Monday, October 17, 2011

Celtic history co-op. Week 9: Feast

Week 9: Each family prepared a Celtic dish to share at a feast.

Bread made from oats, barley, rye and wheat was enjoyed by the Celts and by us today.

Celts ate a northern grain called millet. This dish contained millet mixed with vegetables such as carrots, peas and onions and herbs such as salt, pepper and garlic which were available to the Celts.

A stew of beef, barley and vegetables such as beans an carrots was shared.

 Bread, cheese and apples were available to the Celts.

Oats, raisins, honey and nuts could have been mixed together to form deserts. Grapes would have come from the Greeks and Romans in the south. Although they do grow in Northern Europe, they were not native and wouldn't have been a common food.

Apples and oats were commonly eaten.


To read more about our hands-on history activities please visit our History Page.

Celtic history co-op. Week 8: Food

Week 8: We made oat cakes in the Celtic style.

The Celts lived in Northern Europe and ate foods similar to the Vikings. Since barley, oats, millet and rye grains grow well in cold weather they were available. Vegetables such as onions, beans, leeks, carrots and cabbage and fruits such as apples, pear and berries were eaten. Wild boar and deer were hunted, and trout and salmon were caught in rivers. Milk, butter and cheese was produced from cows. A weak beer was a favorite drink. These foods were often eating plain, or mixed together to create cakes, breads and soups.

Interestingly enough, many of these foods are enjoyed today by the Germans which are descended from the Celts. Although some new foods such as potatoes have been introduced, soups made from beans, vegetables and lentils as well as breads made from rye, wheat and barley are very common.

The first step in creating oat cakes was grinding the grain. In the time of the Celts this was done by hand, but later improvements in technology lead to the mill.

Our barley and wheat grains were ground using cleaned paving stones and washed rocks.

The ground grains were mixed with honey, rolled oats, salt and water and then pressed flat into cakes. Then the flat cakes were fried on the stove-top.

Apples were chopped and mixed with honey, apple leaves and berries and then boiled for a sweet drink to accompany the cakes. The drink was served hot.

Berries and apples were mashed with a mortar and pestle to make a jam for the top of the oat cakes.


After enjoying the Celtic food, the kids began experimenting with improved methods for grinding grain. They found that by using two paving stones instead of a rock and stone, a much greater yield was produced.


Celts
Vikings
Scythians
Ancient China





Thursday, October 6, 2011

Celtic history co-op. Week 7: Clothing (Card Weaving)

Week 7: We wove belts using the card weaving technique.

Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tommie de Paola is a picture book which entertains children and teaches about the cloth making process. It is one of my personal favorite children's books. The text makes the process sound so simple as it clearly breaks down the steps.

Celts often wore long shirts or robes tied at the waist with a belt. The edges of much of their clothing contained decorative woven strips. Both the belts and the decorative trims were made using the card weaving technique.

Card weaving is done using bone, bark, or rock as a tool for creating patterns. Typically the cards were square with four holes, but occasionally they contained a different number of sides.

We used old playing cards to create our cards and constructed a simple backstrap loom by tying (orange) yarn around the waist. Shuttles were constructed from scrap styrofoam.


The projects were set-up following patterns (see links below) which required a lot of assistance from parents.


Then the belts were woven. I was extremely impressed with the boys. They were all completely engaged in the entire process and did a wonderful job. The goal during the three hour session was to get the project explained and underway so that the belts could be finished  during the week at home.

The belts turned out beautiful.

To read more about our history activities please visit our History Page or click on one of the cultures below.
Celts
Vikings
Scythians
Ancient China 

This post is linked to:
Around the Kamp Fire



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