You may have heard of the buy nothing Christmas, or the buy handmade pledge. These are both campaigns focused on reducing our conspicuous consumption during this festival. Buying handmade, or giving experiences rather than stuff you buy at the shops, are some really awesome things to do at this time. And it's a great way to start celebrating this festival in a more sustainable fashion. The amount of food and paper waste at this time alone, not including transportation costs, production costs, are phenomenal. In my real life job I'm paid to talk about this stuff, you know.
Baked goods are a great gift to give, it's something you've made rather than something you've bought and you get to sample as you go.
Last night I spent three hours baking, to create a great cookie pack for my work secret santa. The recipient seemed fairly excited when they opened it today, and they'll never know it was vegan deliciousness! Last week, I took some jam drops to a concert, and offered them around. "Are they vegan?" N asked. "Good!" he said, when I responded in the affirmative. "People always say vegan food must taste gross, and I like it when they're wrong."
People sometimes complain about receiving chocolates and biscuits as gifts, but I think the complaints are more about receiving the packet rather than the contents in particular. Most people seem to be very excited about the prospect of receiving a jar of tasty home-baked cookies and biscuits. I know I love receiving gifts of delicious home-baked goods! If only more people in my daily life were up to baking vegan goods! Has anyone had different experiences in this regard, people really not wanting goods baked with love (and no animal products)?
This year's set of baked goods is a combination of gingerbread, jam drops and raspberry chocolate cookies. The gingerbread recipe I use is this one from the ppk, though I often use significantly more flour than the recipe calls for. The jam drops are Emmie's recipe, with no modifications, I've found that it works great and is really simple. The raspberry chocolate cookies are from Veganomicon, and I wish I could remember to add less almond essence, I always find the end product so overwhelming when I forget, as I did last night!
If I have time I might add some choc-chip biscuits to the collection, but I'm exhausted today having baked for so long last night, so my weariness might defeat my enthusiasm! Juggling three different batches was perhaps my maximum, I ran out of mixing bowls and had to use a serving bowl!