Monday, 25 November 2013

Cranberry Thanksgiving Tradition

For 15 years it has been one of our families traditions to celebrate Cranberry Thanksgiving. 
It all began when we begun homeschooling 15 years ago with Five In A Row. curriculum.
It has become extremely important to our family to celebrate Cranberry Thanksgiving .

Each year we reflect on the year and what we are greatful for.

We all said Abbey's health that has slightly improved
Abbey said she was greatful for her poodle
Brent said he was greatful for his Mastiff coming back from the dead (it was a bit hairy there for a while)
I am greatful for an easier year - it has been one of our better years
James said he was greatful school was over for another year.

For the kids college (high school USA) They chose subjects via The Correspondence School to get NZ qualifications - NCEA which has worked for our family.

It has meant the kids could get their qualifications and still have time to learn things that interested them (which really is the beauty of homeschooling)

James has had a good academic year with art achieving merits and excellence's (that's his art portfolio that was sent off for the exam)

His very hard work that he put into his English gave him merit and excellence too . Whoa for the system to tell us when he was 7 he was one of the worst cases they had seen for dyslexia.. Homeschooling has really and truly worked for James.James has put in an enormous amount of effort over the years and it has paid off

I do wonder what his English teacher thought of one of his essays on Lateral Thinking - how he shared he grew poppy and tobacco to sell to raise money to build guitars.

Homeschooling has meant James has had time to create - this year he created Goblin Guitars and has been building steel guitars. He approached a local music store Kings Sound Centre who has been supporting James by placing his guitars in the shop on consignment (awesome aye) 

The Goblin DOOMCASTER was brought by Steve Dog the original metal guitarist  for famous NZ heavy metal band Sinate. Doesn't he look thrilled.

We all look forward to the turkey for Cranberry Thanksgiving, so much so that I got the dates wrong this year and we were a week early... Brent jested that  we will just have to do it all again next week.

The traditional cranberry bread, fresh vegetables from the garden and mashed potatoes (SHUDDER only time of the year I cook mashed potatoes - how anyone can like these is so beyond me)

Rice stuffing. (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free)
Cook brown rice
1 cup of dried cranberries (don't be mean heavy handed is better)
1 onion chopped
1 apple grated
rind and juice of 1 lemon or 2 small
Fresh herbs from garden I just grab handfuls thyme, oregano, sage and parsley chop
Salt n pepper
Mix - can add orange juice to bind if not wet enough.

It's been WONDERFUL weather - very hot - a tad too hot to cook a turkey! But we sat outside in the evening eating our dinner being entertained by the animals.
We were all expecting Gus to get stuck into the goat like he usually does, however this time he behaved himself - must have been because he was on camera.

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Native American prayer


  1. what a wonderful tradition! you don't like mashed potatoes? have you made mashed cauliflower instead. i actually like it more! have a wonderful celebration!

    1. I HATE mashed potatoes, I was made to eat them COLD nearly every single night as a kid . As soon as I left home at 16 I vowed and declared I'd never touch another mashed potato. No haven't tried mashed cauliflower but will - I've just started roasting cauli and they are yummy.
      Yea no cooking tonight plenty of cold turkey left over - whip up a salad and that' an easy tea.
      Love Leanne

  2. Those are indeed wonderful things to be grateful for. Tell us about leaving home at 16, it sounds like you have an interesting tale to tell.
    (Maybe try mashed potatoes with celeriac , or mashed cauli and celeriac)
    Here's wishing you and your lovely family another year of great blessings xx

    1. I will try celeriac and cauliflower that does sound tasty.

      Yes many tales but I doubt they will get on the blog - a book one day, maybe...
      Love leanne

  3. Happy cranberry thanksgiving to you all. Getting the date mixed up is a sign of our age catching up on us me thinks lol

    1. LOL Oh I hope not. I put it down to too much study.(which I am loving. Learning about Zone therapy at the moment and loving it! I feel like I am home)

  4. It is great to take the opportunity to look back at all the good things to be thankful for. What a beautiful weekend to celebrate too. I love mashed potatoes - yumm!!!

    enjoy your day!
    Julie and Poppy Q

    1. Hasn't the weather been wonderful Rain this morning which the ground and garden will be so thankful for.
      I made extra gravy and the family are loving their mashed potato and gravy. Make me feel quite unwell.
      Love Leanne

  5. Happy Thanksgiving...lots of things to be grateful for. I'm SO EXCITED to see some of James art work! He is very talented. Homeschooling is the best isn't it? I'm actually reconsidering pulling Cameron out of school and going back to home-schooling. It's not really working out with him being at school. (Too much ^#@*) He's just not happy...I'm sure I can juggle studying, working AND home-schooling next year. We'll see.....

    I'm thinking of doing a Thanksgiving meal at Easter next year. I think it's important to take stock of all the good things happening in our life and celebrate it. :o)

    Have a super day!

    PS.I had to giggle at Gus, the goose... and what a funny goose he is! Gotta have the last honk LOL! I couldn't imagine life without animals to bring a smile my way...

    1. That is a lot taking on homeschoolling, working and studying.

      I study early mornings and weekends and over the holidays so I'm there for when James needs help without me getting grumpy (I do if I get interrupted studying) He still needs me to have my finger on the pulse. I keep a record of all assignments sent in, what needs to be done and make sure the result have been recorded on NZQA - which some were not and it takes a lot of admin time homeschooling using the correspondence school. I'm homeschooling still very much so but in a different way. The system is rather odd and Its taken a lot of research to work out some of the assignments are not worth doing as they will not give credits. For me homeschooling was easier than going though the correspondence school. But we felt the NCEA qualifications was worth it.

  6. Enjoy your Thanksgiving girl...and you don't like mashed potatoes? Wow....we Love them...mash, add whole cream and butter and cream cheese...Yum!

    1. No I do not like mashed potatoes any way at all SHUDDER.

  7. You have much to be thankful for! Blessed thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!!!