CRANBERRY SAUCE vs. RELISH vs. the canned stuff

Cranberries; a small yet essential part of every Thanksgiving dinner table. It definitely isn’t one of my favorites, but I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving with out it. It would be like a rose that doesn’t bloom. With such importance on a small item, you still have big choices. Are you a relish person, a sauce person, or the canned stuff person?

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN MR. ROBOTO

I’ve been trying to get one of the kids to be a robot for Halloween for a longtime. I made Ellie be a robot ballerina when she was 3, which was super cute, but it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I’m talking old school 1950s sci-fi robot. Cardboard box, dryer vent arms and light-up eyes type of robot. As she got older my influence over her Halloween choices quickly faded. My robot dreams did not. 

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JAPANESE CURRY CHILI

Every year our school district has a chili cook-off contest. While some parents were talking about who would enter it got me thinking. Since our school is a Japanese immersion school, what would a fusion chili be? If I were to make a Japanese chili, what would that be? After some deep thinking, I settled on a fusion of classic American chili with Japanese curry. It would have all the main ingredients of chili, but all the spices of Japanese curry.

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AKI MATSURI and MAKING YUKATAS

The kids go to a Japanese immersion school as their primary school. In addition to learning the Japanese language, they also get to participate in cultural events. One of those events is called, “aki matsuri,”or Fall Festival. For half the day, we convert the school into different games popular in Japan during these festivals. At the end of the games, the kids parade around the school with decorative floats, chanting, and dancing. One thing that is very common for people to wear at the fall festival is a yukata. I’ve been told it’s like a casual kimono. The girls really wanted to wear one, but even after all of our trips to Japan, we had never bought them one. The basic garment is constructed similarly to a bathrobe. It looked simple enough, so I decided to make them one. I mean, I made an Elsa dress for Halloween before, I could handle this​, right? In the end, I was right. But getting there, that was the tricky part.

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HUBBARD SQUASH SOUP

We were at the farmer’s market the other day and saw these huge blue colored squashes I had never seen before. When we inquired what they were, they said they were hubbard squash and they’re delicious. She also said since they are so big, it’s best to throw it on the ground to open it up. Hmmm, I love winter squashes and I love smashing things, so why not? Even if it tastes bad, it would be four dollars well spent just to smash it. I decided to make hubbard squash soup to start with.

Cue the Smashing Pumpkin’s song (or in this case Smashing Squash) and let’s break this thing open!

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