Monday, December 16, 2013

Picture taken by son, Daniel, in his hometown of Boston, MA

Feast days!!!

(Sorry I'm a little late in posting this friends!  I won't bore you with my sob story of trying to break into my own blog-  a feat worthy of the most adept hacker, I'm thinking. (different IP address and a forgotten password- not a good combination.)  But, suddenly, the tides turned and I'm back in business!  Wish I could say what I did, but like with most technology, it's still a mystery! 

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived.  How thrilling!  For those of you who may not be familiar with our feast day tradition...

Quite a few years ago we decided that the season was filled with too much "Give me, Give me!"  So we came up with the Feast Days as a way to encourage the "Serve you, serve you!" that needs to be in all our hearts.  We drew upon the example of Queen Ester and how, by serving meals to her King and also her enemy, she changed the fate of an entire nation.

At the end of each November, the children draw a number from a bowl to determine the order of their feast- we have about two feasts per week leading up to Christmas.  Each child meets with me, individually, and we secretly plan a special meal to serve to the family.  They give special attention in choosing foods they know the other children love. On the day prior to their feast, the two of us go out for lunch together and then shop for their feast ingredients.  They choose simple, inexpensive gifts and decorations- spending no more than $12, usually. Everything is hidden and, on their big day, the kitchen and dining room is curtained off and the cooking and decorating begins.  (The children tend to choose a theme for their feast to simplify the meal planning and the decorating.)  When all is ready, they invite their guests into the feast with great ceremony.  Will reads some scripture and after a prayer, the child goes around serving each person the meal. Clean-up is their responsibility, also.  It's a real treat for all of us. So without more ado...

Bekah, age 12y
Bekah's Feast...

This is Bekah and she's 12 years old.  Isn't she beautiful?  As my children hit the age of about 12, I find that describing them becomes more of a challenge. That might have something to do with them figuring out who they are, who they want to be and all that, I don't know. She's an unusual child.  A mixture of conflicting behavior.  She's shy but I don't think that bothers her.  She is content to not know you. She picks who she wants to know after a time of observation. She's very smart.  Very creative.  She hates housework, but likes to cook and is one of the most efficient cooks I know.  She can multi-task in there like a pro. She needs a good cuddle at least once a day, will say so and then tell you how much she enjoyed that kiss on her forehead.  She loves to sleep in and read.  She gets a inordinate amount of pleasure from her flannel jammie pants. She is a fun kid to spend time with- a child and a grown-up all rolled into one. LOVE that girl!

Bekah loves the movie, "Tangled."  Her brother, Paul, has spoiled her with a life-size cut out of Rapunzel, and a comforter and several posters.  She designed her feast around the movie and every detail was considered carefully.  Seeing as how an iron skillet was Rapunzel's weapon of choice, she set her table with a large collection of iron skillets(of which, I had more than I thought!) and filled them with lots of little candles.  In the words of Abe, "Who knew iron skillets could look so romantic?"  Purple table cloth.  But the true genius came in the lanterns hanging from the ceiling- she used two Styrofoam plates joined by a sheet of tissue paper with a little battery operated candle inside.  They looked amazing... 

Iron skillet candles and floating lanterns
She also painted some pictures like those in Rapunzel's tower.  Her appetizers were adorable stacks of fruit. 
pineapple, orange, apples, kiwi, banana, grape
Her main course was a savory venison stew served in a cast iron Dutch oven along with rustic artisan bread which had everyone groaning in pleasure.  Her beverage was root beer served over frozen root beer in chilled tankards- a tribute to the ruffians in the movie.  Her dessert was a peach (iron)skillet cake and vanilla ice cream.  Bekah's gifts for her guests were little hair-bedecked head bands.  So funny to see the guys wear them as beards. 

L-R Mr. Jim, Mary, Jacob, Bekah, Abe, Eva, Rapunzel, John, William
We had such a good time.

Iron Skillet Cake: Place a 9" iron skillet in oven and preheat to 375*.  Melt 6 Tablespoons of butter in hot skillet.  In a bowl, mix: 1 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk.  Pour batter into hot skillet.  Do not stir.  Place 1 large can of drained, sliced peaches evenly on top of batter.  Do not stir.   Bake for 35-45 minutes until dark brown around edges.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.


anne bebbington said...

I always love reading of your feast days Nina - your kids are all growing up to be real beauties inside and out

Isobel said...

Wow, now that sounds like a feast worth attending. Sorry I don't live closer.

Susan said...

Cake sounds yummy! I love all the planning that goes into these. Bekah did a great job.