It’s dark outside
and everyone is asleep,
except for one
One who is cutting, stamping and tying,
now what do I need again?
brown paper for jam jar tops
scissors I’ve had for 26 years
new stamps to play with from here
recycled glass jars
and the afternoon before of a hot sticky kitchen, making jam
gifts ready to go
and a bed that is calling
What are you making at the moment?
* linking into the inspiring My Creative Space
Nearly the end of the year again, which means there could be a little gift giving to be had. I love this time of year, but I don’t like the ridiculous amount of spending that usually goes along with it. You don’t have to spend oodles of money, you really don’t. Here are a few ideas to help with a greener tinged Christmas at your place this year.
1/ Tiny presents of tiny succulents in tiny tea cups, (or espresso cups as this little fella is.) You can easily do this with a little cup that may have a chip or a crack in it- stalk op shops, church fetes, roadside discards for succulent holding inspiration. The options are limitless, (have a peek at google images.) Think green, think succulents.
2/ Something for the inspired reader in your life- Changing Gears: by Greg Foyster
3/ Assistent Original- now this is a pricey gift for Christmas, but if you are serious about a kitchen investment that is going to cater for every kitchen whim you have- it’s a worthy investment, as cooking from scratch is a commitment and you want to make it as easy as possible. For bread baking nerds, look no further.
6/ Sign a bloggy friend up to do Blog with Pip- they will love you to the moon and back, (and probably back some more; this course is AWESOME.)
7/ If you don’t have a crafty hand yourself, have wander over to etsy- Buy direct from someone who does and support a small time crafter with a passion for handmade goodness.
8/ Sign a loved one up for a Milkwood Permaculture course, (or a locally grown Permaculture course in your area.) They will be brimming with inspiration afterwards, and that…is always a good thing.
9/ For the tea drinker- love chai, love tea, enamel cup and a little ginger bread bites for dunking in. A simple present that is 542 times better than buying something bland in a generic department store.
10/ Or using the same gingerbread recipe, kid version style.
11/ Put together a little handmade food hamper. Jam’s, biscuits, brownie, cake, pesto, bread- the options are endless. If you team that up with a little second hand store basket (50c church sale thank you very much!) and you’re in Christmassy business, (always nicer than a gifted pair of synthetic, made in China, novelty boxer shorts…promise.)
12/ And if you still aren’t sure of what Uncle Roo and Aunt Bilby would like, make a donation on their part. There are so many charities to choose from in our collective corners of the world- choose one and your recipients will be so very thankful.
For previous years eco Christmas gift ideas and wrapping see
I’m trying to remember to do quite a few things at the moment. Lists are being made, crossed off, lost, restarted, and scribbled upon. The end of the year where everything comes to a halt. Classes are finishing, teachers are changing, christmas decorations have been hung and there is a buzz in the air that is beginning to mount. But not before I go through my multiple lists.
Thank you biscuits for the dance teachers.
Thank you biscuits for the soccer teacher.
Thank you biscuits for the school teacher.
Goodbye biscuits for the school class.
Christmas biscuits for the neighbours and friends.
Now if only I could remember to take them when I go and see them.
This year we’ve done the festive bundle of sticks again. It feels right. Fifteen minutes of collecting fallen sticks from outside, held together by a ribbon and then decorated by the boys. Simple, environmentally friendly, space saving, and most importantly….I can put it up high. If I didn’t, little fingers would be breaking off everything she could and jamming it into her mouth for a little stick flavoured snack.
How about you?
Working your way through any lists? Anyone else doing Christmas sticks this year?…and sunflowers, aren’t they beautiful.
There is something about seeing them that just puts a smile to the face and a little dance in the toes. Seeing them in unlikely places, like a city side street… just makes them even sweeter.
My loved grandparents came to visit… and there were Double Ginger Bites.
The girls came to visit for a little cake and coffee by candle light… and there were Double Ginger Bites.
A little Christmas package was sent…and there were Double Ginger Bites.
I was hungry, and dinner seemed like a terribly long way off…and there were Double Ginger Bites.
Double Ginger Bites
125 grams softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 beaten egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup golden syrup
4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tps cardamom
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
100g chopped uncrystalised ginger
Mix wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix them all together. Knead it a little on a floured surface, mixing in the chopped ginger until you get a smooth dough. Let it rest in the fridge a bit until firm, then roll out dough 5mm thickness (or thicker if you prefer) and cut into rough squares and lay on lined baking tray.
Bake at 190C for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until light golden.
local honey- use as a face wash and natural exfoliant, stirred into your morning chai, or drizzled over toast
box of homemade biscuits (recipe below)
gift tag card made up from a dried pressed flower
lunch date voucher- favourite packed picnic lunch
giant gingerbread person in a crocheted pocket
jar of homemade almond pesto
gift wrapping- I’ve talked about using old maps as wrapping paper before. This particular one was gold, as I had found an unwanted old atlas on the street that someone had lazily put out there. At first I was dismayed at the thought of it sitting out there unwanted and unloved, getting rain damaged. We certainly didn’t need another atlas… then I remembered wrapping paper. Sure it was a bit sad that I was cutting into this large beautiful book, but I was certainly better than just going in the recycling bin which is where it was headed. Team it up with some wool to hold the folding in place, and no tape is necessary.
For more wrapping ideas, have a look at this rather awesome site on furoshiki, other wise known as the Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping.
(For last years 12 eco friendly Christmas gift ideas, see here.)
Coconut Strawberry Hearts
250g softened butter
1 cup (220g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut essence
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3 1/2 cups (525g) plain flour
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer until pale. Add vanilla, coconut essence and egg, then mix through rest of ingredients. Lightly knead biscuit dough and roll between two sheets of baking paper to about 5mm. Pop into the fridge for an hour or so until firm, and cut out to shapes. If the dough comes back to room temperature while you are still cutting, being tricky to handle, just pop it back into the fridge for a bit.
Bake at 170C for approximately 15-20 mins, a very light golden colour. Allow to cool and then add half a teaspoon of strawberry jam in between the two biscuits.
Eat two immediately to see if they are ok to gift. Yep? Ok, should be good to go.
For a similar recipe see Coconut Jam Drops.