Classical Cooking

By intertwining classical and modern cooking techniques within our everyday lessons, students will develop a stronger understanding about the challenges living in the past had on the people compared to modern times. Students will analyze artifacts and practice classic cooking techniques like: pickling, canning, dehydrating, and coloring cloth with natural dyes!

Course Outcome
How can we, as culinary historians, develop a deeper appreciation for classical cooking techniques in order to strengthen our skills in the kitchen and build empathy for the people of the past?

This PBL connected to the EL curriculum on Peter Pan: a classic literary book studied in the third grade for the entire quarter while intertwining social studies standards.

Day 1: Intro to life in the past

Day 2: Peter Pan Classic London

Day 3: Pickling

Day 4: Canning

Day 5: Drying/Dehydrating

Day 6-8: Life in the American Colonies

Day 9: Coloring Cloth with Natural Dyes

Bonus Lesson: Frontier Life: Pottage! 

***Community Partner Spotlight: Mountain Sun Farms (donated carrots and watermelon radishes to our lessons), Eva Camp from Screen Door Kitchen in Dayton, TN (helped students work through a classic "pottage"), & Erik Zilen from Niedlovs (helped bring his expertise to make colonial biscuits).***

Tennessee State Standards (just to name a few):

Standard 1: TNSS 3.31 Describe life on the Tennessee frontier and reasons why settlers moved west.

Standard 2: TNSS 3.26 Examine how the regional (i.e., New England, Middle, and Southern) geographic features of the Thirteen Colonies influenced their development.

Standard 3: 3.RI.KID.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Meeting the Multiple Intelligences:

Interpersonal: Students will develop a stronger skillset of collaboration, communication, and partnership as they dive into historical/classical cooking techniques and connect to the hardships of the people from the past. 

Intrapersonal: Students will begin to take ownership and awareness of their own skills in the kitchen along with their willingness to try different foods using the uncommon, yet classical, techniques of cooking. 

Naturalistic: Students will harvest key produce from the school garden in order to model the everyday lifestyles of colonial people from the early 18th & 19th century. 

Bodily: Students will practice their hands-on skills focused on kitchen tools, placement in the kitchen, and ways to overcome stressful conditions. 

Verbal: Students will be able to verbalize how specific techniques of cooking were key for the longevity of food/dishes during times without electricity and/or other hardships. 

Logical: Students will show logic while making connections to life in the past compared to life today. 

To introduce the unit, students analyzed historical artifacts from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to recognize similarities and differences to living in the past. Students used a teacher-made note catcher to track their thoughts and have conversations with their table peers as they guessed what each item was intended for.

Day 2: Students continued to use their logic smarts to analyze even more evidence about life in "Classic London" in order to show that life has changed over time. Since Peter Pan was based in London (prior to moving to Neverland), it gives students context to their literary classic.

Google Maps allowed us to "travel" to London and look around the park! 
Recipe below! Tea Biscuits & Classic English Tea


Day 4: Canning!

Throughout the days of learning, student's are keeping track of their new learning on this note catcher:


Day 6: Moving to the 13 American Colonies: Life in the New England Colonies

Day 7: Moving to the 13 American Colonies: Life in the Middle Colonies

(We had our carrots donated from Mountain Sun Farms: See below)
Even while our carrot cake cooks, there is NO down time. Students read an article to deep dive what life was like for colonists living in the area.

Day 8: Moving to the 13 American Colonies: Life in the Southern Colonies

Mountain Sun Farms also donated our watermelon radishes for the dish above (in addition to the carrots for both lessons)
Huge thanks to Erik Zilen (Niedlov's) for being an amazing community partner for Cooking Up Learning!
Answer: It's a Farmer's Feast! Everything we made and ate supports like in agriculture, which was typical in the Southern colonies.

Last day of the unit (Day 9): Students wrapped up the unit on classic cooking techniques and life living in the past by DYEING FABRIC using NATURAL dyes! At the end, each square was sewed together and resulted in the most incredible quilt that resembles what colonists might have had in their own cottages. What an amazing end-of-unit activity.

Teacher used an Instapot to extract the colors rather than a slow boil. Either method should produce similar results.
Our finished quilt looks similar. Picture to come.

BONUS LESSON: LIFE ON THE FRONTIER! (Completed right before Spring Break)

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