March 21st is Nauryz.
Let's cook and create with our kids!
It is the time of year when new baby animals are born,
Chicks are cuddled by children,
Honey Bees take cleansing flights,
Shoots struggle to break through the earth,
And apple blossoms appear on the trees.
A celebration of the end of Winter's isolation and the appearance of Spring with all that it symbolizes. Birth, Hope, Growth and New Beginnings. Like the animals around us we bring forth, clean, and gather once again with our community. We prepare and check in with our environment to insure the survival of future generations of children.
Apples were first cultivated in Kazakhstan. So in honor of this countries gift to the world we focused solely on this simple fruit for our family's version of the holiday this year.
An apple garland that even a preschooler can help make.
Cut an apple in half making sure the cut surface is as flat and level as possible.
Coat the cut surface with a thin layer of paint.
Press your "stamp"onto a piece of white paper.
Add details like a stem and seeds.
Cut out the apple shape.
Punch out two holes.
String onto a length of pretty ribbon.
Apple napkin ring
Use a cookie cutter to cut an apple shape from air dry clay.
Make a leaf and attach it to the stem.
Punch a hole in the center with the end of a pencil.
Let dry overnight.
Knot the center of and thread both ends of a pipe cleaner into the hole and twist around your napkin.
Apple Sun Catcher
Coat the clear lid of a takeout container with glue.
Cut about 2 dozen small squares of tissue paper.
Layer the squares on top of the glue.
When dry punch a hole in the top.
Insert and twist a pipe cleaner to make the stem, create and glue on the leaf.
Tape to a window.
Apple tree place card for the table
Make a treetop template
Fold a piece of construction paper in half.
Place your template as shown above and trace the shape.
Cut out as shown above.
Leave about an inch uncut along the fold at the top.
Draw on some branches.
Cut out about 2 dozen small squares from tissue paper.
Place the end of a pencil eraser in the center of one square and crush the paper around it to form a flower bud. Glue it on to the tree. Make and glue more buds.
Write the name of your guest on a toliet paper tube.
Cut slits in the top of your tube.
Insert your tree top into the trunk.
Every holiday needs a homemade present if you have a child.
Kazakh sewing cards-girl in traditional dress, camel, yurt.
I used colored Sharpie markers to trace simple shapes onto the plastic mesh used for cross stitch.
The colored thread with plastic on the ends found in bead stringing kits is perfect for small hands to use.
The thread is used to match with and color code the design so that the child knows how to create the image independently.
I saved dessert for last.
Walnut Filled Apples (a traditional Uzbek recipe)
Peel and core four apples
Cut out a good portion of the center of each apple without puncturing the bottom
Place 1/2 tsp of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of honey in each apple
Place in a steamer and cook for twenty minutes
Chop 1/2 cup of walnuts
Soften in hot water 1/3 cup of dried currants. Remove from liquid and set aside.
Mix currants and nuts with 2 TBSP of sugar, 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp of ground star anise.
Take the hot apples out of the steamer.
Remove some liquid from each apple making sure to leave them only half full.
Stuff and fill to the top with the nut and currant mixture.
Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.
If you want a more detailed explanation about the holiday of Nauryz you can click on the label marked "Nauryz" on my sidebar. There you will find all the past posts that discuss how it is traditionally celebrated in Central Asia. You can also find more recipes under the label "Silk Road Recipes". Our family wishes you all the best for the seasons to come and I hope you enjoyed this post.