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Old 06-05-2004, 08:27 AM
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ajrsmom ajrsmom is offline
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When, Where and How Long?

When should you plan to have your reunion? Where should you hold it? Should it be one day? A weekend? A whole week? The answers to these questions depend on how far your family members will be traveling, and their financial limits.

“For families spread around the country, I recommend at least a 4-5 day reunion,” states Deanna Jagemann, owner/manager of Memorable Family Reunions (memorablefamilyreunion.com). “If members are within a 4-6 hour driving distance to the reunion then 3-4 days is recommended.” Families that are generally all located in the same area often opt for one-day gatherings.

Popular holidays to plan your reunion around would be Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Some families choose to have their reunions the same time each year, such as the second Saturday in August, and at the same place, such as a local park. You can contact the Park Department to reserve a picnic area in advance.

If you’re having a weekend reunion, consider reserving sites at a campground. Variations on this idea would include renting houseboats on a lake or cabins in a park.

If you’re interested in having a weeklong reunion, look into locations that offer more local activities, such as Dollywood, Disneyworld & Disneyland, ski resorts, and even places like Milwaukee, WI, during Summerfest.

Whatever you decide, keep in mind the financial abilities of all family members. You may want to have your reunion every other year, or even every three years, to give members time to raise money for expenses. If you want to have a set expense limit, consider holding a reunion cruise. “Cruises are, in my opinion, a very good choice because you really can’t go over budget,” notes Deanna. “Everything is included except for tips.” There are also activities scheduled for all age groups, from kids to seniors. Since the ship’s crew plans everything, all you have to do is enjoy yourself!


Food for out-of-town reunions:

If you're attending a reunion this year and need a dish to pass that doesn't require refrigeration (because you are staying in a hotel, motel, etc.) try one of these ideas.

* Bread or rolls
* Cookies, candies, treats
* Caramel Corn
* Fruit Basket (apples, oranges, pears, & bananas)
* Box of crackers and jar of flavored peanut butter
* Volunteer to bring the paper plates, utensils and napkins
* Pick up a vegetable platter at a local grocer on the way to the reunion

If the majority of your attendees are staying in hotels, consider having everyone pitch in to pay for one catered meal. Or, if your group isn’t too large, you could all go out to a restaurant for the main meal.

Reunion Bread

A hidden almond creates a fun tradition with this bread. Whoever finds the almond will organize next year's reunion, clean up this year, or be in charge of the bread next year! It's up to you what the almond means.

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour

* * *
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1/4 cup pesto, purchased or homemade
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

* * *
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 oz.)
1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 whole almond
1 beaten egg white
Sesame seed
Caraway seed
Poppy seed

In a large mixing bowl mix 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the yeast.

In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, the 1/4 cup margarine or butter, and the salt till warm (120 to 130 F) and margarine almost melts.

Add milk mixture and whole eggs to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a spoon, stir in whole wheat flour as you can.

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place till double (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan cook onion in the 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter till tender; set aside. Combine pesto and walnuts; set aside. Combine cheese and mustard; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a 16X12-inch rectangle. Cut into three 16X4-inch strips.

Spread onion mixture down the center of one strip, leaving the edges clear of filling. Spread pesto mixture down the center of another strip. Spread cheese mixture down the center of remaining strip. Place one almond in the center of one strip.

Brush the edges of the strips with egg white. Fold each strip over, enclosing filling and forming a rope. Pinch edges to seal.

Shape one rope into a ring and place, seam side down, in the center of a lightly greased large baking sheet. Form the remaining 2 ropes into rings so they intertwine with the center ring, like the links of a chain, placing them seam side down. Seal ends well. Cover; let rise in a warm place till almost double (45 to 60 minutes).

Brush dough rings with beaten egg white. Sprinkle one ring with sesame seed, one with caraway seed, and one with poppy seed.

Bake in a 375 F oven about 25 minutes or till golden, covering with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool on a wire rack. To freeze, wrap the loaf in freezer wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in package for 1 hour or heat in a 300 F oven about 20 minutes. Makes 1 large loaf (30 servings).


Reunion Snacks

1 stick melted margarine
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 package graham crackers

Carefully separate crackers and place on a large cookie sheet or biscuit pan. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil. Use a teaspoon and spoon hot mixture over crackers. Spread evenly. Broil 5 minutes, watching carefullynot to let burn. When cold, store in cookie can. Keeps well.


Printed from the FamilyCorner.com "Comforts of Home" Newsletter. To join this newsletter: http://www.thefamilycorner.com/services/lists.shtml
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Last edited by ajrsmom; 06-05-2004 at 08:31 AM.
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