Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Activity Booklet for Kids

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Placemat image from http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/2011/11/printable-thanksgiving-activity-sheet.html

Last year I made up a booklet of mazes, puzzles, coloring etc... for the nieces and nephews. Here it is again, along with another booklet that I found at TLSBooks.com I also thought that Family Fun had lots of great ideas.

Here's the link to my Google Site where you can download both PDF booklets.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Apple Pie Filling for Now or the Freezer

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I had the good fortune of having some friends with an apple tree with so many apples, that they gave me a large bag! I love eating apples, but this was more than I could really eat in a timely fashion. So, I decided to get some apple pie filling made and frozen. I'm planning on using it for the Thanksgiving pies that I'm responsible for at the family dinner.


6 C. sliced apples
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 T. instant tapioca
1/2 t. cinnamon
pie crust

I used an apple/peeler/corer to get all my apples done (I ended up with enough apples for five 9" pies). I mixed up each batch of dry ingredients and apples separately, mostly because I don't have a bowl big enough for 30 cups of apples! In a bowl mix the apples and lemon juice. In a smaller container mix the sugar, salt, tapioca and cinnamon. Mix the dry ingredients into the apples. Let the mixture rest on the counter for at least 15 minutes.

Option 1:
Make the pie right now! Put the bottom crust in your pan and pour the apple filling in, dot with butter; top with crust and pinch the seams together. Cut vent slits in the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees.

Option 2:

Freeze just the raw filling so you can use in future pies. To freeze the pie filling, dump the 6 cups of apple mix into a large zipper freezer bag and squeeze out the air and close it. Put the zipper bag of apples into the pie pan that you will eventually be using to bake the pie. Smoosh the apples around until you have a pan-shaped pile of apples. Leave the bag in the pan and put both in the freezer. After the apples are frozen, you can take the bag out of the pan and just keep the bag in the freezer. You may want to double bag to help avoid freezer burn.

When you are ready to make the pie, get the bottom crust into the pan and put the frozen apples in it. Dot with a couple tablespoons of butter and put on the top crust. Cut some slits in the top and bake for 50-60 minutes on 400 degrees (you'll need to wrap the edges of the pie in foil so that the crust doesn't get too brown). Don't let the apples defrost before using them; they'll get too juicy and make for a soggy pie.

Option 3: Freeze a whole raw pie to bake later.

Make up the pie, as if you were going to bake it right away (crust and all) and freeze the whole thing, just don't cut the vent holes yet. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then foil (or if you have those giant freezer bags, you could try them too). When you are ready to use, take it out of the freezer, cut the vent holes and bake, do not defrost first--it will take nearly 2 hours at 400 degrees, so be sure to use foil around the edges for at least the first hour. (I did this method as a test run for Thanksgiving and it turned out PERFECT!!)

Now I'm stocked up on apple pie makings!

Update: I tried it with cherries and it also turned out super yummy. The recipe is slightly different. 4 C. sour cherries, 3 T. tapioca, 1 t. almond extract, 1 C. sugar