Jingle bells without the jingle bills
Oily raggers are really good at making Christmas an occasion without the cost. Here are some tips for those looking for creative ways to celebrate Christmas.
And finally, here's a bit of classic Christmas Day fun for the kids - especially if it's raining! Make gingerbread men (or ginger-persons if you prefer!) with this simple recipe from Chelsea sugar: Sift 2 cups of flour with ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of ground ginger. Add ½ cup of sugar then mix in 150g of soft butter and 1 egg. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Place in the fridge for half an hour then roll on a lightly floured surface until about 5mm thick. Use a cookie cutter or knife to shape the gingerbread men then bake in a pre-heated 180deg oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Make icing by adding a few drops of food colouring and water to icing sugar, then use to make fancy wiggles and squiggles - like clothing - and as a glue for lollies. Don't forget to make a hole in them before baking if you want to hang them on the Xmas tree.
Let us know if you have some special Christmas Day tips you would like to share with others. You can contact us (and join our newsletter list) through our website www.oilyrag.co.nz or by writing to us at Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.
*Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.