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Key Ingredients

Yesterday we officially logged Day 2 of 180 for the 2012/2013 school year. I recently posted about our plans to make a day of learning about food and kitchens of past versus present in conjunction with the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Key Ingredients: America by Food. We took the day yesterday to go to the exhibit and do all of our activities.

Our first stop was at a local ice cream and coffee shop for a treat. While there we talked about the ingredients of ice cream and what it would take for the early settlers to make their own ice cream. We talked about where they would get the ingredients: from their cows, from sugar cane or maple sap, from cocoa beans or fruit for flavoring, and how long it would take to make it.

We used a provided Scavenger Hunt to help guide us through the exhibit at the library. The kids learned about what types of foods were famous in which states, restaurants then versus now, kitchens then versus now, the evolution of frozen foods, marketing, the family farm, and family traditions.

The first self-service supermarket was "Piggly Wiggly"

This is the current Piggly Wiggly in the town where the exhibit was.

After the exhibit we went home to do some related activities.

We did a picture walk through The Kitchen by Bobbie Kalman and Children of the Frontier by Sylvia Whitman.

Brynne and I finally finished her no-sew apron (I just used stitch witch instead of sewing it).

Then Eli, Brynne and I looked up the recipe for Oklahoma in "50 Favorite American Recipes by State" and made Oklahoma Cake. We used cooking tools that belonged to my Grandma Alice. I have such fond memories of them that whenever I bake, I try to use them. I even have a picture that I have shown the kids of me playing with the measuring cups and spoons when I was a baby.

Grandma's sifter.

Grandma's spring pan.

While the cake was baking, Eli and Brynne each chose a coloring page from our downloaded and printed ABC's of Oklahoma Agriculture coloring book (at THIS LINK, type in "Oklahoma agriculture coloring" and it will bring up the link to download it.) Brynne chose "H" for Horses and "B" for Beef. Eli chose "Z" for zucchini. (We are going to save the rest of the coloring book for the school year when we do our Oklahoma study. We will even be hosting a Land Run for our Homeschool Co-op.)

I took the kids outside to show them the new zucchini growing in my garden. And while there we dug up some potatoes.

We had lots of discussions about what their lives would be like if they were early settlers. They both agreed that their lives of rising when they want, laying around in pj's eating their breakfast while watching cartoons, and playing video games is much superior to rising before dawn, milking cows and fetching water, shaking cream to make butter, and washing clothes on a washing board.

Eli said, "That would have been the worst time of my life, EVER!" Brynne said, "I would NOT want to have been an early settler." I said, "I don't think you should complain when I ask you to do things, like, pick up the playroom. Because you could be doing that after you milked some cows, pitched some hay, and dug up potatoes in 105* weather." They agreed.

This was a great lesson that they (even Eli) enjoyed a lot. And, we had cake for dinner!

Grandma's cake pan.


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