School Projects: Cooking Sappawn

When I was growing up, I HATED studying history. I deplored the memorization of facts that I cared nothing about. I DETESTED going over and over dates that had to be memorized. I really never had a good grasp of many of the events in history that have shaped our current world.
But when I started homeschooling my child, I knew that we needed to dive deep into history. I knew she could learn far more than what she was being taught in school, and I refused to allow her to remain at a level below what she was capable of. I have mentioned before that we use Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World books for history. We adore this series. It has been a blessing to all of us. It as given me the review I desperately needed in order to adequately teach history, and it has presented a very complex history in a very simple way. Isn’t that what good teaching is all about?
One of the aspects I love about this curriculum is that Bauer encourages supplemental reading and hands-on projects to help the information gel in the student’s memory. She gives so many excellent resources for accompanying literature as well as giving ideas for projects.
This year we are studying the world from the time of the Protestant Reformation. We have moved on through the historical timeline and are now at the colonization of North America. The reading is fascinating, but we have enjoyed the hands-on projects even more. I found a fantastic book at the library called Hands-On History: Projects About Colonial Life, which has some terrific ideas.
My children are always up for a cooking project. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? This was a fun project about cooking meals that the colonists would have eaten. Sappawn is a porridge dish made from milk, corn meal, and salt.

You mix 4 cups of milk with 1/4 cup of cornmeal and 1 teaspoon of salt. You stir it together and cook it over low eat for a LOOOOOONG time. The directions say that it will take roughly twelve minutes, but it actually took more like an hour. However, it only adds to the accuracy of the projects because it would have taken all morning to cook sappawn over a fire in a kettle.

Big Sister was willing to try it, and even liked the taste of it. The recipe says that you can add raisins, maple syrup, or sugar, but we preferred ours plain. Little Sister would not even try it. Stinkbug!

Do you have cooking projects that you like to do with your children?


  1. SweetMissMagnolia says

    we try them–but usually mom ends up finishing the cooking LOL–my son is 7 and this is our first year using SOTW and we love it-have the activity book on order and can't wait till it gets here…..the native american festival you blogged about in moundville sounds amazing….we'll have to see about attending one year….

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