Being unkind to animals is in the news with live export and factory farming weighing heavily on the minds of many. We have noticed a lot of cafes donate their tips jar to charity… For example our local, Dbl Ristretto (Springwood, Blue Mountains). I was recently there enjoying a before-school coffee with my daughter (ok a late-note was involved) and read on the pinboard about an organisation in memory of a dog who was saved, but died shortly after. When tears welled in my eyes, my daughter asked what was wrong and I had to try to explain my sadness at the act of neglect. Consideration for animas has always been on the radar at Gingerbread Folk…It was pretty simple - We didn’t buy cage eggs at home so why would we cook with them? When we began the business we used a pre-purchased royal icing mix made from egg whites and icing sugar. There was no doubt that the dehydrated egg whites were sourced from an industry we didn’t wish to support (stats on factory farming are confronting - readily available here if you want to read them). We enquired further about the ingredients and were laughed at when we suggested sourcing free-range. Not willing to take no for an answer, we headed straight back to the chemistry books (thank you McGee on Food and Cooking) and voila (well it wasn’t that simple) came up with our unique egg-free royal icing recipe. Proudly made with no eggs, it is completely natural and creates a beautiful strong icing when mixed with water. The pristine, polished smile on your gingerbread man is guilt free and we’ve never looked back.