Retro Recipe Challenge #10: Story Book Food

November 9, 2007 at 11:03 pm | Posted in Family Meals | 2 Comments

I was so excited to read Naomi Devlin’s Retro Recipe Challenge #10: Story Book Food. The challenge was to revisit my childhood story books and find a food item to recreate using retro recipe resources. The original recipe must have been published or originally made before 1980.

Growing up, I loved to listen to my parents read me Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book, The Foot Book and Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. These books have a great rhythm that my kids love today. Back then, it was Curious George swallowing the puzzle piece, The Little House being moved back to the country and Harry the Dirty Dog changing from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots, that captivated me.

Early on in my teaching career, I stumbled upon a fabulous children’s author, Patricia Polacco. The Keeping Quilt, Rechenkas Eggs and The Bee Tree are just some of my favorites of hers. I love how she weaves her stories with tales of family, tradition, magic and food.So, for my Story Book Food Challenge (I hope this is okay), I drew upon my favorite children’s author, Patricia Polacco and her great work, The Bee Tree. In this story, young Mary Ellen finds herself bored of reading and wishing she could be outside running and playing. At this, her Grampa suggests they go on a bee hunt. Soon, Mary Ellen, her Grampa and other town characters are chasing after bees in search of a bee hive. When the hive is found, they pull out several pieces of honeycomb to enjoy back at home with the towns people.After the bee hive hunt, Grampa invites everyone back to their house for baking powder biscuits, fresh brewed tea, and the honey. Add some music, dancing, laughs, and tales of bee tree hunts, and you’ve got yourself a party!Wanting to recreate this magical event, I consulted my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, circa 1969. (This was a bridal shower gift of hers.) Here is the recipe for Baking Powder Biscuits:

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
3 t baking powder
½ t salt
¼ c shortening
2/3cup-3/4 cup milk

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening. Make a well and pour in 2/3 cup milk, mix. Add more milk as needed. Kneed gently on floured surface for 10-12 strokes. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thick. Use a circle dough cutter to cut biscuits. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.




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  1. My favorite posting yet! So special and a great “mom tip” for a reading activity with the kids.

  2. Karen, I’m so happy to have found your blog again!! It had stopped working in my Google reader and I thought you’d taken a vacation – but thanks to your recent comment on my blog I found you again!!! Love all the newest recipes, especially the Gingerbread cookies! And your kids are adorable!! I’ll be reading 😉


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