Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2000 Years in 12 Courses: A Clothing History Celebration

For our end-of-unit celebration, I decided we'd have a big feast, with one course representing each historical era we studied. As we ate each course, we reviewed the clothing styles for the corresponding era and talked about various political and social events that occurred during that time period. Each child chose an era to focus specifically on, and gave a little oral report about it. They each made a project to go along with their era, too. Some of us dressed up in "historical clothing" of one of the eras.

Here are the (fairly subjective—after all, it's hard to whittle down periods of tens or hundreds of years to just one or two characteristic foods! Still, these were all things that seemed representative to me!) foods we ate and the historical eras that went with them:
1. Classical world: Pita Bread, Olive Oil, Olives, Feta 
2. Middle Ages: Bacon, (Root) Beer 
3. French court (1600's): Melon (a favorite food of Louis IV) 
4. Age of Revolution (1700-1800): Tea (representing Boston Tea Party), Baguette (representing the Grain Riots in France) 
5. Regency/Victorian eras (1800-1900): Hot drinking chocolate, Shrewsbury Cakes
6. Edwardian era (1900-1910): Cucumber Sandwiches (as mentioned in "The Importance of Being Earnest")
7. World War I: Homemade Donuts (referencing the Salvation Army serving donuts to soldiers, who were called "doughboys") 
8. 1920s: Pointes d’asperges a la Mistinguette, a la Anatole (a food referenced in one of the Jeeves stories by P.G. Wodehouse—see the rest of the menu here). Could also have done Tapioca Pudding to reference "Thoroughly Modern Millie." 
9. 1930s-1940s: Fritos, Cheerioats (Fritos and Cheerios, called "Cheerioats," were first made in the 1930s) 
10. 1950s: Deviled Eggs, Jello 
11. 1960s:  Tunnel of Fudge Cake, Celery with Cream Cheese 
12. Modern Times: Fruit Smoothie, Salted Caramels
Daisy and Junie dressed up as beautiful Victorian ladies. Well, they were really trying to be ladies of the French Court, but the tutus they wore under my skirts looked more like crinolines than like farthingales or panniers. Still, at least they got the birds in their hair! :)
Abe gave a presentation about the Victorian Era. He wore a top hat and cravat. Very handsome.
Malachi talked about the 1920s. He wore a bowler hat and made a banjolele like Bertie Wooster's.
Seb talked about the 1950s and made a model cockpit of the 1952 Cessa 172 Skyhawk. As you can see, none of instruments are digital!

You may wonder if it is possible to eat 12 courses in one meal! It is difficult. But not impossible. The key is just having tiny bits of each thing. We loved it. (But I do wonder how in the world Louis XIV managed meals with forty-four courses, or equally preposterous numbers!)

This was such a fun celebration and a good review of all the historical eras we'd been studying. We hope to do it again someday! :)

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