Medieval recipe preparation educates children on food in the Middle Ages, as well as medieval customs and lifestyle. Children delight in projects that allow them to get their hands dirty, and there are no shortage of medieval recipes that allow this opportunity. Make some staple foods to serve as part of a medieval feast.
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Homemade bread, a staple of the medieval period, was served with nearly every meal. In fact, meals were often served on a slab of day-old bread called a trencher before wooden and metal trenchers became commonplace. Children can mix basic bread ingredients -- flour, water, oil, yeast, salt and honey. Kids might enjoy optional ingredients, such as seeds, nuts, sprouts or raisins. Make children responsible for kneading the dough, placing it in a pan, and setting the timer. Adults should put the bread into and remove it from the oven.
A medieval feast might include several varieties of meat, including cured ham, smoked venison, freshly caught fish and roasted poultry. Adults should always handle hot dishes and carving knives, but children can season the meat dishes and help plate them on serving platters. Take advantage of this opportunity to teach children about meat preservation techniques in a time before refrigeration. Medieval cooking relies heavily on vinegar, salt, sugar and honey to help preserve meat. Spices, a rare commodity, showed affluence. Spices often featured among the upper classes include pepper, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Medieval diners feasted on gingerbread, although the recipe is a bit different from modern gingerbread. Ingredients for a basic medieval gingerbread include warm honey water, honey, breadcrumbs, ground ginger and cinnamon. Children can mix the ingredients to make the dough and cut the dough into shapes. Gingerbread men were prevalent in medieval times, but kids can take artistic liberty to create any desired shape. While modern gingerbread is a medium or dark brown, medieval gingerbread is lighter in color and was often tinted bright colors. Use natural dyes such as beet juice to remain consistent with medieval techniques.