Part of the ecomum philosophy is to buy less, and to avoid mass consumer culture.  One way to do that is to Do It Yourself.

Here are some activities that have been rigorously tested and found true in the ecomum household:

Christmas Gifts!

This recipe is dead-easy, kid- proof, and doesn't involve a stove (though it does involve a food mill). We make them every year for gifts, and either people like them, or they are very polite.
Apricots are an excellent source of beta carotene and a good source of iron and dietary fiber, as well as potassium and magnesium! (so this is health food)

Apricot Coconut Balls

3 cups apricots
1 can condensed milk
4 cups desiccated coconut
icing sugar to coat

Grind apricots -- the addition of some of the coconut towards the end will help the last of the apricots to come through.
Mix the remaining coconut with the ground apricots and stir in the condensed milk.
Shape into 1" balls -- it may be helpful to dust your hands with icing sugar from time to time.
Roll balls in icing sugar and place on a tray at room temperature to dry and become firm. Store at room temperature in airtight tin.

From Ruth Hillman's "Favorite Candy Recipes" copyright 2002.



Martha Stewart, the patron saint of crafters (and obscenely rich people) has kept us buzy this year, churning (or rather sifting and stuffing) out fun bath fizzies in a range of colours and aromas -- from patchouli & cinnamin to lavendar & sweet orange.   Easy, and inexpensive (about 3$ / batch once you buy the ice cube trays and essential oils), these are a great gift, and easy for kids to help make (our daycare made them with the help of 7 kids ranging in age from 18m to 10 years).  Try looking locally for the silicon trays -- but in the end  we could only find them at Ikea & Lee Valley (the IKEA ones are much less expensive).  Citric acid can usually be purchased in bulk from a you-brew wine shop (we got ours at the Bushel Basket in Brookdale Plaza in Peterborough.)





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