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A Concoction for Dinner

Recommended Grade Level(s)

  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Primary Subject Area(s)

  • History
  • Mathematics

Related Artifacts

Activity Description

Have students double or triple the recipe for Cousin Jack pastry (meat pie with potatoes and vegetables in a dough shell) given the number of students in the class. Teach safe cooking behaviors and have them measure the ingredients. Before baking the pastry, discuss the chemistry of adding heat (using specific temperatures) to cook dough. While enjoying the pastry, discuss the differences between the students' diets and the diets of young men of yesteryear.

Cousin Jack Recipe

  • Ingredients for pie dough: 3 cups flour, 1 ¼ cups butter Crisco or regular Crisco, ½ cup cold water, 1 teaspoon salt.
    1. Mix the flour and salt.
    2. Then cut in the shortening with pastry blender. Keep cutting in until it all seems to be cut together.
    3. Now put in the water all at once and mix with a spoon, until you have a clump of dough that stays together. The dough will be very moist.
    4. Work just enough flour in with your hands to make it pliable and soft. Hint: Use a lot of flour when rolling, also.
  • Ingredients for filling: 1 pound of ¼ inch cubed steak (round, sirloin, ground chuck), 4 cups of ½ inch cubed pealed potatoes, 1 cup of chopped onions, ½ cup of ¼ inch rutabaga, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
    1. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll out one at a time into a 12-inch circle and ¼-inch thickness. (Use lots of flour when rolling dough.)
    2. Fill each circle of dough with one large cup of the filling and place 2 tablespoons of butter on the top.
    3. Now fold the crust over the mixture. (It is now a half circle.) Roll the excess edge up to meet the form of the ingredients; you should have a half moon shape.
    4. Make about four ¼ inch slits on the top with a sharp knife.
    5. Gently pick up the pastie with a spatula and place on a large cookie sheet and cook them in a preheated oven, for 1 hour at 375-400 degrees F.

Standards Addressed

  1. History
    1. Grade 4 Standards
      1. H2.4.2: Describe the experiences of pioneers moving west.
      2. H3.4.1: Compare and/or contrast their daily lives with children in Nevada's past.
    2. Grades 6-8 Standards
      1. H1.[6-8].7: Explore the lure of the West and the reality of life on the frontier as it relates to communication, farming and water issues, mining, and ranching.
  2. Mathematics
    1. Grade 4 Standards
      1. 1.4.2: Identify fractions and compare fractions with like denominators using models, drawings, and numbers.
    2. Grade 7 Standards
      1. 1.7.2: Translate among fractions, decimals, and percents, including fractional percents.

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