26 Dec2012


Some of our annual gingerbread creations have taken well over 100 man hours of work, spread out over approximately a week’s elapsed time. Let’s just say this year’s version was the rush, photo-finish, OMG-it-must-be-done-tomorrow kind of gingerbread creation. :) Thank goodness I have crew at home who have been with us for 17 years, and who have seen me make every single one of my gingerbread houses over that span of time. Nothing like previous experience to speed things along… :)


We had just arrived from our trip to the U.S., jet-lagged and then headed to Cebu for work, then back in Manila on the 10th or 11th, and had to have Christmas all ready in our household by the 13th as dinners, guests, etc. were all scheduled from then on… So late one afternoon, we got lots of styrofoam (the base of the gingerbread, to support the panels against the nearly 90% humidity levels here) and hammered out a basic design for a hilltop lodge… Can you count how many hands were on deck to help? And I stepped back to take the photo!


We did this out in the garden, because at this stage, it can be very messy. After about 1.5 hours, we had our base finished, electricals in place, and we measured out and cut the patterns for the required gingerbread panels. At the same time, we made several recipes of Marketman’s gingerbread (construction version) to rest overnight in the fridge.


The next day, again, late afternoon after taking care of other errands, the panels were baked, cooled and attached with confectioner’s sugar cement (icing). This took say another 2 hours. Fastest gingerbread contractors in Manila, I tell you.


Instead of a flat roof, we decided to go with the more rustic, thatched roof look. It just adds more texture I think. We left that to dry overnight.


The next day I added more icing to cover flaws and make it all look a bit more wintery…


…our “contractors” moved the gingerbread to its final resting place and the mountainside was covered in snow…


…trees, animals and people put in place… and VOILA! Gingerbread 2012, with just hours to spare before welcoming our first holiday guests for the season!


Of course we had to include the little produce shop, and bizarrely, a baker is walking around with his freshly baked muffins or cupcakes…


…and while this may have been a rush job, I couldn’t resist a bit of whimsy, imbedding printed silhouettes in the windows so when the house is lit up, you get to see a bit of the goings on inside. In this one second story suite… :) Remember that silhouette, as I will show you where its inspiration came from, soon. A very, very merry Christmas to all of you, a Happy Boxing Day (the Day after Christmas) too, and if any of you kind souls spot it, please let me know when I can find the 2012 Downton Abbey Christmas Special on line, even if I have to watch it on youtube in 8 parts, as I did last year. Hahaha. Yup, addicted. :)

P.S. And if you think that sounded tiring, we also made a second house, a modern ski chalet, for the Teen to decorate herself. Complete with mini cooper in the garage… But she hasn’t finished it yet! :)



  1. ying says:

    Nice! I’ve been waiting for this gingerbread post. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    Dec 26, 2012 | 8:09 am


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  3. Marlo says:

    Fantastic! This is truly wonderful. My daughter would be amazed to see this! I discovered your blog this Christmas and have been reading previous posts and this made me inspired this holiday season! Will definitely come back and browse back years and years worth of posts! Thanks Marketman! Keep posting! Hope you and your family enjoy the season!

    Dec 26, 2012 | 8:24 am

  4. Natie says:

    Very inspired creation, MM! Attention to details! Of course, I had no doubts whatsoever…

    Dec 26, 2012 | 9:05 am

  5. millet says:

    love the silhouette..would love to know the story behind it. what, no zubuchon in the premises of the gingerbread house?

    Dec 26, 2012 | 9:38 am

  6. PITS, MANILA says:

    i don’t know how one can begin to eat this awesome creation … :)

    Dec 26, 2012 | 10:54 am

  7. jen888rn says:

    great job!

    Dec 26, 2012 | 11:17 am

  8. Natie says:

    @PITs has a point..do you eat this work of art?

    Dec 26, 2012 | 12:30 pm

  9. ykmd says:

    MM, try looking for it on http://www.watch-tvseries.net. The link was posted on one of the DA pages on Facebook. I am looking forward to Season 3 and have it on pre-order! :)
    Loved the details on this year’s creation, and yes would love to know the story behind that silhouette! Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the Marketmanila community!

    Dec 26, 2012 | 2:13 pm

  10. sonnysj says:

    Off-topic – Zubuchon is Best Lechon in Cebu, as surveyed by Pop-Talk of GMA News TV Ch. 11! I saw it featured last week.

    Dec 26, 2012 | 2:50 pm

  11. passive.observer says:

    Hi MM! Merry Christmas to you and your family, including the crew. check out for downton abbey christmas special on eztv.it . Happy watching!

    Dec 26, 2012 | 3:27 pm

  12. mrs.hoover says:

    Happy Holidays! Hope you had a great Christmas with your family and friends and crew. Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

    Dec 26, 2012 | 5:08 pm

  13. Gigi says:

    Very pretty, I definitely like this better than the older ones. Just a question though…. don’t ants and cockroaches get attracted to the gingerbread house?

    Dec 26, 2012 | 9:02 pm

  14. gezel says:

    Downton Abbey is being shown on ITV IPlayer if you have a smart tv then it’s there if not it’s online. Take Care . Happy Boxing Day….

    Dec 26, 2012 | 11:40 pm

  15. gezel says:

    Sorry forget to add: just google ITV IPlayer and all ITV shows that you missed for a week is there. Happy viewing..

    Dec 26, 2012 | 11:44 pm

  16. gezel says:

    here’s the website Marketman, hopes this will help https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/downton-abbey/series-5/episode-1-christmas-special

    Dec 26, 2012 | 11:51 pm

  17. Susan says:

    I want to spend the holidays in a real house just like this one in that wintery wonderland you created. Beautiful!

    Dec 27, 2012 | 12:15 am

  18. Thel from Florida says:

    So beautiful! This scenery reminds me when in November 1976 my new kano husband brought me from Pinas to Michigan. I was so happy to see snow and really enjoyed riding in a snow mobile.

    Dec 27, 2012 | 1:06 am

  19. Andrea says:

    very nice and inspiring creation! congrats to you and your crew! Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to all!

    Dec 27, 2012 | 1:45 am

  20. Rochelle says:

    Wow MM! this is fantabulous! :) Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to you and the crew :)

    Dec 27, 2012 | 5:40 am

  21. Irene says:

    It isn’t really Christmas until we see the gingerbread house :) Nice work!

    A merry Christmas to you, the missus, the Teen and the crew.

    Dec 27, 2012 | 7:33 am

  22. odessa says:

    so pretty …!!! Merry Christmas MM and Family..:)

    Dec 27, 2012 | 9:07 am

  23. ami says:

    Good thing this isn’t a case of too many cooks spoil the broth as your crew are very organized and work well together. We’d never guess this was a rush job.

    Dec 27, 2012 | 9:09 am

  24. Mini says:

    Amazing! I have been looking forward to your gingerbread house creations every year. I hope to see The Teen’s creation too. Thank you so much for sharing all the wonderful things you do. Happy Holidays!

    Dec 27, 2012 | 2:49 pm

  25. atbnorge says:

    Very lovely gingerbread house, MM :)))

    Dec 27, 2012 | 11:29 pm

  26. shiko-chan says:

    it looks quite magical! thanks for sharing with us virtual guests as well!

    Dec 30, 2012 | 1:31 am

  27. Trish says:

    Is that Ginger your chocolate lab, MM? :)

    Jan 3, 2013 | 4:47 pm


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