Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pioneer Day Celebration

Our co-op got together today to celebrate the pioneers.  For those who don't know, July 24th is Pioneer Day.  It celebrates the day the first group of Latter-Day Saint pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in Utah in 1847.  In Utah, it is a HUGE celebration, perhaps rivaling Independence Day celebrations.  But around here in Missouri, it's only observed by the few LDS who make a point to celebrate it.  

The kids posed for a picture at our Pioneer Day picnic.
We didn't do anything huge, but we wanted to introduce the children to some of our history.  Mostly we sang pioneer songs, like "Pioneer Children" and played some pioneer-style games, like "tug of war" and "jumping rope."  We also enjoyed some really tasty foods the pioneers had eaten.  We had potato cakes with ketchup and Swiss Apple-Cherry pie.  Yum!  You can find the recipes for them here, if you want to try for yourself.  Another friend made up a recipe she found in Nauvoo for Haymaker's Switchel, a pioneer version of Gatorade.  Apparently, when the pioneers would go work in the field they would take some of this drink to stay hydrated.  I agree it would do the job!  It was a sort of ginger root tea flavored with molasses, lemon juice, and vinegar.  Two out of my three girls slurped it down.  And I thought it was pretty good, too.  A bit like a "real" ginger ale. 

I tried to make some ice cream by following this recipe, but the bag started to leak and we just poured the cold and sweetened half and half over our pie. :)  That'll teach me to try things out BEFORE showing them to the kids!  They were so excited about my promised ice cream that we had to have a cone when we got back from the park.  We spent the rest of our morning chatting and playing in the park.  It was such a gorgeous day we couldn't let it go to waste!

Coming soon: NOT Back to School Party!  What would you do to celebrate homeschooling?
My girls playing while waiting for our friends.

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