Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Traditions: Old and New

‘Tis the season for traditions!  I love them- some from my household growing up, some from generations past, and some that we have created in our home.  Here are a couple I want to share with you.

Old Tradition: Cheese Rolls
Cheese Rolls have been a favorite in our family for years.  For parties, holidays and special meals, we made cheese rolls:  a crowd pleasing and kid-friendly dish.
They are too easy! They are made from frozen roll dough with melted butter and shredded cheddar cheese. (If you haven’t used frozen roll dough, you should try it.  It is found in the freezer section of the grocery near the frozen biscuits.  It is versitle and can be used for Stromboli, cinnamon rolls, cloverloaf rolls, and many other treats.)

My mom taught my sister and me to make cheese rolls when we were young girls.  She recalls a party at our house where my sister (at age 10) and I (at age 8) made the cheese rolls for the entire dinner party.  I tell you this for two reasons: 1.  If you are not confident in your baking skills, try this recipe!  It's hard to mess up.  It is simple enough for a child.  2.  This is a good moment to talk about involving kids in the cooking.  My mom’s philosophy has always been:  “Let kids help in the kitchen as soon as they are interested, even though it makes more of a mess and complicates and slows down the process!  You are training little cooks that someday will help you cook dinner.” 

My children love to help cook.  My almost 3 year old has recently been obsessed with being my sou chef.  If she sees me cooking she says, “You cooking mommy? I wanna watch you!  I help you? Get the stool please!”   This is sweet and cute, and yet overwhelming.  But I see the great value in drawing her in.  I keep reminding myself that my son could crack an egg without getting the shells in the batter when he was about 4 years old from all the "helping" he did in the kitchen at this age. And the kitchen is a great classroom, for science lessons, math lessons (fractions, counting, addition) and creating beauty.  So this morning I had a little helper assisting with the cheese rolls.

1. Stretch the thawed dough
2. Dip the dough

3. Sprinkle with cheese
4. Fold and place in pan (notice my
little helper)

5. Finished Product

New Tradition:  Thankful Tree

The Thankful Tree
The past couple of years we have made a Thankful Tree to encourage gratitude during this season of Thanksgiving.  This is a free activity:  branches out of the yard, a repurposed pasta jar, scraps of paper, twine, and an invitation to add your “thankfulness” to the tree.  Last night I had the tree ready to be filled and had started the gratitude with a couple of my “Thanksgivings” placed  on the tree.  As I was getting dinner ready, my kids spontaneously gathered around the tree and excitedly began writing their “thanksgivings” to hang on the tree.  They are sweet sentiments ranging from: my teacher, to oxygen, to books, to my home and shelter, to God providing all we need.  At dinner my 6 year old used the tree as her guide to thank God in her dinner prayer. 

I just had to share this with you.  If this doesn't seem to fit your season of life get creative and start (or continue) your own way of encouraging gratitude in this season.  Before I had kids, I would write a note on a small piece of card stock with a simple fall leaf glued to the front with a personalized greeting to each loved one: I am thankful for your______________(kindness and generousity in my life) to give to friends and family. 

This week enjoy traditions, old and new....Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I just wanted to let you know that your apple and sweet potato scallop is on our Thanksgiving menu! Thank you!

  2. oh great! I hope it is a hit. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thankful tree? Only the best idea ever! I am thankful I read about it.

  4. And I am thankful for YOU, Cherilyn!