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Thanksgiving is a family-oriented event for most people. And while the Thanksgiving Day parade is fun to watch, children often get restless waiting for the much-anticipated dinner. To help them keep busy, you can get their help on various food projects that will appear on the table with dinner.

One such activity is making butter for dinner. Begin with an small glass jar that has a secure lid. Fill the jar half way with heavy cream. Have the children in the house shake the jar, passing it off to the next person when their arm gets tired. The cream gets fully whipped in about 5-7 minutes. Shortly after that the children will begin to see the more familiar yellow butter emerge in clumps. An adult can pour off any residual liquid, leaving behind the curds which can now either be salted, or blended with honey for the freshest butter in town.

A second project requires corn snacks shaped like horns, marzipan (white) or white cake frosting, and the miniature multi-colored chocolate candies. By stuffing the corn snacks with white marzipan or frosting and then dipping them in the chocolate pieces, you create a Cornucopia that makes a fun dessert for children of all ages.

Beyond clever diversions like this, use this time to share family traditions and recipes with your children. They’ll love the texture of mixing bread stuffing together, or licking the bowl from the cookies. No matter what their ages, over time they’ll grow to treasure those family foods and stories as much as do you, and then pass them along to future generations. And you never know, they may have some good ideas of their own for making whole new traditions!

For example, in our house only the adults like glazed sweet potatoes. However, my children reminded me that they did like deep fried sweet potatoes, so this year we’re adding Yam fries to our menu done both sweet and savory style. I think it’s a recipe bound for success!


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