When something as incomprehensible as entire villages, towns, and entire cities are literally swept away by an earthquake and resulting tsunami, it's easy to watch it all with a sense of helplessness. But I am a firm believer in the fact that when everyone does what they can (even if it seems so very little!) it can accomplish a great deal.
Thus, tonight we had a simple fundraiser for Japan at our little, inner-city church's midweek bible study. Anyone could easily do this after a sunday service at their church, or even during your workplace's coffee or lunch break. We served green tea and green tea cookies before the teaching time and just asked for any donation that people could give.
Also, during our young adult bible study time we also served sushi and everyone brought their donation for that as well. I spoke with the owner of a local sushi bar and he gave me a very good deal on some great sushi. He was so funny, because I requested a party platter, and he asked, "Are they Canadian or Asian? Men or women? Aaaaahhh...I'll give you some of my beef teriyaki sushi." Hee! Hee! I had no idea there was "cowboy sushi"! It was very good, by the way.
My ten year old daughter helped me put together some very easy paper crafts. (Why decorate? Because it inspires people!) We made a string of paper lanterns and also some simple folded fans which we gave out to at the end of the evening to remind people to pray for Japan. I didn't have any Japanese themed paper, so I simply copied and pasted images and printed them out from this free site.
I loved the Green Tea Cookies recipe so I'll to share it with you. I think I'd like to try it with Earl Grey and Chai Tea as well.
GREEN TEA WHOLE WHEAT COOKIES
1 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
3 green tea bags, crushed a little
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and honey until smooth. Empty the contents of the tea bags into the mixture and discard the bags. Mix until well blended. Stir in the egg yolk and peppermint extract. Blend in the flour and baking powder. Divide into 3 sections, wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a floured surface, roll out one portion of the dough at a time to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2 inch round shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies onto ungreased baking sheets spaced 1 inch apart.
3. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are dry, and the edges begin to brown lightly. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature when completely cooled.
Enjoy with a cup of tea, share with friends, or raise money for a great cause!