We had another fun season of special meals this year! Here’s a wrap-up of the feasts we enjoyed…
We started the holiday season with a typical Thanksgiving dinner, followed by an epic six pies for dessert:
On Christmas Eve we had our annual “pick out dinner.” Ryan chose Velveeta/Rotel dip, I picked my favorite jalapeno popper spread, Turkey asked for deviled eggs, Bunny wanted cream cheese stuffed peppers, Moose chose mozzarella sticks, Ladybug asked for cucumber sandwiches, and I picked red and green Goldfish crackers for Chickadee. Plus, we had the standard buffalo Chex mix, carrots, finger Jell-o in Christmas colors and shapes, and a cheese, cracker, and summer sausage plate. (We had Jesus’ birthday cake for dessert after church that night.)
Our fancy Christmas dinner was held the day after Christmas, when Ryan’s parents could join us. The star of the meal was a pork crown roast. We also had stuffing, cranberries, and roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and brussels sprouts:
The Christmas desserts were a rustic apple-pear pie with French vanilla ice cream and cream puffs:
On New Year’s Eve, I made French onion soup in my new soup crocks:
We didn’t have a Christmas tea party this year, but we did have a New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar!
I made our traditional New Year’s Day dinner of pork roast, along with a cherry-pineapple Jell-o salad, twice-baked potatoes, and roast carrots and brussels sprouts, with a chocolate peppermint trifle for dessert:
The final feast of the holiday season is always Ryan’s birthday/Epiphany. This year, he chose fish tacos with a spicy cabbage slaw, and Guinness cake for dessert:
The time of feasting is over for now, but I’m sure we have plenty of special family meals in our future!
In case you hadn’t heard, I made six pies this year…one for each family member that could actually ask for a variety. (Poor Chickadee didn’t get her own request, but she didn’t seem to mind!) Ryan picked caramel apple, Turkey asked for pecan, Bunny wanted butterscotch, Moose requested S’mores, Ladybug chose pumpkin, and I made my favorite “wassail pie” for myself!
This was a very special Thanksgiving, because we had china on our table for the first time. The children were so excited to be using something that belonged to their great-grandmother, so I made it a little extra special and added our champagne flutes for their sparkling grape juice. This is by far the prettiest table I’ve ever set…I love having a piece of family history!
On Thanksgiving, you have to play with a stuffed turkey, right?
At Thanksgiving dinner the turkey and mashed potatoes were a hit. The green beans were not. After playing with those a bit, Chickadee said, “Naughty!” and threw them on the floor. It was very hard not to laugh.
Finishing up dessert (she loved the butterscotch pie!) with a whipped cream beard!
Thanksgiving is exhausting!
It’s almost Thanksgiving! Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving-ready pie recipes:
- S’mores Pie
- Apple-Cranberry Pie (also known as “Wassail Pie” in our house)
- French Silk Pie
- Caramel Apple Pie
- Butterscotch Pie
- Pecan Pie (corn syrup free!)
If anyone’s wondering, I just use the standard Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe…nothing too fancy there!
We did our annual pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping today. This is always An Event. The children really look forward to us all going together, which probably sounds crazy, but it’s one of our family traditions, so I love it. We’ve learned to go to the store early on Saturday morning, before the mad rush, and it works for us.
This is what groceries for Thanksgiving, plus a regular grocery trip, and extra baking supplies, looks like for a family of seven (or at least for our family of seven):
Yes, we go two turkeys, that total about 45 pounds together. One for Thanksgiving, and one for…later. We’ve had turkey for Christmas, Epiphany (Ryan’s birthday), and just because in the past. I don’t know yet when we’ll make the second one, but I know that I’ll be happy that I bought it on sale whenever that day is!
The shopping trip required two fairly full carts, and a lot of Tetris-like arranging once we got home and realized that everything needed to be put away somewhere. We did manage to get everything in fridge, freezer, pantry, or cabinet, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen when the actual cooking begins, and even more stuff needs to go in the already full refrigerator! It’s a good problem to have though…I am very thankful that we don’t have to worry where our next meal is coming from!
This week, we took a break from our ancient history lessons and Scotland read-aloud to have Thanksgiving school. I used the same general outline for reading that I came up with last year, but this time, we only did one craft, plus made one special food item. We also watched The Mayflower Voyagers, which is a favorite Peanuts special. It’s surprisingly accurate, given that it’s a Snoopy cartoon! Every year when we watch it, I lament the fact that This is America, Charlie Brown isn’t available on DVD. I can only imagine how loved all of the shows would be, especially NASA episode! We still have a few more books to read and crafts to do next week to finish off Thanksgiving school, plus all of our Thanksgiving preparations!
In addition to our Thanksgiving studies, we kept up with our standard “reading, writing, and arithmetic.” Turkey and Bunny are finally getting more comfortable with long division and division with money. I’m very thankful for that! We also had a new hymn to memorize: “Prepare the Royal Highway.” I needed to get started on Advent now, if we’re going to make it through a few Advent hymns and a Christmas hymn before our vacation! Maybe the next hymn I pick will have an easier tune to sing, because the last few have been a bit challenging for those of us with no musical abilities (OK, me).
We did also take a break from our normal science lessons this week to watch some Magic School Bus episodes. It’s nice to occasionally have a low-key week, especially leading up to a big holiday! It was also helpful to me, because I needed to be out of the house on Wednesday, so this gave them something to do that was at least somewhat educational, without bothering Ryan while he was working!
We also kept adding leaves to our Thankful Tree…I’m very happy with how it looks! And we still have another week to go…we have so much to be thankful for!
Next week, we’ll just be having two days of school, reading a lot of fun books, and doing my favorite craft of the year…hand and footprint turkeys!
Today I’ll share a bonus Tasty Tuesday pie recipe, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday next week. You can never have too many pies at Thanksgiving! (Trust me, I should know…I got roped into making six of them this year!) I like this particular recipe because it doesn’t use corn syrup.
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, and flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla, and nuts.
Pour into pie crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.