Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your U.S. History Homework (Review)

TOS Review Crew members were sent some really fun books this past month from Ann McCallum Books. You can see them pictured in the graphic above. I was chosen to review Eat Your U.S. History Homework, which fits in well with our family at the moment, as my eight year old in particular has become very interested in early American history.

Right out of the package, I was impressed with this little gem of a book. What a fun concept! I know a lot of homeschoolers do unit studies that include recipes of one sort or another, and this fits right in there, as an add-on to the history already being used, or as a stand-alone little history unit that goes from the Pilgrims to the end of the Revolutionary War.

The book starts with an introduction to the book in general and a timeline with selected events from 1607-1789. It then gives some kitchen tips, including a note that the recipes have been modified to more readily fit our modern lifestyles (since most of us don't have bear grease sitting around the house...).

There are then six chapters/recipes/sections, or whatever you would like to style them.

  • Thanksgiving Succotash (May try this as we get closer to the holiday)
  • Colonial Cherry-Berry Grunt (Long story I won't get into, but the name of this recipe is sure to cause hysterics among my husband's family... I made a Blueberry Grunt once, and well... we won't get into that.)
  • Lost Bread (French Toast anyone?) 
  • Southern Plantation Hoe Cakes (This was the recipe we just HAD to try, more about that in a bit)
  • Revolutionary Honey-Jumble Cookies (These look yummy!) 
  • Independence Ice Cream (need I say more? :) ) 
The format of each section is as follows: 
Historical background on the recipe: the people, places, and times attached to the recipe.
The Recipe: General information before you begin, Equipment needed, Ingredients, and then the method, step-by-step.
Historical Wrap-up: another historical snippet of information
Side Dish: even more information and a suggested activity, or "rabbit trail"

The end of the book has a two page "History Review" spread that summarizes each historic event/era that coordinates with the recipes, a Glossary of terms, and an index. 

Our Experience:
We chose to make the Southern Plantation Hoe Cakes, in part because we had searched the internet for a recipe much earlier in the year when Youngest was reading about George Washington. The Recipe I found then would be helpful for those who are Gluten Free, but it wasn't really the tastiest thing on earth ("George Washington really ate these almost every day?").  I wanted to see if these would be more acceptable to his palate. 

First we pulled out the ingredients... 

Time to mix them together... 
dry ingredients and 
wet ingredients

Time to cook~ 
First time using the spatula himself! 
Good job keeping your hands away from the hot part of the pan! 

The best part, of course comes at the end
Delicious with Jam and butter! 

The verdict came in, and these were much more delicious than anything we had tried before. Next time we need to have some creamed honey around, and then we need to try them as a side dish with chili. Hmmm... how about using them as a base for cheese toast? OK, now I'm getting hungry again! ;)

The book lightly covers slavery, and the interaction of many of the various enthnicities who now call America home. As a matter of fact, you can find a educator's guide to the book on the Eat Your U.S. History Homework  webpage, which includes printable activity sheets that coordinate with many of the discussions suggested in the book, as well as some printable games and other activities.

When we cover more of the Revolutionary history around Boston, we'll be sure to try out the Revolutionary Honey-Jumble Cookies, and all the rest as we come to them in our studies.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Now that you've had a bit of an introduction to this book, I do hope that you will click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this book, as well as Eat Your Math Homework, Eat Your Science Homework, and more!  As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.

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1 comment:

  1. These look like a great deal of fun! I really like when it is more than just a story -- any kind of active involvement is always better than just sitting still! ;)


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