Monday, December 13, 2021

The tradition continues to evolve ...


Yes, the tradition we began with three, now four, of our local grands, continues to evolve.  As some regular readers may remember, we've done all sorts of things on the special day we set aside for Christmas fun with them.  It has usually included breakfast out, either at McDonalds or a diner.  Most years it's included taking them Christmas shopping, and going for the ice cream sundae bar at Kellerhaus.  Sometimes we've taken them over to Mill Falls to see the waterfall, which is often frozen around the edges this time of year and is lighted at night.

Last year, readers may recall, we had to tweak this tradition in a major way because of the prevailing paranoia and overreach.  This year we changed it up even more.

I did the breakfast all at home (and I should have looked up my post from last year so we could make that coffee cake! I'd forgotten that we had that.).  I'll write about this in a separate post and share recipes.  But briefly, we had homemade breakfast sandwiches, hash brown casserole (a perennial favorite with most). and cinnamon fried apples.

Instead of shopping this year, we tried something completely different and planned a time of candy making and simple crafting.  When I mentioned to their mom that the kids were going to be horrified that our Christmas tree wasn't up, she suggested we enlist their help.  So Mr. T put the tree up the light before, and the boys added the lights in the morning.  Mr. T also produced a surprise "snacking plate" of Christmas cookies for the kids to nibble on as we decorated, crafted, and made candy.  We also kept the leftover sandwiches warm for snacking purposes.

We made four kinds of candy -- chocolate dipped orange slices, rocky road fudge, candy cane fudge, and creamsicle fudge.  The orange slices are always a favorite, but the top favorite fudge was probably the rocky road.  The candy cane fudge turned out sticky, the creamsicle was declared "too sweet" and we didn't have the proper food coloring to turn it orange.  (I've already made a plan for what candies to make next year!

Sam with the first layer of candy cane fudge

Ari mixes peanuts and marshmallows into the rocky road fudge

Julia preparing to spread the rocky road in a pan.  Ari is licking the chocolate saucepan.

Josiah measuring sugar for creamsicle fudge as Sam offers moral support

Rocky road being spread in the pan by Julia

Oops, we had to turn the creamsicle fudge green and call it lime

Creamsicle fudge going into the pan; the white part will be swirled into it
I didn't get a photo of the orange slices being made (Julia did that) but here's what they look like:

Such an easy candy, and so delicious!
For a simple craft, I chose to use an idea that's been simmering around in my brain for awhile.  It was easy and uncomplicated, but with enough options that the kids could get as creative as they liked.  And they sure did!  I will hope to get them to scan their creations -- I forgot to get pictures -- so I can show you what they did.  I'll probably write about this project on my Christmas blog.

Around 1 pm, we headed out for Kellerhaus and ice cream.  Such a fun spot, we were so happy we could visit again this year.  I failed to get many photos, sadly.  We forgot the camera so had to use my Kindle.

Spoons poised and ready!

There's a corner chalkboard to add your name to if you like.  Ari and Julia (not shown) both added a message.

We then returned home to cut and package the fudge while the kids finished up their projects, then took them home, singing some familiar Christmas tunes and carols en route.  It was another wonderful time with these four grands!


  1. What wonderful memories you're creating! I love seeing even the 'older' ones joining in and having so much fun! I HIGHLY recommend you check out Diana's peanut butter fudge and microwave caramels!! I've been making them for a few years now and they are always the hit of my cookie trays and SO simple! Just look for the peanut butter fudge and the caramel recipes. She actually just posted about the caramels. I make both ahead and freeze and they come out perfectly!

  2. This is such a great tradition!

  3. Happy Holidays!
    Candy making, ornaments, and a tree make the best memories.

  4. So glad you had a sweet time with the local grands.

  5. What a fun day! Enlist their help more often!

  6. I absolutely love your blog with all these recipes! I haven't done much baking this Christmas because I have my arm in a splint (soon to be casted.) But today I vowed to turn up the Christmas music and get some baking done. I am keeping your recipes for future reference. - (my right hand is ok so I can type one handed.)


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