Friday, December 20, 2013

All You Want for Christmas is 5 Bean Soup (We hope!)

All You Want for Christmas is 5-Bean Soup 

(We hope!)

Hooray for the holidays! We love this time of year in our house: the decorations, the holiday music, the celebrating and the gift-giving! Every year I pick out a craft for the kids to make that they can, in turn, give as a gift to loved ones. This time of year can easily be mistaken as the season of receiving instead of the season of giving. I always hope that by maintaining this tradition where the kids craft something themselves to give to others, that they might carry the message of GIVING in the hearts long after the holidays are over. 

In the past, I have had each child work on their own craft. This year I decided to try something new and had everyone work on one joint gift. While searching for a good combined-effort venture I found the perfect one on Cassie Johnston's awesome blog, Back to Her Roots. She had a great, easy to follow plan for a handmade holiday gift of Vegetarian 5-Bean Soup, perfect for holiday giving. Click here for the post on her blog for this project. It is great! 

It was a lot of fun to do as a group, lots of laughs and lots of fun. I doubled the recipe to make twice as many jars of soup mix than Cassie's original post called for. When we were done, we were out of breath from laughing and had a bunch of gifts for all our loved ones. I was more than happy! 

There are two parts to the prep: layering the dried beans in the mason jars and mixing & measuring out the spice packets. We began with just the dried bean portion of the project. Before I brought the kids on the scene, I set up a sample of what the beans would look like layered, made a makeshift funnel out of card stock and separated the beans for everyone. 

We moved along, assembly-line style. Each older was in charge of two different beans. 

Baby Sister was in charge of just one type of bean. This was plenty because we quickly  discovered she preferred to put the beans in one at a time. 

Next I measured and mixed a spice mixture. The olders worked together to place two bay leaves into the spice pack and then scoop 3 tablespoons of the mix for each soup jar. 

We modified the original directions a bit here, too. We swapped out parchment paper for plastic wrap. It was just easier for the kids to twist and tie to create the spice packet. 

I wrote out the instructions (although the website provides printable labels which is pretty awesome) and the kids decorated the labels. We tied the directions to the jars with simple string and voila! A handmade gift made by all three kiddies! 

So, if you are in need of a homemade gift idea for the kiddies or even for yourself, this one will work for sure! It was so much fun to do as a group and the results included fun family time and cute gifts for the babes to share. I hope you have fun with this as well! 

Thank you for reading and happy holidays!!! 

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