Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and for many of us there is the excitement of the holiday mixed with the worry of the work load task list. The longing to impress with a tasty menu clashes with the desire to throw sweats on and watch football with the family. As a busy working mom I feel the same way! I am lucky the get-together is at my sister’s home this year, so I won’t be scrubbing my house for visitors…which gets me thinking I should head over and clean a bathroom or two to help out.
This year, I am determined to build tradition within our home and have my sweet pre-school boy Noah help out with everything. Last year, I really struggled to find time to accomplish everyday things: get ready for work, clean the bathroom, grocery shop, etc. Everything always had bribes attached. “Hey, Noah, I know it’s 8 am, but I’ll give you THIS KING SIZE CANDY BAR to please listen…” I begged and pleaded all the time, and Lord knows those bribe days are still around to some degree, but something changed: me! I changed how I look at mothering. With just one child you become everything for your kiddo: playmate, helper, teacher, encourager, disciplinarian, and best friend. It’s a tall order with very little breaks. I needed to learn how to live and include my son while getting life done. I was praying and seeking, and the scripture came to my heart gently, as God often does. Proverbs 22: “Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This proverb, I realized, applied to all areas of life. At that moment it was like a light went on. Daily, Noah copied everything we did -- the good and the bad. I started thinking my only important task was to raise this boy to be a man alongside his father and, more importantly, his Heavenly Father.
It began! Okay, I’ve got to clean the bathroom. “Noah, here is your bucket and here is your rag. Watch Mommy and let’s do this!” It was sticky at first; lots of messes and spills and, at times, more work than when I set out. But my attitude changed. I needed to show him how we live. I've always talked to Noah, not at him, and it makes a difference. Now, I let him know what the day’s plans are, and I ask for his help in everything. This has nurtured him in a way I couldn’t ever have dreamed. It came from the Lord. This isn’t to say there aren’t days you flip on a movie and burn through chores alone, it just means that raising him up in the way he should go meant way more to me now than it ever did before. He’s always been my right-hand-man in the kitchen, and now this three year-old can scramble an egg better than his dad (never alone, and I’m exaggerating)! But it took a long time filled with patience and big messes.
I now tend to make recipes that need very little babysitting, and if tiny hands overwork the dough, well…that’s okay. We add acid to keep it tender for such occasions. (Tip for ya: vinegar and sour cream and buttermilk contain acid, and keep dough tender). Let me encourage you today in your motherhood journey. Include your kids in daily routines. Show them how to clean and sort laundry right alongside you. It will be tough but the reward is great. I promise. Enjoy these mini sour cream crumble nut pies, and don’t be afraid of a few cracked eggs or overworked dough.
Mini Walnut/Pecan Sour Cream Crumble Pies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Makes 8-10 mini pies in a muffin tin
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. melted butter
¼ cup Karo syrup
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
½ cup soft butter
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
1 dash of salt
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix all the filling ingredients and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and add the soft butter and sour cream. Using a fork or pastry cutter, begin to work the butter and sour cream into the flour mixture. It should take about three or four minutes for a crumbly pastry to come together. The beauty about this dough is that it’s fool-proof; I let my three year-old mix and over mix and crumble it, and it stayed tender after baking! Once you've got both components done, line a muffin tin with 8-10 cupcake wrappers. Press one tbsp. of the crumble into the lined muffin tin. Top with ¼ cup by dry measure the pecan/walnut filling (I used a dry measuring cup to scoop the filling). Top with one tbsp. of crumble and use it up until it’s gone. These didn’t overflow or leak, and the crumble browned up and stayed nice and tender. Happy Thanksgiving!