Recently I have been trying to do a cooking activity with the kids after we finish reading a chapter book, or any fun book. I especially enjoy doing this after reading a book that takes place in a different time period or region. One of the things I love about food is that it is something we all need no matter where we are from, so it is an easy way for kids to relate to a new place or region, while at the same time learning about that time period or place.
Our most recent book was "Revolutionary War on Wednesday", which is from the Mary Pope Osborne Magic Tree House series. I had originally thought it would be fun to do a winter cookout, similar to what Washington and his men experienced, but I believe there is a reason I don't live in the Colonial days. I would have mad a terrible pioneer, I like modern day comforts, like heat. So, even though we had perfect conditions - frigged temperatures and snow, I couldn't get myself to head out into the elements for a lovely meal of mush cooked over a fire. Instead we opted for a colonial day treat, hasty pudding.
This was a quick snack to prepare that allowed for a variety of discussions. We were able to discuss what other products we use that are similar to cornmeal and how grains are processed so we can use them as meal or flour.
2 cups Milk
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tbs Butter
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
Combine milk and cornmeal. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add butter, stir until melted. Stir in syrup and serve.
*we added diced pear to our pudding for an added treat.
**pictures by Liam (age 5)