The Duchess Bakes a Cake

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The cake got baked, but the price was high!  -FIAR Manual

This is one of those rows that I expected us to enjoy more than we actually did.  It’s not that we didn’t enjoy it, but I expected that learning about knights and cakes would pretty much be the best unit study ever.  But they just weren’t as enthused as I anticipated.  With that being said, though, we did make some new memories and learned some new things in the process.

We found Europe on the map and placed our story disk there, since most aspects of the Feudal Society took place there.

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We also found Europe on the globe…

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We read about the Middle Ages in our book, Living Long Ago.

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And played with our castle toy…

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We read the book The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola…

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and the boys practiced their scary dragon faces…

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Logan drew one of his signature dragons…

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We played Sleeping Queens (a favorite game of ours).

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Art: Coat of Arms

Conner and Logan each created their own Coat of Arms…

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(Logan’s has a dragon, of course.)

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It took Logan all of 5 minutes to think of an idea and put it down onto paper.  Then he ran off to play.

Conner, on the other hand, spent about 20 minutes flipping through the idea book, then another 20 minutes was spent sketching his creation out, with many revisions.

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They both turned out pretty cool, though, and I love how they are each so different (the pictures and the boys).   🙂

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Science/History: Catapults

Raphael helped them build a couple of catapults…

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And we tested them out with food of course (mini marshmallows).

And carrots right into the mouth!

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“Bakery” Tour:

Our Five in a Row friends are back home after an extended summer absence, so we decided to arrange a field trip to a bakery for this row.  I called around to several different bakeries and was turned away from all of them (because of “liability issues” or “confidential recipe information”…lame!), but I finally got lucky with Paradise Bakery.  The manager was so sweet and said she’d be happy to have us come tour!

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This facility was relatively small, so they don’t make all of their food on-site, which means we were limited to what we could experience there.

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But we talked with the baker for a little while.

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And saw the back area.

And she gave all the kids free cookies and drinks at the end!

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She was so, so sweet and generous.

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It ended up feeling like more of a “small food chain restaurant” tour and less of a “bakery” tour, but it was still a fun experience with good friends.  🙂

Science:  Yeast

We did an experiment with three empty water bottles, each containing a different leavening agent (baking soda, baking powder, or yeast), and three uninflated balloons, but I can’t seem to find the pictures anywhere!  (*updated* I found the pictures!)

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The gist was that we added the activating ingredient to each bottle and quickly put the balloon over the top to see which leavening agent caused the balloon to rise the most.

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The baking powder started off the strongest by blowing up the largest at first…

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But after about an hour the yeast balloon had inflated the largest and the other two had fizzled out…

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Baking Bread:

I got the idea from my friend to bake two loaves of bread, one with yeast and one without, and debated for a while whether it was worth the time investment and having to waste a whole loaf of bread just in the name of science, but I ended up going for it!  And I’m so glad we did it.  I set up the ingredients and told the boys we were going to make two identical loaves of bread, except that one would be missing just the yeast.

They greased the pans for me…

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And we started activating the yeast in the warm sugar water…

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Then we started mixing everything together.

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Conner was in charge of the yeast-less bread (always on the left) and Logan was in charge of the yeast bread (on the right).

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When each loaf was mixed and kneaded enough, we set them in bowls with warm rags to rise for about an hour…

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Then we punched them down and placed them in their baking dishes and let them rise for another 30 minutes…

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(You can see that the loaf on the right- the yeast one- is larger and fluffier.)

And this is how they looked after being baked…

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The yeast-less one (on the left) was dense and pale and didn’t look edible.  The yeasty one (on the right) looked delicious!

I cut it into slices and made sandwiches for lunch…

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and it was so, SO good!  We ate the whole loaf.

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Medieval Feast:

Aside from the bread-making, I think our favorite part of this row was the medieval feast we did with our friends.

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We read the story Medieval Feast by Aliki.

Miss Becky brought the roasted chicken legs, the “trenchers” and the “ale”, while I supplied the roasted asparagus and parsnips, and fresh figs with honey.

Logan helped me get the parsnips ready for roasting…

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We also let the kids decorate their cups with “gemstones” to give our meal a royal feel.

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Some of the kids watched the Reading Rainbow episode about Rumplestiltskin because it was all about the Middle Ages.

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When we were all ready for the feast, Miss Becky served each person their “trencher” which was a piece of flat bread that the people in the middle ages used for plates.  When they were done eating, they often gave their plates to the poor people to eat.

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Then she filled up their cups with “ale” (ginger ale) since they often drank beer or wine instead of water during the middle ages since the water was often not clean enough to drink.

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We used our fingers to eat all of our food.

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And we had cloth napkins

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The girls had their own costumes.  🙂

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We toasted!

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It was fun.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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