Thursday, September 30, 2010
Leaves, Crayons, Apples, and Cinnamon; Recipes for Fall Fun!
Last Thursday was the first day of Autumn. Did you and your family celebrate? Our little 'school' tried to! (Due to an afternoon appointment, our celebration stretched into Friday.) We kicked it off with collecting fallen leaves and making good ol' leaf rubbings. This is such a fun, easy project. My kids were so enamored with it, that they convinced me to incorporate it into our Childrens' Church craft on Sunday. Never done one before? Well, let me tell you how:
1) Gather an assortment of different shaped leaves (Actually you can do this with any textured item. Coins work well, too.) and arrange them on the table with the bumpy underside up.
2) Lay a piece of paper (i.e. printer paper) on top of them.
3) Using a peeled crayon, lay the crayon flat on top of a leaf and rub the crayon back and forth on the paper. The bumpy veins of the leaf will show through. Be sure to rub around the leaf's edge to get the outline of the shape. Make each leaf a different color for a lovely collage. The trick is to make sure you press down on the leaf firmly with your other hand to keep it from wriggling under the paper.
So, is it all coming back to you? Do you remember making these now? Arent' they fun?
Next we moved onto making cinnamon-applesauce ornaments. I had heard about these for some time, and had been anxious to give them a shot. The recipe was simple enough:
1 c. Cinnamon
1 c. applesauce
1 T. white glue (like Elmer's)
Mix and roll out. Cut with cookie cutters and let dry for 24 hours for wonderfully scented ornaments.
The verdict? Well, the dough was soooo soft, it was hard to work with. I would definitely add some flour next time to make it more firm. We ended up just rolling it thicker (about 1/2" thick instead of 1/4") so it took a couple of days to dry. Overall, they did turn out cute, and yes, they smell lovely!
Finally we decided to make apple dumplings for dessert. My kids were thrilled because, in our house, any apple dessert means "Apple Snakes!" That's what our family affectionately calls the long peel that is pared off the apples with our peeler/corer/slicer. Do you have, or have you ever seen, one of these?
They are fabulous! Not only is it a HUGE timesaver, but it's just really cool to watch! Also, I've found it to be a great therapy tool for my child who has weak muscle tone in his upper body. The kids love it, and they love to eat their special Apple Snakes that they have made.
And here's a Censtible tip for you: Take the leftover peels and cores and toss them in a pot with some water and mulling spices (i.e. cinnamon stick or powder, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, etc) and let simmer on the stove for potpourri. I simmer mine for most of the season. Occasionally when I do a new dessert I'll dump the old pot and start over, but for the most part I just continue to add apple trash to it as we have it. It smells heavenly and definitely ranks high for an autumnal ambience!
So, regardless if you do any or all of these ideas, be intentional about making autumn memories and traditions with your children. These little activities will be the things that come to mean so much later on down Memory Lane.