Once a year a women’s group at our church gets together for an exchange of sorts. Everyone brings a basket and 12 items (preferably home-made, but not necessarily so). We put all our items out, then go through and pick 12 miscellaneous items to put in our baskets. Basket liners and bows are provided for decorating the baskets. Then we get to take our basket and give it to whomever we please. I love this idea – because there might be people who could use a little bit of cheer, and they might not ordinarily be in a specifically identified group of people (homeless, needy, poor, etc.)
This year the organization of the event was a bit sketchy because our fearless leader was transferred out of state (or her husband was, and she followed). But there were enough of us interested that we pulled it together sort of at the last minute.
Here are the things my daughter and I made:
You might remember this biscotti recipe from here. I just cut the pieces a bit smaller for this event.
The English Toffee Cookies come together very easily too. Here’s the recipe:
1 cup Butter 2 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar 1/2 cup chopped Nuts
1 egg (separated) 1 tsp Vanilla
Cream butter & sugar together. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour. Spread thinly over a cookie sheet (14 x 17") to 1/8" thick. Spread egg white evently over mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and press lightly. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes (until slightly brown). But while hot into diamond (or desired) shape.
We have a friend who has had a rough week – too much going on at work and the death of a close family friend. She was not around to get the announcment about the baskets but I knew she’d probably enjoy participating, so at the last minute I decided to pull something together for her to take as well. I have boxes FULL of card-makings. These are cut and colated pieces for stamped cards that I usually offer at classes. But I always over-prepare in case extra people show up. After the class is over, these little card makings just sit around and rot. So I dug out a bunch of them and created them in a hurry. Enough so we could have three cards per basket (12 items x 3 cards each = 36 cards). They weren’t all the same. It was just a hodge-podge of stuff, but they came together well. Here are the cards I found/made:
They were originally designed for total non-stampers to create, so they are the simplest stamping ever. . . but that’s what makes them quick, right? We had varying numbers of each card, so the 3 packs were quite varied.
Putting the baskets together didn’t take very much time at all. Here is the basket I ended up with.
My daughter’s basket was dropped off even before we got home. She wanted to give hers to her teacher. I’m not sure which neighbor we’ll give mine to. We’ll probably take it to the corner neighbor (don’t think you’ve seen their house in a picture yet). If they’re not home, we’ll take it to a down-the-street neighbor who lives alone (we won’t leave the basket on the doorstep of the first neighbors because we never know when they’ll be in – and they have a PACK of dogs who would tear it up before anyone could see it). It would be fun to have a whole bunch of baskets to hand out. Maybe next year, right!?