As a homeschooler I am always looking for hands on learning lessons and one fell right into my lap this Thanksgiving as Thanksgiving and Hanukkah just happened to be one day apart. I took this opportunity to pull out an Usborne book we already had on Hanukah for some unplanned schoolwork. It is always hard to homeschool around the holidays, but this
Usborne book was an easy read and had instructions on how to play the game, Dreidel. My sister, who lives in New York, already sent an early Christmas present and really, really wanted me to give it to my daughter early. My sister can never wait for my daughter to open up her Christmas presents, so historically I let her open them up as they come in the mail, which I actually do for most of her presents she receives from family and friends from out of the area this way the holiday lasts longer, she actually plays or enjoys each present and she doesn’t get overwhelmed with all the presents she receives on Christmas Day. This gift came in a little early so I help it, but then the sister came up with can’t you give it to her for Hanukah? I took this a learning opportunity. At sunset we lit our “Menorah” as I explained how the candles are lit and why. She happened to have a friend over who was excited to join in the learning process. We then face timed my sister and Lightning (my daughter would like me to refer to her as Lightning from now on) opened up her gift, which was Zoomer. So far we love Zoomer.
It is totally adorable and fun; it is also pretty easy to train. Then let the cooking begin. We have about 20-25 people over during the holidays. On the cooking list were a red velvet cake, zucchini meatballs, cranberry apple stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed potatoes, pasta salad and the turkey (despite us not eating meat we still cook for the masses). Everything came off perfect timing, other than the zucchini meatballs…they were a bit of a flop. Not quite sure what I did wrong. They actually tasted OK but did not keep their meatball shape. I am going to re-try those at some other time to try to make that recipe work. The cranberry apple stuffing was awesome. This was a new recipe that is on my pinterest board, along with the cranberry sauce. I make cranberry sauce every year, but this year was a new recipe because it looked so simple I thought I would try it (my recipe is not so simple, but quite tasty). The cranberry sauce came out great and was soooo easy.