Thanksgiving 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving week! Instead of doing our regular weekly schoolwork that we would enjoy a light week. We already took a fall break, so I thought it would be fun to just have a week of cooking and learning about Thanksgiving. The kids loved just taking some time to enjoy a slower pace, and so did I. It was a lovely week!

One of the very first homeschool curriculum books I owned was Five in a Row. A dear friend bought me a copy when she knew I was considering homeschooling the kids. That year one of our first rows I did was Cranberry Thanksgiving. What sweet memories I have of that first year with little Silas at home (happy sigh.)  I decided to re-purchase a copy of this book. I tragically sold my FIAR books (and have re-bought many since.)

Of course when you read about cranberries in a story book you must indeed have cranberries!

I'm sure we learned how they grew the first time we read this book, but we had to re-discover how these berries come to our table.

My first copy of Cranberry Thanksgiving had the recipe for Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread. The book was out of print when I had my old copy. The new edition didn't have the recipe any more. Can you believe that? Fortunately another FIAR friend graciously sent me the recipe.

And you guessed it! Of course we made it!

Silas wasn't sure if he would like cranberries in the bread, but he loved it! This bread is moist and has a nice buttery and orangey flavor. Delicious!

Cranberry Thanksgiving is about a girl who lives with her grandmother. She has a friend who her grandmother is not impressed with because of the way he looks. She invites her own friend over who dresses in a proper way and smells of lavender, but she soon finds out that everything is not always as it seems. No spoilers. You must read this book and make the bread should you get the chance. We read over some of the lessons in FIAR, but mostly just enjoyed the old favorite.

We checked out these lovely books at the library and enjoyed all of them!

We also got our new Raddish box this week! The theme this month was Thanksgiving Traditions. One of the activities was to go on a grocery store scavenger hunt. One of the recipes required bakery bread, so we went on a search to discover the many different kinds.

 Fortunately our grocery store has a great bakery! We were able to find all the different kinds on the list. Silas touched the crust to discover the difference in each kind.

He ended up choosing sourdough for the recipe we would make later.

We also picked some green beans for our dinner.

 And of course we needed to get cranberries too! At first we were going to get the ones that were bagged.

Instead we discovered a cranberry bog in the store!

How perfect is that?!

Silas harvested his very own cranberries.

 Each Raddish Box comes with 3 recipes. There is often a bonus recipe and activity on the Bonus Bites page. We decided to make a little Thanksgiving dinner at home. We normally go to both of our parent's house, so it was fun to have a quiet little meal at home. We have one more recipe for apple pie that we are saving for next week.

Silas cut the bread for the Stuffin' Muffins which are basically stuffing in a muffin cup. There were many different options for what additions to add. Silas added celery, onion, sage and chicken and apple sausage.

We learned about these 2 fresh herbs. 

Silas is getting great at chopping now!

These were the finished muffins.

 The bonus recipe was Cranberry Sauce.

 This was tart and delicious!

 Silas isn't a fan of mashed potatoes, but he's far more likely to eat the things that he made. Mom win! He had never used a peeler before, so it took a little getting used to.

The mashed potato recipe had different suggestions on what to add. Silas added bacon, cheddar, sour cream and chives. Delish!

This was our finished dinner. Pretty good for an 11 year old chef if you ask me!

Another activity was for the kids to write down a family recipe. The day Silas cooked the meal he was inspired to create his own recipe. He wanted zero help and wanted to make the ingredients up as he went. He said he wanted to cook a "lovely light luscious delectable cake" like the lady in The Duchess Bakes a Cake. I love when he remembers books we read like that! He called his recipe the Boogemeister's Curse.

As he was adding the ingredients I wasn't sure how they would turn out, but I was crossing my fingers it would. The only suggestion I made at the very end was to add baking powder and baking soda. If he hadn't it would have been a brick.

And guess what!? It turned out beautifully (ok, well, minus the green food coloring addition.) He added a banana, so it turned out like a light and fluffy banana cake. Total success! He said he would leave out the food coloring next time. Phew.

Of course I had recipes to make for our family Thanksgiving dinner too. Do you have any recipes like this that are just a mess of handwritten notes? Someday I need to write down our family recipes. I made my father in law's Sweet Potato Casserole (which I forgot to take a picture of to share) and Cranberry Relish.

 This looks mighty healthy until you dump a truckload of sugar on it!

Cranberry Relish

Bag of Cranberries
3 Oranges
1 Cup of Sugar
(You could also sub pure maple syrup for a healthier version)
Splash of Orange Juice

Add ingredients to a food processor and process until you get the consistency you like.

 These are some of the men in my life. I love when they all are together. I'm calling that a good day.

We also had a night with a fire pit that my father in law  graciously bought for us to enjoy. This is autumn and family at its best. I hope you enjoyed your time with your families as well <3


  1. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a lot of fun! I enjoy all your pretty photos.

    1. Thanks friend! Hopefully I can teach this kid to like vegetables through all this :)

  2. How fun that you could revisit an old favorite in Cranberry Thanksgiving. My daughter has made up her own cake recipe several times! I think they always turn out terrible!

    1. It would have been terrible without baking powder! I was trying to keep quiet in the background, but I knew he would have been disappointed in how it would have turned out without that addition :)

  3. LOVE!! ♥♥ The cranberries are so pretty! And yes, perfect. ♥ Love that you taped the recipe in the book (so strange that it didn't have it!!). The recipes all look so good! Well, the Boogemeister's Curse was creative at least. :D All that bread looks amazing too - what a fun scavenger hunt. It looks like you had a wonderful time with family too. What a perfect week. :)

  4. SO strange the recipe wasn't in the book! That's what makes it so special :) It was a fantastic Thanksgiving week!


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