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As promised, here is the script for our 2011 Family Play:

REDEMPTION ISLAND  (click on link to open)

Also, some photos for your (laughable) enjoyment.  We all made our own treasure chest and made most of our own costumes and props.  It was a fun time!

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As promised, here is the first of many more to come delicious recipes from our Mom’s cookbook, “I Smell a Memory”.  The recipes below are VERY EASY and would be fun to make with small children (not as an ingredient…as a helper).  These recipes aspire to the KISS principle and may even get you a real kiss in the meantime from someone that you love. 
Bologna Spread Triangles (makes
about 1 quart of spread)

Run everything but the mayo through a fine food grinder twice -or- process in food processor until fine but not liquid. Cut Whole Bologna into pieces before use.Put the fine mixture into a mixing bowl and add the mayo. Mix with a wooden spoon until all is a smooth, moist, spreading consistency.

Trim crusts from fresh bread (wheat and white are nice). Spread one slice of bread thickly with mix, top with another slice, and cut corner to corner into four small triangles. Cover and refrigerate up to three hours. You can use 2 slices white or wheat, or one slice of each per sandwich. A variety is pretty.


Peanut and Jelly Fingers
2 C Creamy or Crunchy
Peanut Butter at room temperature ( or 1 cup of each)
½ C Grape Jelly — ½ C Mint Jelly

Mix Grape Jelly into one cup of the Peanut Butter, and the Mint Jelly into the other cup, blending well.

Trim crusts from fresh bread (wheat and white are nice). Spread once slice of bread thickly with mix, top with another slice, and cut into three equal ‘fingers’.

You can use 2 slices white or wheat, or one slice of each per sandwich. A variety is pretty. Cover and refrigerate up to two hours.


Creamy Banana Nut Bread Circles
1 loaf of your own Banana Nut Bread (or 1 Cylinder can of commercial brand)

8 oz Whipped Cream Cheese

4 oz. Crushed Pineapple, drain well, reserve juice

2 T Mayonnaise — 2 T Reserved Juice

4 drops Yellow Food Coloring

Cream together the Mayo, Pineapple Juice, and softened Cream Cheese, until well blended and creamy.  Mix in the drained Crushed Pineapple. Add food coloring 1 drop at a time, until desired color. Mixture must be room temperature to be soft enough to spread easily on banana nut bread.

If using your own nut bread, cut thin slices and then use a whiskey glass or other small cutter to cut round circles (small, shaped cookie cutters would also work well).

When using cylindar can of bread, just remove the roll of bread from the can and slice thinly.

Spread one circle thickly with filling, top with another circle. Continue until all is used up. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.


Royal Gelatin Salad
This can be any gelatin salad or dessert that you prefer. It got its name from using Royal Gelatin. I believe it was a simple CHERRY GELATIN with SLICED BANANAS, PINEAPPLE CHUNKS and cut-up MARSHMALLOWS in it. (No mini marshmallows in those days.)

You need to drain the pineapple very well before adding it to the gelatin, but the juice can be measured to replace half of the cold water in the original box recipe, and ginger ale or lemon soda for the rest of the cold water in original recipe. If you have a pretty jello-mold use it, if not a cake dish will do. Cool Whip makes a pretty topping for each serving.

Princess Party Punch
Several Large Envelopes of Cherry or Grape Kool-Aid

2 Quarts of Ginger Ale

1 Orange Sliced — I Lemon Sliced

Ice Cubes — Punch Bowl

Prepare the Kool-Aid according to instructions—Chill overnight.

Chill the unopened Ginger Ale overnight.

To Serve: Put the Chilled Kool-Aid into a punch bowl. Stir in the Chilled Ginger Ale. Add the Ice Cubes. Float the fruit slices on the top.



Posted by GrannyJo at 8:04 PM

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In this section, we will explore the impact that forming and keeping Traditions can have on the family unit.  Traditions don’t have to be elaborate, they can be easy and simple.  But the key to Traditions is that they have to be dependable and consistent.  The family will come to embrace Traditions only when they feel connected to something reliable and meaningful. This usually takes a facilitator, of sorts, to take the bull by the horn and begin the process.  Different Traditions will have various family facilitators.

For many, holiday traditions are the easiest to recognize, but the hardest to execute during the flurry of activity of the season.  But – it is possible to have a few special holiday Traditions that stand the test of time and bring the family together. Throughout the year, I will share some of our holiday Traditions and hope to hear about some of yours.

In our family, food has a place of honor and is the basis for many Traditional dishes and the stories that accompany them.  Many a family dinner occurs where we prepare special dishes that remind us of persons and events that have long passed, but still remain in our hearts.  Comfort food brings us all to a common table which is an important (and, sadly, vanishing in our society) Tradition of sorts and I will share some of our recipes and family stories that our Mother passed on to us.

So, WELCOME TO THE TRADITIONS PAGE! I hope that you will visit it many, many more times to get inspiration and ideas that are some of the key building-blocks of Family Connections.


More info coming…As the Holidays roll around, come on back to this section to see (and share) some special memory making traditions.


Excerpts from our Mom’s Cookbook and Blogstream: “I Smell a Memory”. Each of us has our own copy of this collection of family stories and associated recipes. As this blog progresses, I will share some of them with you.  A joy for the palate and the mind…

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To me, the opportunity to create some unique Traditions outside of the obvious is one of the keys to keeping the family connected throughout the years.  One of our Traditions is to have a small family play every year. I preface this with the fact that we are all Adults now (at least chronologically), so getting everybody to “buy in” is sometimes a challenge – and that is where the facilitator (ME, in this case) has to step in to keep the Tradition going.  I assure you, though, once the festivities have started everybody has a good time and we have created a special memory.  This Tradition started out during a family vacation in Santa Barbara with one of those Mystery Dinner Themed box games that my daughter gave us for Christmas.  We all sat around a table with our scripts and clues in hand and the CD queued up for directions and music background.  Eyes were rolling and wandering, looking for an escape route I suspect, and body-language was straight-backed, arms-folded, teeth-clenched kind of resistance.  Wow, this was going to be FUN!  Undaunted, I started the CD and after the first scene, we had gotten the hang of it and really began to act!  My Dad’s character was a Russian Spy and all of a sudden, this thick Russian accent came out of his mouth and we all (LOAO).  That truly broke the ice and then all of us tried to out-do the other with accents and improvisations.  At the end, we were laughing and wishing it hadn’t ended so fast.

The next year, I searched for a theme-related box kit and could not find one to my liking (or budget) and thought, “How hard could it be to write a play?”  So, I did one with a Western theme and integrated some activities to stretch the time out and included COSTUMES and props. I highly recommend the costumes, as they bring up the enjoyment and hilarity factor exponentially and also make great photo ops and, trust me, you will want to remember these (some of ours are shown here: remurdermysterymugshots).  The costumes can be home-made (think Halloween, on the cheap), as can the props (everyday household items, or things you buy at the 99-cent store).  In writing the parts, I tried to imbed personality traits that resembled that family member to make that part more personal and identifiable. I have included that script as an attachment to this blog – feel free to use it and revise it to fit your group (note, it has some adult-like language and activities – but you can revise it accordingly if you have young ones).  I also have attached another one from our trip to Big Bear Lake, CA that has an Indian Lore theme – as a keepsake from this one, we each created a glass jar with the nature items that we collected in preparation for the play.  Once this year’s Pirate Theme play has been performed, I will post that file as well (but I don’t want to give away the secrets before the family performs them).  Feel free to use any or all – but even more fun…create your own!

The Legend of Big Bear

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