Cook your way through history!

To celebrate Women's History Month, we're exploring how to use cooking to learn about history with your kids.

from "Kuchenmaistrey", 1485, Peter Wagner. Public Domain:

Cooking's not only a great way to brush up on your math and science skills, it's an amazing way to explore history! Today, we’re exploring kid-friendly historical recipes, as well as looking at ways to explore your personal family history through cooking. And March is Women’s History Month, so we’ll end with sharing some girl-power eats in honour of some of our favourite historical heroines.

World history in your kitchen:  
Historical recipes are an amazing way to see what foods were popular in other times...and you might be surprised how far back in time you can cook! Start by  looking at this food timeline with your child as a way to figure out where in history you’d like to start, and to see what kinds of dishes you might like to try. We love this simple recipe for Roman stuffed dates, and this approximation of Ancient Egyptian bread is sure to be a hit. Medieval pottage (think vegetable soup) and the cakes that might have caused the Great Fire Of London are also certain to get your kids interested in a little extracurricular history reading.

Family history:
Exploring your personal family history through cooking is a wonderful way to learn more about your heritage. Enjoying a recipe your grandmother used to make can be almost like time-travelling—and making it together with your children is a good way to build some new taste-memories for your kids too. Family recipes can also teach you about your roots by showing you how your ancestors used locally-available ingredients. Once you’ve recreated some of your favourites, consider capturing some of your family’s favourite recipes in your very own family recipe book—it’s a gift to your future family cooks!

Eat like a hero:
Historic recipes are also a great way to feel closer to your heroes. In honor of Women’s History Month, we picked three of our favourite heroes to get us started: Julia Child, Frida Kahlo and Mae Jemison.  Everyone remembers Julia Child as the woman who taught Americans the art of French cooking—but did you know she was also a secret agent? In fact, one of the first projects she worked on involved developing a recipe for shark repellent! Make some invisible ink in her honour—and while you’re breaking out a little kitchen science, read up on Mae Jemison, who is a doctor, a dancer and the first female African-American astronaut. To celebrate Dr. Jemison, we're sharing NASA's space-station approved PB & J wrap—we think it will give your kids a taste for space! Finally, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo believed that cooking was part of celebrating your history (she once said, “if we are not our colours, aromas, our people, what are we?”) and she loved to throw elaborate dinner parties for guests. Try her mole recipe (tell your kids it’s got chocolate in it!) or this simple zucchini salad.

Have you got a favourite historical recipe or family recipe that you'd like to share? Who are your kids' favourite heroines they're celebrating for Women's History Month?  We'd love to see your photos and recipes on our Facebook Page—and here here's how to contribute to our library of family-tested recipes.

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