Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Five in a Row - "Cranberry Thanksgiving"

This year I'm using the Five in a Row curriculum with Olivia. The concept behind Five in a Row is that you read a book each day for five days and do a variety of multi-disciplinary activities to further explore and understand the book - not only from a literary point of view,  but from artistic, scientific, mathematical, home economic, historical, and geographical angles as well. 

One of the favorite activities that we've enjoyed this year as part of the FIAR curriculum is using the Five in a Row Cookbook that corresponds to books in Volumes 1-3 (we're doing the books in Volume 1 this year, so this will be a resource we'll be using for several years).

The cookbook also acts as a visual scrapbook of Olivia making the recipes and the final products. For each set of recipes, there is a page where pictures can be attached.  This is a wonderful way to record the learning experience as well as growth in culinary skills.

In Cranberry Thanksgiving, Grandmother's cranberry bread is known for miles around. She keeps her secret recipe "carefully hid" behind a brick in the fire place. "It was so famous that bakers all over the countryside had offered great sums of money for the recipe." Grandmother "scoffed at the idea, but she still thought it was something special to leave Maggie."

Grandmother and Maggie lived "at the edge of a cranberry bog in New England." We spent some time talking about our trip to New England in September 2011 and learned more about cranberries and how they are harvested.

Despite the focus in the book on cranberries, there isn't a recipe in the Five in a Row Cookbook for anything with cranberries. However, Cranberry Thanksgiving does have a recipe for cranberry bread which we will make at another time.

Olivia made three things from the Five in a Row Cookbook. First, she made a roast turkey breast. The recipe called for seasonings as well as putting carrots and onions in the center. It turned out very well, and she was happy with making her first 7-pound turkey.

Roast Turkey Olivia Made
Olivia with the roasted turkey breast she made.

The second recipe in the cookbook was for corn pudding. We weren't sure what this would taste like. It is a combination of creamed corn and frozen corn kernels that have been thawed. There are eggs in the pudding to thicken it, some sugar which sweetened it, and nutmeg sprinkled on top which added a different (but good) taste to the side dish.

Making Corn Pudding
 Olivia measuring the corn kernels
before adding them to the mixture.

We baked the corn pudding for the time specified, but it didn't thicken as much as we hoped. So, we baked it longer and then it seemed to thicken and get to the appropriate consistency.

Corn Pudding
Corn pudding that Olivia made.

The last thing that Olivia made (with some help from Sophia) was a pumpkin pie. The crust is homemade (rather than pre-packaged/pre-made); and the filling was adapted to be dairy-free (coconut milk is substituted for evaporated milk). The pie was delicious - especially warm from the oven.

Pumpkin Pie Girls Made
Pumpkin pie that Olivia and Sophia made.

The girls said that they would make the turkey and pumpkin pie again, but would pass on the corn pudding. Although it tasted fine, they prefer plain corn rather than corn mixed with other ingredients. 

By the time that we are done with the Five in a Row Cookbook, we will have tried over 175 new recipes. With pictures in the cookbook that show Olivia making the food as well as the things she made, she will have a special book filled with memories and great recipes that she can use when she is older.

If Olivia has children, I would think it would be interesting for them to see their mother when she was a child learning to cook and making the recipes that they, in turn, would be learning.


Jeanine Byers Hoag said...

I did the same thing with my son (at least, I think it had the same name) a couple of years ago, and we combined it with the "Sarah, Plain and Tall" series on Hallmark. We loved it!

By the way, I wanted to let you know that I created a post as an answer to your question. It's here:

Seasonal color Analysis for Children

Rita said...

That's a great idea...and with the pictures, too! Fun! Definitely a keepsake! :)

Tat @ Mum in search said...

It all looks delicious! Your homeschooling journey is fascinating. It makes me wonder what it would be like to homeschool my children... but it's not for everyone. I couldn't do it full time or I'd be the worst teacher ever known!

Sock Monkey Mommy said...

Cranberry Thanksgiving was a staple in my husband's upbringing. He brought the story and recipe with him to our marriage. We have shared the story and recipe with our girls each year. And the bread is REALLY tasty too!

Love your blog!