Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gift Ideas...Cookie Exchange Holiday Party

Christmas and Holiday Times can be difficult if we have lost family and friends-for any reason- or are in a tough financial spot. One of the best ways I've found over the years to soothe the sadness that I feel most during the holidays is to make food and surprise neighbors and friends. This year I will have a 'Cookie Exchange' party to make good memories. 

I thought I'd serve a light supper around 6pm, and have some soup, rolls or homemade bread (with honey butter perhaps), and a great organic green salad with a homemade honey mustard dressing. (It's good I visited the Scoggins Valley Apiary and have a gallon of pure honey in the shelf). I have one guest who is allergic to onions, and that will be a huge challenge as far as soups are concerned. I'll have to put my 'thinking cap' on, as my mother used to say. I have a recipe for a Senagalese Peanut Chicken Soup that uses butternut squash and is very comforting and tasty. I can send the recipe if anyone is interested. Just put Soup Recipe in the subject line.

For dessert everyone will have a plate of cookies they have made, or will bring at least a box of chocolates or some holiday treat if they don't bake, and we'll make up variety plates to take home.

Last year I created baskets to give away. This year I have some good grapefruit that were 3/$1 and some wonderful Hood River Apples. Making cookies is therapeutic for me. I picture making some baskets with good cookies and fruit, and little surprises tucked in. 

Our expectations and losses seem to distill on family-oriented times of the year. I find the best way to beat the blues during the Holidays is to make other people's lives happier and better in some way. Being part of creating surprise and happiness cannot help but make our own holidays brighter. So, if you want to glow like those Christmas lights, roll up your sleeves and roll out the dough for gingerbread boys, drop Russian teacakes on the cookie sheet, or make those nutty little Thumbprints with a chocolate kiss or a bit of homemade raspberry jam in the middle.  

Please send pictures of your Christmas Elf creations for others-baskets, cookies, etc. 

Merry Christmas!

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