Feasting on History —
examples through pictures
Greetings from the Johnson Family! We are a homeschooling family with
six children. We love educating our children at home. One of our
favorite things to do is wrap up a history unit with an authentic
feast. Well, at least semi-authentic! We dress in costume
and prepare the foods that the people from that civilization and time
period we are studying would have eaten. This is something
everyone looks forward to and enjoys whole-heartedly. We also
get alot of laughs when we look back at the pictures.
Looking back in preparing for this session, I
wish I had taken more pictures, but here are at least a few to give
you a glimpse of what I mean by "feasting on history"...
Alright, understandably, my son hates this picture!
But you have to understand here what is going on. We are
having an Ancient Egyptian meal. We came dressed in cool white
clothing (even though it was cold outside). Most men did not
wear shirts, so my son went shirtless, which we would normally not
allow him to do - no shoes, no shirt, no service. Well, no
shoes is okay. Anyway, we all put on heavy make-up as well -
the black eyeliner around the eyes, as the Egyptians liked to do.
Our meal consisted of vegetable barley soup, bread, fish, dates, fig
balls, date cakes and beer (non-alcoholic, of course).
Here is our Classical Greek feast. This meal
was absolutely amazing. We prepared and served spinach/feta
triangles (made with phillo dough) figs, fish, feta cheese, assorted
Greek olives, dolmas, pita chips, roasted chicken and baklava.
We washed it down with wine and sparkling grape juice - Martinellis.
Again, we came in costume, wearing togas... check
out the next picture!
This is Todd, my husband. Yes, historical
feasts are a great way to include Dad, who may miss out on most of
the other fun activities that you do during school. Todd is
definitely enthusiastic and creative when it comes to dressing up
for the feast...
This is his ancient time piece - a sundial made of
wire to wear on one's wrist. Here is a closer view...
Is that hilarious or what?
Here is a Roman Feast that we enjoyed a few years
ago. Of course, we all dressed in togas for this one as well.
The wreaths are made of maple leaves instead of laurel leaves, but
you get the idea. We reclined on the living room floor and ate
with our hands. Here's what was on the menu - whole chicken,
dried fruit, home-made bread, hummus, olives and almonds.
Afterwards we watched a commentary on Roman entertainment -
One year, we had a medieval feast, but honestly I
cannot remember what we served. Most likely whole chicken or a
roast that was eaten with our hands. I may not remember the
food, but I sure do remember the costumes. Aren't these great?
Halloween is NOT the only occasion for dressing up. Since we
had the costumes made, we also attended a renaissance faire and
enjoyed it greatly.
One year we attempted to cook a Thanksgiving quite
similar to the first Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, we had
turkey and venison, stewed pumpkin and some sort of grain stuffing.
We also served furmenty, boiled onions and a wilted salad.
Everyone had to come to the feast dressed as either a pilgrim or an
Indian, even the grandparents...
That's my mom there, but I wish I had captured a
picture of my husband's dad - oh my, he was the best pilgrim ever
dressed in a white blouse and nickers!
One year, we prepared an Oregon Trail cookout.
We also had the chance to act it out a bit...
We arrived in a covered wagon.
Washed some dirty laundry.
Built a log cabin.
And then rested from our labors.
Here was a fun one...
The kids dressed in their pioneer
clothing and pretended to be 49ers. They staked their claims
around the house and searched for buried gold. You probably
cannot read that green sign, but it reads "This here's Brady's
claim". And it was. He even found gold in that room,
that is gold-painted rocks!
And although this is a different year
(two children later!), you can see that we enjoyed another 49er meal
of beef jerky and sardines on our metal camping plates. How
fun! Notice the California poppies in the tin can. How
Another great memory is from the time
when we studied the Civil War. We ate johnny cake and goober
peas, just like the soldiers. We also dressed up in clothing
from the era and took sepia toned photographs to look like the
photos from the time period. Here are the ones in color,
though... (remember, they always had serious expressions)
We also wore those costumes to a civil
war reenactment and began to get a glimpse of what life was like
during those tumultuous times. That day is burned into our
Don't be afraid to close the books
from time to time and serve up a historical feast. I think you
will be glad you did! Yum!
Blessings to you on your educational journey,
Knowledge Quest, Inc.