Gifts and Giving

As someone for whom giving gifts is basically the total best (and who is also chronically broke — WORKING ON IT!) I’m always hunting for ways to give people things that are heavy on the meaning, utility, and enjoyment, but easy on my wallet.  I’m starting to think about the upcoming holiday season, and want to do something lovely for the people in my life that won’t require me to take a second job trafficking cocaine.  Because that is illegal, reprehensible, and dangerous.

This morning, Apartment Therapy came through for me with a round up of really lovely and inexpensive printable household planning materials.

I’m not one to plan my cleaning — I’m a pretty tidy girl and I’m quite fortunate to have a partner who will complete basically any task I ask him to do, and also does some dude stuff I don’t (like taking out the trash, which I detest).  We have similar standards of what counts as “clean” and neither of us sweat the small stuff.  We don’t argue about maintaining our space, and clean up after each other without complaint or resentment.  It’s rad.  I think division of household labor is a pretty personal thing, so I’d probably skip the cleaning planning worksheets AT rounds up.  But the cooking and grocery planning worksheets seem clutch!

Ashley has a few of my pre-gluten allergy, throes of graduate school recipes, including my once-famous apple pie from scratch.  When I gave her that recipe, she urged me to write a cookbook, if for no other reason than entertainment value.  Apparently, I’m hilarious — who knew?  (Ash, if you still have that full text recipe, send it along and I’ll post it for the lolz).

That I am talented (and entertaining) in the kitchen (and am, perhaps more so now that I’ve had to cut out entire plant sources from my food choices — no rye, wheat, or barley for health reasons, and often no corn or other grains and very little cane sugar for aesthetic and practicality reasons) is certainly a gift I can give to at least some of my friends.   So, what I’m considering doing is selecting a cute set of printable sheets and starting friends off with a few of my favorite recipes, and then encouraging them to share and trade their own over the holiday season, and perhaps proposing a potluck after the holidays are over (and we have a dining room that seats more than 2 people) for us to share some of our signature dishes.

For some friends, this won’t work.  But for probably 50% of my pals or more, knowing how I roast a chicken, perfectly, every d*mn time might be a thing they’d like to have in their arsenal.  Perhaps an on-paper collaborative recipe book is a bit… sentimental, but like, so am I.  We all tend to rely on technology and the internet a lot in the kitchen (me, too!) but this seems like a quirky and sort of personal thing I could give my fellow foodies.  Plus, I have the option to be like, “Fun fact: This meal costs $20 and will feed 2 people dinner for 3 days plus give you leftovers for garbage soup and a chicken carcass that will yield X cups of broth, breaking it down to approximately $X per meal,” or a story about how I came to do whatever it is the recipe calls for.  PERSONAL STUFF GUYS!

So.  This is a project I could start pretty soon.  I’m excited to be able to give something to my friends and family that they might keep, use, and appreciate  — without spending $20 a person this year.

Is there some sort of Smart Girl Money merit badge system?  I feel like “Conquer the Holidays” should be a merit badge.


Gifts and Giving

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