Hazel’s Thanksgiving Recipe
Hazel was busily mixing the pumpkin pie batter in her parents’ kitchen. Her Granny entered the room, and checked on the batter.
“You’ll need to mix it more,” she said. Hazel’s Granny had hazel eyes and wispy white hair. Hazel looked like a smaller version of her, except that Hazel's hair was chestnut brown.
“Yes, Granny,” replied Hazel and began to mix faster.
“You know, it’s your turn to add something new to the Thanksgiving table,” said Granny, cocking her head a little. “A new recipe.”
“I hardly know how to cook,” complained Hazel, putting the bowl down on the kitchen counter and wiping her forehead. “And I burned those cookies last year.”
Granny laughed. “I remember… but you could try to make cookies again,” she smiled.
Hazel was determined to make newer, better cookies than last year's Thanksgiving, so she smiled back and continued to mix the batter.
A few hours later, Hazel was searching up recipes for Thanksgiving-themed cookies. Most of her searches showed turkey cookies with candy corn as feathers, but that wasn’t a very good recipe - too sweet. Others were icing-decorated leaves and there was even a photo of an Oreo with candy corn in it and edible googly eyes on top. Shocked, Hazel closed her laptops and had an idea. She went back to the kitchen and opened the family’s Thanksgiving recipe cookbook. Inside, there was one recipe about making vanilla cookies, but no one used it because they were tasteless. Hazel knew it was the vanilla extract that was horrible, but she decided to give the recipe a twist and make her own one, just with some help. Since it was late at night, Hazel returned the book to its shelf and went to bed.
Since it was going to be holidays for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Hazel had one whole day to make her cookies and experiment with them. She quickly made a regular cookie batter and checked, to be sure, that the next step was to add vanilla extract. With a deep breath, she added grounded cinnamon and a light touch of ginger, then mixed it all up, taking deep breaths. When she finished, she let the batter sit for an hour in the fridge and then took it out again, and placed the bowl onto the kitchen counter, now ready to cut the cookies. Among the cookie cutter shapes were leaves, acorns, pumpkins, turkeys, and squirrels. Cutting took an hour or so, and then Hazel pushed the tray into the oven and held her breath (but also still breathing, just less than before) while the cookies baked. Last time, she had been distracted by her difficult Maths homework about geometry. Now, she was determined not to let the cookies fail her, or she would fail the cookies. The egg timer beeped and she smacked it off and yanked the tray out of the oven quickly. Steam rose up, filling the kitchen with a lovely scent. Hazel picked up a turkey cookie with a spatula, blowing on it quickly, then placed it onto a plate and cut it in half. She picked up one half of the cookie and bit into it. The cookie was delicious, she had succeeded! Hazel quickly put the rest of the trays in and took them out when the egg timer beeped again. She used coloured glazes and sprinkles to decorate the cookies, then put them into tin boxes so that they wouldn’t spoil and harden. As Hazel cleaned up the kitchen, her Granny returned. “It smells lovely here!” she exclaimed. “What were you making?”
“It’s a surprise,” replied Hazel, but it was obvious that she made cookies because the cookie cutters were still spread out on the kitchen counter.
“Nice,” Granny nodded and left the kitchen.
It was Thanksgiving and dessert was nearing, making Hazel anxious whether her cookies would be good or not.
“Didn’t you say that you made something?” demanded Hazel’s little brother Ben, his eyes wide.
“I did.” Hazel got up from the table. “Let me get it.” She returned soon with the tin boxes.
“So, what did you make?” asked Granny, her smile wide and her eyes twinkling.
“I made cookies… again. But this time, they didn’t burn and I used the vanilla cookies recipe.” Hazel watched her family flinch at this. “But they’re not vanilla.”
She opened one tin box, and the scent of the cookies was so strong, you couldn’t smell anything else but that.
Hazel’s father reached out and bit into one of the cookies. His eyes lit up. “Delicious!” He said through the cookie in his mouth.
Hazel passed tin boxes around the enormous table, making sure everyone got at least one cookie. When the tin boxes returned to her, there were still five cookies.
“You have them, darling,” said Hazel’s mother. “You made them, after all.”
Hazel popped the cookies into her mouth, one by one, letting the flavour fill her mouth. Even better, the cookies were still mysteriously warm…
The doorbell rang.
“That’ll be the mailman!” exclaimed Granny.
“I’ll take it,” announced Hazel, shoving the last cookie into her mouth and she wandered over to the door and opened it. A few letters were neatly placed at the doormat. Hazel picked them up and closed the door, shuffling through the letters and she paused when she spotted one with her name on it.
Inside was this message:
Hello there, Hazel. Listen to me - I need your help. I am stuck in my old home and could really use saving. Please come to the ‘haunted’ house across the street and help me.
Hazel froze at that. She peered outside the window and froze when she spotted the house. Hazel binned the letter and returned to the table, where Granny was serving pumpkin pie.
“Come and have some, dearie!” she called.
Hazel left the remaining letters on a chest of drawers and quickly grabbed a plate of three pumpkin pie slices and gobbled them down, the sweet flavour remaining in her mouth.
“Delicious!” She licked her lips. “I could eat this forever.” She licked her fork clean and got some more servings.
That night, in her bed, she fell asleep soundly, despite the letter that she had received before. She was excited to make the cookies for next year’s Thanksgiving, even though it was one whole year away.
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Jolly Phonics is an engaging way to teach children pre -reading and pre -writing skills using phonics. Phonics is the teaching of the sounds that letters make, rather than the names of letters that are taught in the alphabet, because it is the sounds that are useful for reading and writing, not the names. These sounds are taught in a systematic way, alongside all of the skills needed for being a fluent reader and writer in future. Jolly Phonics also teaches all of this in a fun and engaging way, through characters, stories, actions, songs and games! To read more about Jolly Phonics, clickhere.
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