Sunday, December 9, 2012

#58 - Operation Baking Gals

This time of year, I tend to go a little overboard with baking cookies.  It's become something of a start of the holiday season ritual for me.  I make a list of the types of cookies I plan to make that year, go shopping for such things as a case of butter (36 pounds for those of you who have never had reason to buy butter in quantity), and spend the better part of a week and a half in my kitchen baking.

Most of what I make goes onto trays that I give to friends and co-workers.  Since I work for a local government, this leads to such interesting things occurring as an "official" email going out saying the cookies have arrived at the city offices and the fact that I am one of a very select group of people who actually receives a Christmas card from my local public works department (how many of you can say that?!).  I set aside a few of the more interesting types to go along with me to my family's celebration.  And there are some plates that I take in to work to just hand out to people who look like their day is overwhelming them and perhaps some cookies would help.

However, there is another batch of cookies that I save to mail off to troops serving overseas.  I belong to an organization called Operation Baking Gals - yes, it is gender-inclusive despite the name - that tries to bring a little taste of home baking to the military serving overseas.  While I only participate in the winter months, there are rounds of baking going on all year.  It is more personalized than many of the other programs I've seen where you write to "any serviceperson".  There are individual teams that bake for particular soldiers or units.  Each baker can choose to join as many or few teams as they like.  You get a brief description of the person you are baking for (as well as likes and dislikes) and send the boxes directly to that person (part of joining the organization is a promise that you will not share names or addresses with anyone).  If you like to bake, it's a fulfilling organization to be a part of  .... give the website a look (the link is above) for a more complete description of how the process works.

Contents of a typical Baking Gals box that I sent out - I always try to include a book and this particular soldier wanted nuts, so there was also a can of cashews included - the rest are homemade cookies and candies.

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