A Sea Twist on the Gingerbread House

In late November, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables got word about a fundraiser put on by Downeast Family YMCA in Ellsworth–they invited local businesses and organizations to create gingerbread houses to display and raffle off at a special event, “Moore Center Under the Lights,” on December 8.

Hearing about this event, MCSV Kelp Krunch™ baker and educator Kara Ibarguen jumped in with both feet. “As soon as I heard about the fundraiser, and that [MCSV] wanted to take part, the wheels started turning,” she says, knowing that the event was for a great cause, and a “good way for us to be active in the community and support healthy programs.” The event raised funds for the Y’s 2016 Annual Campaign.

Gretchen shingles the roof with Krunch bars!

Kara also knew right away that the MCSV gingerbread house had to have an ocean theme, and the idea of a lighthouse–iconic to Maine–came easily.

She also wanted to incorporate Kelp Krunch bars (of course!) and envisioned them gracing the roof as shingles, and creating paths, doors, and other accents, adding a “visual texture.”


Let there be light…

It was not enough to create a lighthouse, Kara wanted it to light! She envisioned a round cookie ‘walkway’ around the light, and figured out how to set it up so the bulb would light. Her husband, a builder, helped her turn her vision into shapes and measurements for the pieces so the structures would be sturdy.

Kara decorates the lighthouse with its bold red and white stripes while Gretchen works on the landscape.

Kara in construction mode


With only a couple of weeks to manifest the gingerbread lighthouse, Kara set to work, with lots of help from co-workers. They set out for supplies, especially excited to find gummy lobsters, and got to work. Kara baked the gingerbread pieces at home, and the construction and decoration took place in MCSV’s R&D kitchen at the center of our new building, with staff visiting to ooh and ahh, chip in a bit of help, and take photos. There were lots of smiles and laughs all around.

As the lighthouse and “keeper’s house” came together, the landscaping began–with turquoise candy forming the breaking waves on shore, candy “rocks,” gummy wreaths, candy canes, licorice strand railings and details, and of course, gummy lobsters.

The landscape had to have trees, and Kara envisioned them made from the fronds of dried Alaria (a type of kelp), layered on ice cream cones, affixed with icing–so all the parts of the house were edible. To add more seaweed elements, strands of Rockweed trail around as vines on the outside of the house.

The gingerbread houses were raffled off after the Moore Center event, on Saturday December 10. The lighthouse also came with MCSV’s cookbook, Sea Vegetable Celebration, two shakers of Sea Seasonings® that doubled as part of the lighthouse landscape, Original and Sesame Ginger Kelp Krunch bars, a bag of Dulse, and coupons for MCSV’s online store.

We heard that the woman who won the lighthouse was very happy. :)

Happy Holidays!

~~~and Eat Your Sea Veggies!~~~




About mcseaveg

Our mission is twofold: to provide high quality North American sea vegetables as user-friendly foods, supported by reliable information; and to build respectful, long-term relationships with our customers, suppliers, employees and the environment.
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