Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Set Up a "Drive-Thru" Paleo-Leaning Christmas Cookie Exchange

Hominahominahomina... :)
Yesterday, I tweeted:
...and this is true! It takes a lot of time and resources to come up with new recipes, especially analogs of popular holiday treats. Of course, I couldn't blog treats that I hadn't tasted and re-tasted...but that often results in me indulging a little too much. I would rather focus on keeping my diet reasonable for the next three weeks through all of the holiday school events, shopping, wrapping, and other holiday errands.

This year I am taking the hard work out of paleo-fied treats and doing what I did last year: organizing a "drive-thru" "paleo-ish" cookie exchange with friends at my CrossFit box. I thought I'd blog a bit about how we organize this event so that if you desired, you could create your own version.

Here's the short version of how to sketch out your cookie exchange invite:

  1. Who are your bakers? (In my case, mainly CrossFit friends)
  2. What are your baking parameters? Classic paleo? Primal (paleo + dairy)? Or, the loosey-goosey "paleo-ish"? Whatever they are, pick parameters that fit your group of bakers. The looser the rules, the larger your group of willing participants is likely to be. In our case, we defined "paleo-ish" as anything without wheat, soybean oil, or canola oil. Even so, almost all of our recipes qualified as primal, many as classic paleo, perhaps with the addition of sugar.
  3. What are your dropoff/pickup dates? We made our exchange "drive-thru" because it took a lot of the pressure of making room for one more holiday party off of people's minds...all they had to determine was whether they could bake cookies, drop them off, and pick them up. In our case this year, folks can drop off on Wednseday night (December 18th) through Thursday morning (December 19th), and pick up Thursday night through Friday (December 20th).
  4. How many bakers are attending? You'll need to set an early RSVP date, because the number of cookies everyone brings is determined by the total number of participants.
Get your invitation going - send it to your bakers with the baking parameters, dropoff/pickup dates, and an RSVP date.

Once your bakers have RSVP'ed, here are your next considerations:
  1. How many cookies shall each participant bring? In our exchange, we shot for about half a dozen of each kind per person. (Remember that everyone will be bringing those delicious cookies home to families, so 6 cookies of one kind is not outlandish when you consider it may mean everybody gets to try one of each kind!) It is wise to overshoot just a bit. For example, if you have 10 people exchanging, instead of having everyone bring 5 dozen, assign everybody coming to bring 6 or more dozen. This way the overall number of cookies won't plummet because of the inevitable handful of participants who are bound to drop out from illness or unforeseen circumstances.
  2. What type of cookies are they bringing? Leave a spot on your invite (in our case we use Facebook invites with posts) asking for folks to post a comment identifying what types of treats they are bringing. This is a good way to avoid ending up with 11 variations of one kind of cookie.
  3. Ask that those with illness excuse themselves from the event. You signed up to exchange cookies, not germs. Ask that all participants bow out of baking/distributing cookies if feeling under the weather (or in a house with sick folks) to minimize the spread of germs. You can also promise sick folks that some extra cookies will go into boxes brought to them so they don't miss out.
  4. Find an inexpensive source of packaging. In my case, last year, I bought very large holiday gift boxes - the kind to package shirts or jackets, for 2/$1 at the dollar store. I picked up enough boxes for the participants and simply asked that all those bringing cookies to also bring a couple of quarters to leave with their dropped off cookies. I also lined the boxes with sheets of wax paper before we distributed the cookies.
  5. Ask for elves to come help organize the goods. In our case, after the Thursday morning cookie dropoffs end, the elves (aka volunteers) show up and help distribute the cookies into assortments between boxes. You'll probably end up with more volunteers than you'd expect! Good chance for quality control - after distributing the cookies into boxes, the elves can sample the wares a little bit and enjoy some festive drinks if desired. In our case, it took less than an hour to get the cookies organized.
  6. Leave the boxes available for pickup, and go home with your own box and enjoy those cookies!
My recipe for these sun butter buckeyes that I brought last year can be seen here.

Do you have plans for a paleo-leaning Christmas cookie exchange this year?
What are those plans looking like so far?


No comments:

Post a Comment

I cherish your comments, each and every one!

Please note that comments that are off-topic or of a gratuitously promotional nature will not be published. Also, for reasons of privacy, comments with my name or family members' names will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...