Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday cooking...a family affair

I do not love to cook day in and day out always having to come up with new recipes, not knowing who will like what, and trying to manage the kids while in the kitchen with messes all around.  So, I do very little of this as you know if you read my previous post on meal planning etc..  But, I LOVE holiday cooking!  And, I love to involve the kids in the process.  I think it's because there are no school pressures or normal daily routines...whatever the case,it is fun!

Each year, I try to find one new thing that I can add to the process to make our holiday meal just a little bit healthier.  This year I added the step of grinding fresh cornmeal for the cornbread dressing.  The grain mill is a favorite of the kids.  They never cease to be amazed by dumping grains in the top and having flour come out.  And the little guys get really riled up at the loud noise...running circles around the house and screaming in pretend fright:)

So, this year, the process started on Tuesday with pies, potatoes (sweet and white), cranberry sauce, cornbread, crazy crackers (new this year), etc.  Anything that could be refrigerated.  The kids helped.  There are so many little jobs that can be done...washing, peeling, chopping, stirring...endless little things.  Each child can have as many age appropriate "jobs" that their little hearts desire...and it is a good time to just chat over the activity:)  Here are a few pictures of the kids helping out.

 Abby spreading peanut butter between crackers for a special holiday dessert that our family loves...and looks forward to having each year.

 This is Nathan cutting up the potatoes.  We had another helper peeling so it was like an assembly line:)
 Seth really enjoyed stirring the mixture for the pumpkin pies.
After watching Nathan chopping potatoes, he found his Nerf sword and tried to help with this job too:)

Wednesday we cleaned the house and all of the mess that we had made with so many different dishes being used:)

We usually have monkey bread and lil' smokies for Thanksgiving breakfast so we started with these.  The kids love pinching off the pieces of dough and rolling it around in the cinnamon and sugar for the monkey bread.  After a minor catastrophe of dripping monkey bread, fire in the oven, and house full of smoke.  We cooled down the oven, cleaned out the problem drippings, and then reheated the oven...whew.  I guess next time we will split the monkey bread between two dishes to keep this from happening again:)  Of course, the kids thought it was great.  They ran around pretending that the house was on fire and practiced how to get out in a hurry (there is a lesson in everything...haha).  

By this time it was a little later than we had planned so I pulled out cheese, crackers, summer sausage, and grapes to snack on while we continued to prepare for the feast.

There was also a delay in thawing the turkey.  I placed it in the garage frig a few days before but it was still pretty frozen Thursday morning.  Nothing like a little extra adventure for our holiday...haha!  After the turkey was in the oven,  I placed the foods that needed to be warm in the crock-pots to warm while we cooked the turkey and cornbread dressing.  So, we ended up having out traditional Thanksgiving meal closer to dinner than lunch.

It was still a fun day and making games out of each little catastrophe really made it exciting for the kids.  I think they were waiting to see what would happen next:)

How did your Thanksgiving celebration go this year?

1 comment:

  1. You guys are always having adventures! ;) Good job getting them all involved. Love Sethy's helping with the Nerf sword. Now that's how a man would do it. (cue grunting...)