Everyone Home from School for the Holidays? Build a Succah and Eat Some Secret Chocolate

Betty lets you in on her secret of where she stores her chocolate secret weapon. Oh, and she built an edible succah with the kids too.

Listen up, Moms. Do you know what is our secret weapon? Chocolate. And you know how you store your secret weapon? In an undisclosed, secure location.

Of course, we leave chocolate out for the kids and our husbands, and for the guests that come by. We want to be good hostesses, right? But we don’t serve our special chocolate.

You put your special chocolate in the vault! This way we can survive holidays and school vacations! Without the secret weapon…
I don’t even want to talk about it!

I consumed my entire arsenal of secret weapons.

Vacation Madness

The High Holiday season is not for the faint of heart. First, there is all the cooking, meals and clean-up. The kids are home from school. Even the husband is around more, which has its pluses and minuses.
And, in the middle of it all, Grace and I thought we should do a pre-launch of our bakery. Well, it seemed like a good idea, since everyone was in the market for sweets. We still don’t have a place, so we worked out of Grace’s kitchen. It turned out to be one of those ideas best left on the shelf. Fortunately, I had also stored away, in a secret location in the freezer, a few of those margarita popsicles. It was just what we needed to deal with the madness.

Fighting Boredom

So, when you have all the kids home from school, needing to be entertained, what do you do? We went to the zoo, water park, movies, indoor theme parks, and had lots of barbecues, but ultimately you just run out of entertainment.
I was desperate to find something we could do together that would absorb some of the chaotic energy that was bouncing off the walls in my house.
I needed a project and I found one—a mini edible succah! Kind of like a gingerbread house, but different. A lot different actually. Totally different story.

The Mini Edible Succah

With a chocolate mocha latte in hand one morning, I began my search for something unique to do with the kids. I found this intriguing recipe for a mini, edible succah on one of my favorite online lifestyle sites. The author shared her story of building an edible mini succah with her daughter. They each built one and she said they had a lot of fun doing it. Gvalt! I was ready. I showed it to Bissela and she was psyched. Fun, hopefully, time-consuming and edible. What could go wrong?

The ingredients for the succah are not complicated at all. You need graham crackers, Royal Icing to hold the walls together, (it’s sticky and hardens so you have to make it when you’re ready) and something called Wilton Meringue Powder, which I had never heard of.

I made a quick call to Grace. She’s always involved in far-out creations. I was sure she probably had this meringue powder. I was right, she knew what I was talking about, but had run out. So, we made a quick trip to the arts & crafts store where Grace said she bought hers. While we were there, we found lots of other cool stuff to make. I was happy to find more things to occupy their time. One hour later, we exited the store and headed for home.

I was thrilled. All the kids wanted in on the mini-succah building. We took out the graham crackers and began to construct 3 walls. The icing would serve as glue to hold the walls together.

Caution Required

Now here comes the fun part. The icing is supposed to be pushed through an icing bag. But I couldn’t find mine. In the instructions, it says you can use a ziplock bag too. I had plenty of those.
The instructions include a caution…” don’t fill the bag too full or it will squeeze out and become a nightmare mess.” How did she know about the Steins?

Goldi decided it was time to go live on Facebook. I suggested she wait until we finish the project and then she can Facebook all she wants. But the little Spielberg preferred to do a live feed rather than build her mini-succah.

While I was debating with Goldi about Facebook, Bissela and Munchkin filled their ziplock bags with the icing and began squeezing out the “glue.” Yeah, like the author said, “nightmare mess.”

As I watched Royal Icing spreading across the table and onto the floor, with very little of it actually on the graham crackers, Goldi began screaming about how the Facebook live feed was starting to go viral. At this point, I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Ultimately, we did finish the mini edible succahs, fully decorated and standing upright. We used cinnamon sticks for the roof. We decorated our mini-succahs with pretzels, chocolate chips, and dried fruit. It was miraculous.

It took me hours to clean up all the icing. There was icing on the ceiling. I have no idea how it got there. The succahs didn’t last long…well they were edible! Goldi had her first viral Facebook video and I finished off my secret weapon, in my secret location!

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