Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pioneer Sunday

I've been the Primary Chorister for 2 years now. I started out the calling terrified, but now I absolutely LOVE it.

I baked several dozen mini rolls for the butter the kids made during our activities.

I'd also been looking forward to making salt water taffy for the kids. I had looked up several different recipes and chose one I felt was doable.

I have 2 words for my taffy making attempts:

(the wax paper bonded with the hard taffy)

(Using the candy thermometer)

(You could stretch that candy for ages!)

After 5 batches and 3 different recipes, I had only managed to produce rock-hard candy. It was certainly tasty, but NOTHING like taffy! Fred and I stayed up into the wee hours of Sunday morning, desperately trying to make that taffy for my Primary kids. Our hands were literally raw and blistered by the time we were done.

It's not actually touching his mouth- he blowing on it to help it cool down)

Fred, the candy Wolverine

In the end I had to consign myself to bringing them hard candy. They got super excited when I told them I had brought Pioneer Jolly Ranchers.

I felt a little better when a friend in the ward told me how her mother, an experienced candy (and taffy) maker, was unable to make taffy when she was visiting here. I had read that taffy recipes won't work with certain weather conditions. I plan on attempting it again in the winter.

I wore my full pioneer get-up, complete with apron and bonnet. I decided that the story of the pioneers needed to be told from the beginning- from conversion. So I had assembled a succession of stories from LDS.org to help illustrate the pioneers' journey from Europe to the Salt Lake Valley.

I planned on Fred reading the conversion story of a boy from Whales, but he reminded me of Brother Pete Unnitt, a member of our ward who immigrated from Great Britain when he was a young man in the military many years ago. At the last minute Fred asked Pete if he would be willing to read the account to the kids.

He was PERFECT! He put on a great Whales accent and really got into character. At the end he even shared about his conversion and immigration story, and that he is a modern pioneer. It was SO great!

We sang several more songs and read several more stories. It truly was a beautiful experience.

At the end the kids loved the rolls with butter and the candy.

Once at home, we enlisted the kids in helping us harvest our carrots! This is our first garden ever, for each of us, so we weren't certain f the carrots were truly ready.

The vast majority of them were 1-2 inches long, with a few exceptions that almost looked like normal sized carrots. It was more fun than anything to watch the kids earnestly pull out those carrots.(sweet big brother playing with baby Kai)

Charla had a blast digging through the dirt with her fingers in search of elusive carrots.

I cleaned, diced and cooked the carrots. In the end the entire harvest yielded one cereal bowl-full of carrots. Oh well, they were yummy. I think next year we'll thin them out more...

(Our most impressive mutant carrot)

Charla even got to pick a strawberry!

Gregory helped pick basil leaves for our chicken bake, which was delicious!

At the end of the day I was a little sad about Pioneer Week coming to an end. It had been a beautiful experience, sharing our heritage with the kids. Even now they still ask questions about pioneer life as compared to ours today. I hope this is a tradition we can keep up indefinitely :)


Introspective Steph said...

I really like your idea about pioneer week. I have good intentions about doing things like that, but then i never do it. Maybe and hopefully I will do better when William gets bigger...

natalieandderyk said...

Love the gardening! Love the quilts! Love the candy making!! I have had a couple recipes fail here in Texas that I made all the time in AZ with no problem. I think it is the dang humidity! Who knows! You are a busy lady!!