When we were in Dallas for the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo – we saw a large amount of homeless people, much more than we would see in our area. However, I know that it is a problem everywhere. There are several homeless shelters in the area and many other places for the need (Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc). I hate that there is a need for homeless shelters. I know there are so many people who take advantage of people like me who are sympathetic to the homeless. I’ve seen interviews on national news of people pretending to be poor to get easy money. I hate that even more. I don’t want to have that judgmental thought in my mind so we went a different route. Instead of giving cash to the homeless, we made homeless packs. We made 10 packs that included: a razor, bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, gloves, socks, lip balm, hot hands, tissues, water bottle, granola bars, instant coffee, hot cocoa, beef jerky, crackers, peanuts and a candy cane. The kids picked out the snacks and I tried to think of a few things I thought someone would need this winter. Believe it or not, each time we’ve tried to donate to local shelters, they are always closed. We’ve tried different ones but can’t seem to catch anyone so we just left our box of gift packs on the porch. I’m sure someone found them and put them to good use! Another idea would be to have these packs in the car and if you saw a homeless person, you could give them a pack!
Day 9 of family time: Today was the Stultz family cookie baking day. My son is on Christmas vacation from school so we get extra time together for the next couple weeks! He is my little baker – he loves helping me cook. His favorite is baking cookies. Today, I let him help me make our annual cookies to give to family, friends and neighbors. We decided on two cookies today. We made gluten free sugar cookies with a simple powdered sugar icing and sprinkles. Santa will get a few of these in a couple days. Funny story – I was explaining to my son why I couldn’t eat these. He doesn’t understand the limitations of my diet (no eggs, grains, dairy, etc). He said “but mom, they don’t have gluten.” I said, “No, but mommy can’t have eggs or butter either.” He said “oh, I sure hope Santa doesn’t have Skeliac Disease (aka Celiac.).” Then he proceeded to have 50+ questions as to what Santa may or may not be allergic to….
We also made Lane’s Cookie Concoction. This is a traditional (gluten free) chocolate chip cookie but with mini marshmallows, butterscotch chips and peanut butter chips added too! All I know is they smelled amazing and the kids and my husband polished off quite a few of the 5 dozen we made…. My husband said they were gross and we couldn’t give them away. I’m assuming by the fact there are so many gone that he doesn’t want to share.
In addition to cookies, our friends and family will be getting Oreo truffles (gluten free version), butter mints, Cranberry Applesauce Bread and Pumpkin Banana Bread. We’ve already given a few other candies and treats. As much as I love cooking… I’m over Christmas baking and candy making! However, I think we can probably squeeze in some Salted Caramel Brownies tomorrow 🙂