This past Friday I took our lesson on colonial life to our taste buds by sharing some excerpts from the book Food and Recipes of the Thirteen Colonies

Food and Recipes of the Thirteen Colonies

 “Although the colonists were making new lives,” the book said, “they didn’t like change very much. They wanted to be able to live the same way and eat the same foods they ate in England and Europe.”

That might have all been good and well, but the same foods were no longer available. Adaptation became the new motto they had to live by.

“So what kinds of foods evolved out of this predicament?” I asked my students. “Let’s find out! And let’s see if we would enjoy any of those foods.”

Once I had the students salivating (sixth graders are always ready to eat), I introduced five recipes and their backgrounds as told in the book: Hasty Pudding, Flat Jacks, Dutch Walnut-Cinnamon Squares, Southern Succotash and Hoppin’ John. The students were really interested by this point.

I then called for five volunteers who were willing to lead groups, and divided the rest of the students up into teams of five or six. Each group member received a copy of the recipe that they will help prepare this coming Friday. I then asked them to go through their recipes and calculate the amounts of each ingredient that they would need in order to feed our entire class of 33, determine all the tools they will need to prepare the dish, and decide amongst themselves who will be responsible for bringing what. Students also have to plan substitutions in order to make the recipes vegetarian, as that is a norm in our community, and vegan for the few who require that. These objectives definitely called for some real-life applications.

This Friday I will take the students to the school kitchen, and they will prepare their dishes as teams. I will provide the settings and a drink for the meal. I am also making a recipe book with copies of all five recipes for each student so they can make the dishes again at home if they would like. I can’t wait to show you pictures of the outcome next week and tell you how things went!