fun cool Dad, I almost wish I were a child again *sigh*

    Here’s hoping that you and your precious family have a glorious blessed Christmas and an even more prosperous New Year, surrounded by love, health, peace of mind, good cheer, and great scrumptious food! And that goes for the legions of your admirers/readers who await and enjoy your posts.

    Dec 15, 2006 | 6:34 am

  6. asunta says:

    MM, I was thinking of making a gingerbread house too this Xmas to start a yearly tradition now that my eldest is in preschool and will appreciate it but dont know how i will manage to finish the construction with her eating all the candies. I can just imagine the look on her face when she sees all the candies!! !

    Dec 15, 2006 | 7:58 am

  7. bettina says:

    MM, I think the biggest gift you are giving this Christmas – other than the daily dose of wonderful posts and your food gifts – is that you inspire us to live better lives and be better parents, at least that’s how it is for me. Good childhood memories are priceless :)

    Dec 15, 2006 | 8:44 am

  8. Mik says:

    MM, what a great dad you are! Reading your gingerbread posts made me rethink my christmas plans this year. As this will be our first christmas as a family unit, I stayed up all night thinking about what sort of lasting traditions I can start in my own family and today I’m doing the legwork on it –no, not gingerbread houses (yet!) but something(I hope!) that will mean as much to us as your gingerbread houses mean to your family. :)

    Dec 15, 2006 | 9:38 am

  9. MrsA says:

    MM, I just wasnt to re-iterate what all you other views have said, you have truly become an inspiration to us in so many ways; giving the best of yourself to your child, promoting our local culinary offerings, showing us that we too can become gourmets, all this has been shown as a possiblitliy by you. so thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, we are blessed. I pray the holidays are wonderfull for you and your family and the comming year to be even better than this one.

    Dec 16, 2006 | 12:31 pm


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