Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fun ways to create lasting family traditions

(ARA) - Whether you’re a family of two or 10, there is no time like the present to create lasting family traditions. Like families, traditions come in many forms -- from cooking to storytelling -- and making new memories is easy and fun. Here are a variety of creative ways to get started.

Gather for a family baking day

Help ensure your tried and true family recipes continue on for generations with a family baking day. Have everyone meet in a central location and bring their favorite recipe and the ingredients to make it. Everyone will have the chance to learn about cherished recipes and leave with a goodie bag of treats.

Plan a family reunion

Annually, or every few years, gather relatives far and wide for an enjoyable time to reminisce, share photos, cook and eat together. Use the time to share favorite family stories and swap recipes. Make sure to take a group photo and share it with the participants and those who couldn’t be there.

Get tech-savvy

Get everyone involved in building and contributing to a family Web page or blog that highlights recent get-togethers, news, photos and favorite recipes. Online sites provide a great way to connect and keep long-distance relatives up-to-date and involved year round.

Host international family dinners

Pick one night a week to take the family on a culinary journey to another part of the world. From France to Italy to Greece to Thailand, there are countless meal options waiting to be explored. Experience more of the culture by learning some phrases associated with the meal, play authentic music and include some decorations. Bon appetit.

Make movie magic

Host monthly movie nights as a way for family to catch up and experience old classics and the latest blockbusters together. Include an ice cream sundae bar and movie snacks and schedule intermissions to talk about the movie and characters.

The J.M. Smucker Company believes in bringing families together to share memorable meals and moments, and wants to hear about your family recipes and traditions. Visit Smuckers.com to enter the "Spreading Smucker's Traditions" contest and share your family-favorite recipes and memories. Until Oct. 12, you can enter a family recipe that has been handed down for at least two generations for a chance to win a five-day, four-night family trip for eight to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 states and Washington D.C., 18 years of age and older and is void where prohibited. See Web site for official rules and complete details.

Last year's winning recipe, Nana's Apple Butter Cake has been passed down for three generations.

Nana's Apple Butter Cake



1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup Smucker's Apple Butter
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into about 16 wedges
1 teaspoon cinnamon combined with 1/4 cup sugar

Streusel topping:

2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup baking mix
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, water, eggs, oil and apple butter. Beat at low speed for one minute, to blend ingredients, and two minutes at high speed. Pour mix into greased/floured 9- by 13-inch pan.

Slice apples into a bowl and add cinnamon/sugar mixture, mixing until apples are well coated. Place apple slices (round side out/core side in) in the batter until just the top shows, in two rows of eight, the length of the pan.

Make streusel topping by combining brown sugar, baking mix, cinnamon and butter. Cut butter into mixture with pastry blender until crumbly.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle streusel topping over cake and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

For more recipes and to enter the "Spreading Smucker's Traditions" contest, visit www.Smuckers.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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