We are studying ancient Egypt in history right now. This past summer I ran across a book called Food and Cooking in Ancient Egypt. It listed several recipes for food that was likely eaten by ancient Egyptians. Our study of history is primarily comprised on hands on activities and living books so having an ancient Egyptian meal fit the bill. My oldest son and I spent a couple hours preparing several recipes. My younger son helped out a little while before running off to play with his sister.
For our meal we made Ful Medames, Dukkah Dip, Date Balls, Chicken Kebabs, and Honey Cakes. The recipe for the honey cakes came from Step Into: Ancient Egypt.
The Ful Medames was served with fried eggs and pita bread and is basically a breakfast meal. It is a slightly fried mashed bean mixture. The Dukkah Dip was quite interesting. You first dip bread into olive oil and then into the Dukkah Dip which contains ground up spices and nuts. The flavor was interesting and not too spicy for the kids. This was probably the most interesting dish to make and eat although it didn’t rank high in taste tests with my kids. We adapted the Chicken Kebabs so they weren’t totally like the recipe. We did ours in the oven and they ended up being quite bland. The date balls were a squishy messy and fun thing to make. We squished up the dates and I added honey and then we rolled them in ground up nuts. The kids enjoyed them too. The honey cakes were fun to make. While we didn’t have flour like ancient Egyptians (with bits of stone or sand in it) we did use whole grain flour. These were difficult to get the right consistency, but we adapted and made three honey cakes. They weren’t a big hit taste wise, but they were fun to make.
Here you will see my son’s plate. Clockwise starting at the top you will see a date ball with a fried egg in the middle of the plate. Next to that on the right is a piece of Roti bread. Continuing clockwise he has a small piece of a honey cake. The next item is the Ful Medames and then a few pieces of chicken. Above his place are two dishes. One is supposed to be olive oil, but I substitued butter instead. The second dish has the Dukkah Dip.
When everything we ready we all sat down to eat our meal. While not exactly like an ancient Egyptian meal they were able to try new flavors and textures of food that were a little reminiscent of ancient Egypt. We have about six more weeks of fun times in ancient Egypt. We enjoy sinking deep into a time period of history and spending awhile there to let the information stick in the long term memory. Plus it is fun. I’m sure many of us have memories of history in school where hundreds of years were covered in one hour of class. I don’t even remember learning about ancient Egypt at all in school. Maybe I did, but it didn’t stick around in my long term memory. Today my young son decided to make a little book and started to write a story with a picture. Guess the setting for his story? Yes, ancient Egypt. My goal for history is not for my children to know dates and rulers and spit those out for a test. I want them to know and appreciate what life was like for people who lived long ago even if that means they try a food item that they never want to taste again.