Friday, November 22, 2013

Countdown to Thanksgiving - Day 7

Activity for the Day: 

Today we volunteered at the nursing home/assisted living facility and did cat therapy. Eenie (the cat) is the only cat visitor there and does a great job. The seniors enjoy seeing him and visiting with us.

Sophia, Betty, and Olivia with Eenie.

We were so happy to see some of the seniors who have been resting a lot recently and having trouble expressing themselves so alert and talkative today. It was truly a joy!

Florence loves cats, and was so talkative today.
She shared a lot about her family (especially her children) and 
about times on the farm when she was a young girl.

We also signed and handed out Thanksgiving cards to ten people who we have developed deeper relationships and connections with at the nursing home and assisted living facility.

Florence was delighted to receive a Thanksgiving card.

Each person was excited to receive a card, and we could tell with many of them that it was greatly appreciated. It is something so simple - a card - yet to see how happy they were was such a powerful lesson for us all.

Iva was so excited to get the card, and 
said she was going to put it up as soon as she got back to her room.

John, one of the seniors who we enjoy visiting each time we are at the nursing home, was transferred to the attached hospital because of an infection and pneumonia. We walked over to the hospital and were able to visit him. Because he has pneumonia, we all were strongly encouraged to wear face masks.

We gave him a Thanksgiving card and visited with him for awhile. It was difficult to see him struggling to breathe. It certainly was a different type of visit (we have never gone to the hospital to visit any of the seniors), but one that - judging from John's facial expressions - meant a lot to him.

Thanksgiving Fact: 

The pilgrims didn’t dress in all black with funny hats and oversized buckles all over everything. This representation of pilgrims began in the 19th century, when illustrators needed to create an image for the European settlers, who were becoming more recognizable as part of the Thanksgiving myth.

This style of clothing was popular among fashionable classes in England in the 17th century, one that artists were more familiar with and appropriated for illustrated use. For instance, buckles would have been too expensive for poor settlers, and leather laces and straps for shoes and pants would have been more likely.

Gratitude Quote: 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving Joke: 

Why was the turkey the drummer in the band? (Because he had drumsticks.)


We planned on making the Thanksgiving Apple Tart that I saw on a pin on Pinterest. It led to Miranda Made, and is one that is a cute idea for kids to make and eat.

Since Sophia's allergy shots and the visit to the nursing home took the entire morning and part of the early afternoon, we will make the apple tarts tomorrow afternoon.

One of the Thanksgiving Apple Tarts I made. 
I mistakenly read "powdered sugar" instead of "granulated sugar"
so there's white blobs of sugar over each of the tarts. 

Until then, here's the recipe:

3 apples: two green - like granny smith, one red - like gala (we had a lot of apples leftover. Half that amount would have been sufficient)
Apple jelly (we used apricot jelly since that's what we had on hand)
2 egg yolks (again, way too much. Half this amount would have been fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (did not use)
granulated sugar (by accident, used powdered sugar)
round cookie cutters, various sizes.
unbaked pie dough, store bought or from your favorite recipe (used homemade pie dough)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash, core and slice the apples as thinly as possible. Leave the skins on to give the turkey a festive, colorful tail.

Roll out the unbaked pie dough and cut out circles of dough with a 4 1/2" diameter. The top of a plastic sour cream container is the perfect size for cutting circles.

If you're using store-bought dough you'll have two rounds. You should be able to get 3 or 4 circles from each round.

Place the cut circles of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Note: we didn't have any on hand, so we just sprayed the baking sheet. For the most part, the tarts came off easily. Parchment paper would have made removing the tarts much easier, though.)

Add a few tablespoons of water to the egg yolks and beat, making an egg wash.

Put 1 teaspoons of the apple jelly in the center of the pie dough. Spread the jelly leaving a 1/2" edge around the perimeter of the dough.

Layer sliced apples on the jelly in a single layer, but slightly overlapping. The apple slices will look like the feathers of the turkey's tail.

Use a fondant or cookie cutter to cut 2 1/4" circles and a 1 1/2" circles from the remaining dough. You will need a large circle (body) and small circle (head) for each turkey tart. Use the egg wash like glue to attach the head to the body.

Add a triangle of dough for a beak, a tear drop shaped piece of dough for the turkey's gobbler and a raisin cut into pieces for the eyes.

The egg wash will give the dough a golden color when baked. Add a bit of egg wash to the beak and gobbler to make them stand out.

Use a pastry brush to spread butter over the apples and dough and then sprinkle granulated sugar on top.

Crimp in the edges of the free-form tart and add egg wash to the edges.

Bake the tarts in a 400 degree oven on parchment-lined baking sheets for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the apples are tender.

Serve individual Turkey tarts on plates with scoops of vanilla ice cream.


Rita said...

That was great that you made the walk over to the hospital to visit John. Your cat looks well behaved. Mine dislikes anyone but me, so she'd be a terrible visitor! lol! :)

What Remains Now said...

Always love to see what you and the girls are up to. Sorry I haven't commented recently. I've been following along though but through my reader. Sophia is growing up into such a beautiful young woman. Time goes so fast.