festive season

In My Kitchen: up close and personal

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‚ÄčWith the festive season approaching and in view of our imminent shift to Taylors Arm I’m attending early to Christmas gift strategies and shopping.

Resigning myself to the inevitability of on-demand occasion-dictated gift exchange but hopped off the consumer-retailer spending hamster wheel, once again I’m favouring gifts of products we’ve enjoyed this year, purchased locally from people¬†or organisations where¬†dollars make a difference to lives & families¬†not¬†corporates & shareholders.

To package the goodies, I popped over the road from my office building to Eastland Officesmart and grabbed funky green paper bags for a $1 each.

One of the unfortunate things about moving from the city is we’ll be no longer within walking distance of our local¬†Eveleigh-Carriageworks Famers Market so¬†I’m stocking up on gift items of Olsson’s Australian Salt and Prickle Hill Worcester Sauce. I’ll also¬†pick up a box of Jollie Gourmet dog treats for the lovely Lucy, my younger sister’s pooch.

I¬†ordered¬†boxes of my favourite Daintree Tea, and to avoid paying shipping for online¬†shopped Oxfam finger puppets for my new niece, I added bargain multi-packs of fair trade chocolate¬†as well as a couple of cat prezzies for my¬†other sister’s kitties Addy & Nutmeg for whom play is¬†preferable to¬†food.

Getting¬†in the swing of imminent Taylors Arm self-sufficiency,¬†to add personal homemade¬†touches¬†there’ll¬†be Bespoke Muesli,¬†liquid hand soap, and after test baking the¬†Passion Fruit Garden’s Gingernuts¬†recipe I’ve¬†designated them Christmas Biscuits 2015.

For¬†Nambucca Valley¬†flavour there will be¬†perennial favourites; macadamias from MacNuts and soap from Perry’s Lemon Myrtle.

festive goodies_up close and personal

Over the past few years our gift giving trended to consumables; a response¬†to our¬†cupboards being incrementally stuffed with stuff.¬†It’s my way of taking a stand, attempting to¬†influence by example because despite ongoing efforts,¬†we’re unable to¬†persuade family and friends that¬†although we appreciate the gesture we don’t NEED Christmas gifts.

During recent space clearing in our house at Taylors Arm I¬†filled a box with well-meant but superfluous gifted¬†miscellany and moved it to the G.O.’s shed prior to its next stop¬†at¬†a charity store in town. Possibly from whence¬†it will do the rounds again and end up nicely wrapped under someone’s Christmas tree. Not mine, I hope.

‘Tis the season to shop small.

Shop Small Australia
“Shop Small¬ģ has returned to Australia this November. It’s a national movement committed to supporting small businesses at a local level. You know the ones ‚ÄĒ the family businesses, the start-ups and the independents that make each neighbourhood unique.”

Shop the Neighbourhood – Canada
“Shop¬†The¬†NeighbourhoodTM is a local shopping event that’s all about celebrating small businesses and making your community thrive.”

28th November 2015 will be… Small Business Saturday
“In an age of global markets and capitalism, it‚Äôs far too easy for small businesses to struggle and fail, even if they have superior products and services. We have the power to change this, and Small Business Saturday encourages people everywhere to shop with small businesses for just one day, and to change the world a little bit.”

As I see it, the alternative is the slippery slope uncannily depicted by images from depressing artwork portrays what our societies have become.

Thanks to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting In My Kitchen and the IMK community for foodie inspiration & the virtual company they provide. If you’d like to join in, link back to Celia’s blog.

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the faith of small things

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shop with your heart
shop with your heart

On the back of Thriftober, comes Shop Small “the largest ever nationwide campaign to breathe new life into the small business sector. Running throughout November, the Shop Small movement is asking Australians to shop at small businesses in the lead-up to Christmas…

…Shop Small comes to Australia for the first time this year after campaigns in the United States and Great Britain were credited with stimulating consumer spending with small retailers and service providers. It brings together support from the business community, governments and consumers and encourages people all over Australia to support small businesses in local communities.”

Lacking the requisite credit card to participate and unconvinced of the altruism I’m not spruiking¬†the¬†Amex aspect of Shop Small, rather¬†continuing¬†to support local producers and businesses as I have done, sans the Shop Small label,¬†Christmases past and¬†increasingly this year via farmers markets. Read the rest of this entry »