Spread Kindness and Explore World Cultures Through Holiday Baking
While kindness should be spread all year long, the approaching holiday season presents an opportunity to share kindness more than ever! One way to accomplish this goal is by sharing food, which not only spreads kindness throughout your community but promotes non-commercial celebrations of the holidays and provides families with opportunities for hands-on learning about foods in cultures around the world.
Folks aiming to spread kindness in the form of homemade edibles can certainly choose any easily shared foods, but the best foods for sharing (and easiest to store and transport) are baked goods. In order to make the experience of kindness-sharing truly interdisciplinary, experiment with unfamiliar recipes whose origins lie in foreign cultures. Rather than whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, peruse the pages of an international baking or cookbook for recipes whose roots lie in another part of the world. The Kids’ Holiday Baking Book: 150 Favorite Recipes From Around the World offers a wide array of kid-friendly recipes traditional international treats for a full calendar’s worth of holidays (not just the winter ones), and includes ideas for everything from hamentaschen to scones! Additionally, The Cultured Chef shares many recipes (not all for baking) and delves deeply into explorations of the culture from which each food is derived. And once you’ve baked up a storm? Share the internationally-inspired goodness by delivering to neighbors, or invite others to be inspired by your culinary endeavors and organize a cookie swap to allow for some social kindness-spreading!
Another way to spread kindness through food – whilst continuing to explore world cultures – is by participating in Spread the Bread, a global grassroots bread-sharing movement. Families can learn to bake bread together, and can explore the role of bread in the diets of people all over the world through a close reading of Norah Dooley’s Everybody Bakes Bread (and further explorations of international foods can be done through Dooley’s other titles focusing on soup, noodles, and rice).
[Photo credit: (cc) Liliana Fuchs]