Sunday, November 28, 2010

My New Favorite Leftover Turkey Recipe

Remember this scene from A Christmas Story?

My favorite part of the scene actually comes after, where little Ralphie is listing all the turkey dishes that they'd be missing this year: the Turkey Divan, Turkey Curry, the Turkey à la King, Turkey Sandwiches...

Well, when we arrived home literally groaning under all the turkey and fixings my Mom–In–Law sent us home with (thanks Mom!), I knew I was gonna have to put on my thinking cap. And I did! Tonight's dinner was so yummy, and easy, I'm going to share it with you.

Turkey Croquettes - Now, don't panic! Croquette is just a fancy name for Patty.

1 cup leftover turkey, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups leftover stuffing, any large vegetables finely chopped
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (or more if the mixture is too wet)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cranberry sauce

1)Combine turkey, stuffing, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well, and divide into 8 patties.
2) Heat olive oil in skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. When olive oil is hot, add croquettes and cook for 10 min. per side. If it looks like the patties are getting to ground, turn the heat down a bit.
3) Serve with cranberry sauce; this recipe was for it just then and I but you could double or triple it for however much leftovers you have.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Knitted Gifts

I'm so excited, because this holiday season is the first I've ever known how to knit. We always celebrate Hannukah around Thanksgiving because that's when hubby's family gets together. So, while I've been making these babies for the last month, only now can I share them online.

Here's the purse I made for my Mom-in-law:

That bead, used to weigh the flap down and keep the purse closed, is one of those that you feel you can gaze at for hours, like a crystal ball. Soooo pretty....

And, I made felted bowls for my sister-in-law:

Look - they even nest one in the other!

Friends tell me that they'd use these bowls to put pine cones in as a centerpiece, or to put towels and toiletries in at the bathroom sink. For some reason, I can see them on the dining table with a bunch of clementines in them. Which is good because to me, because clementines always smell deliciously of December.

Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful, just what you feel it should be; I will be found on Turkey Day thanking my lucky stars for this life, and everyone in it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Staring IntoThe Existential Void

Oh, boyhood can be rough.

Recently, Luke and I had the following conversation:
"I can tell you're really upset, if you talk to me maybe I can help."
"Mom, you can't help me unless you can create a real Bakugan dimension."

It wasn't only the Bakugan dimension that he worried about; it was the Pikachu that sits on Ash's shoulder, the owls that fly back and forth to Hogwarts, the wardrobe, now solid, that should lead to Narnia. My heart broke for him; Luke cried and cried as he told me of the death of all of his fantasies.

In these last few months, or weeks, Luke has gotten to that point in his development where a chair is always a chair is always a chair - no matter how much he tries, he can't make that chair be anything else. I remember when he used to have a building basement that he would access through his floor. He would go down in the building basement and he would build, in his imagination, friends and monsters and anything you can think of. When he got a little older, Luke had a watch that became a time traveling watch; it would take him back to the time of the dinosaurs, helping him identify new dinosaurs and be a paleontologist.

But the building basement is now closed, the watch is just a watch.

It must be really hard to know that you're the only one in your head when you go to sleep at night. Especially when you used to be able to go to bed with all your favorite friends surrounding you in your mind.

I remember when it happened to me; we used to go camping, and I would sit on the window well adjacent to the backseat, as my dad traveled at 5 miles an hour in the campground. But I wasn't sitting on a window well; I was sitting on Shadowfax the horse. You know the horse from The Lord Of The Rings? Gandalf's horse. Well, Shadowfax was my horse up until I turned about 12, and then suddenly the window well was just a window well.

Ben and I are thinking about the next step for Luke, and concluding that a rite of passage is in order, some sort of quest that will help him enjoy life and be creative, even now that he understands it's just him knocking around on his own up there in his head. And, just as we were having these concerns and wondering what to do about them, a friend loaned me the most incredible book: Raising A Son, by Don Elium and Jeanne Elium. It's a treasure trove of information just exactly when we needed it.

But I'm wondering if you, dear reader, have any advice for us as well. Do you remember staring into the existential void? Do you have loved ones who have recently gone through this? What did you do to get through it, or help your loved ones through it?

I think maybe I never really gave up Shadowfax. He waited in the back of my head until I got old enough to admit that he was still there.

Come to think of it, that was probably just about when I had children - maybe even just when Luke's building basement opened up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I've Been Nominated...

...for a Homeschool Blog Award!

I am just a bit excited.
Okay, jumping-up-and-down excited.
Well, dancing-around-the-house excited, if you want the truth.

Here's a link to the voting page; I'm in the Best Variety Blog category. While you're there, voting (for me, right?) in that category, here are some of my other faves:
Funniest Blog: Pack of Hungry Snails
Best Encourager Blog: Yarns of the Heart
Best Mom Blog: Home Spun Juggling
Best Super Homeschooler: In The Kitchen
Best Thrifty Homeschooler: Magic and Mayhem
And, now, I'm off to go kiss a few babies, shake a few hands... well, or see who I'm going to vote for in the rest of the categories.
Happy voting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Base-10 System

You might think he's just a kid, playing with Legos. But you'd be wrong - this activity is helping Owen understand base-10 mathematics, something he wouldn't care to do unless Legos were involved.

So what happened was, our friend Nicole issued a challenge this week connected with our weekly math/science class: to bring something representing the number 100. Of course, Owen's mind went immediately to Legos.

We started by choosing 100 Lego pieces, a harder challenge than it seems. Each time Owen started counting out pieces, he'd lose track somewhere in the early double-digits. I showed him how to keep track, placing the pieces into 10-piece piles:

At which point both kids agreed, that's not a lot of Legos. As Luke pointed out, the minifigs alone are 8 pieces each! Owen wasn't sure we would be able to build the space station he wanted to bring to math this week. Here he is getting started:

And, he used every piece to make a pretty fancy space station.

I loved doing this because of all the math chat we had while working, counting by tens, estimating, seeing the light dawn about how the base-10 system works, and watching Owen realize that each tiny piece counts as 1, however big or small.

Also, once we got going, Owen treated it as a game; how much easier math would be for me, if only I could have treated it as a game.