Saturday, February 23, 2008


Last week we had great fun learning about the state of Massachusetts. It is a really neat state and we have found another place that we would like to visit. The biggest drawing card for me would be all the history that happened there. I would love to go see where early American history and colonial history happened. The Coast there also sounds very neat, we think going to the Cape Cod area would be lots of fun.
Venessa kindly shared some information about Mass. as that is where they live.

"We live in MA - we are not natives tho and I thought I would share some things that I found were different here... The roads, esp. in Boston are very windy - they were made from the old cow paths! Grinder or Hoagies are subs, Frappes are shakes. There is so much history here! It is fun to go to see and learn about the different things. This week we are going to walk the freedom trail in Boston. Another thing is there are not town squares or such a thing as downtown. There are town centers. The towns are very close together so you are never just out in the country. Also MA is know for cranberry bogging. We have not ever gotten to see that but it is very interesting. The ship that Katie mentioned (0ld Ironside from the war of 1812) is on the freedom trail - we have gotten to tour it a few times!"
Venessa mentioned about some of the different words they use there, in the book we were reading we found a few more:
  • Barrel: Trash can
  • Bubbler: Water fountain
  • Carriage: Shopping cart
  • Elastics: Rubber bands
  • the Hub: Boston
  • Spa: A small convenience store

Did you know that Bay Stater Harvey Ross Ball created the smiley face in the 1960's? We had to pull out our smiley face stickers and decorate with them.

Did you know that Dr. Seuss ( Theddor Seuss Geisel) was from Mass.? We enjoyed reading a bunch of Dr. Seuss books. You can see a video of Megan reading one below. Jonathan read "The Cat in the Hat" for his reading last week. To see a list of other famous people from MA go here. We also remembered that Mitt Romney is from there.

Did you know that Basketball is the official sport of Mass. ? It was invented by James Neismith a teacher from Springfield.

We enjoyed reading a book about the Pilgrims in Plymouth. We love early American history and are especially interested in the colonists this year since we had spent time studying about them for our home school co-op class last fall. I also found a site that talked about the food at the first Thanksgiving dinner. They had a recipe for Venison steak that I decided to try, it was very good!

I also figured that I should make Boston Baked Beans since they are such a well known item that comes from Massachusetts. Ken doesn't like dry beans and I don't like sweet beans but I decided we would make it anyway. I made it for Lunch when Ken was gone. I ate it without saying anything but the kids decided on there own that they are not found of sweet beans either. So we gave some away.

We also read that Massachusetts is the leader in Cranberry producing so I decided we should try some. I decided to put them in some Cranberry Apple muffins. It was a yummy recipe but my family decided that cranberries are a bit sour for their tastes. We ended up giving some of these away as well. If you like cranberries however you would probably like these muffins. I want to try the recipe again and substitute June berries (which grow around here so we have them for free) for the Cranberries. I thought I would share the recipe with you so here it is:

Apple Cranberry Muffins

1 1/4 cup flour (I used wholewheat)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. orange peel
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
4 Tbsp oil
1-2 dessert apples
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cups walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffins cups or use paper wrappers. Mix dry ingredients and then mix in the egg, juice and oil. Mix in the apples, cranberries and nuts. Fill the cups 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy.

We also made Boston Brown Bread and very much enjoyed it. You can read about how we made it here.

The other delicious Boston recipe that we tried was Boston Creme Pie. That was a hit with everybody. Yummy!

We would still love to hear more about Massachusetts if you would like to share anything. This week we studied Maryland which was quite fun and I much appreciated a lengthy e-mail from Michelle about that state. I will share about that soon. Next week we are "going" to South Carolina and would love to hear what you know and like about that state!

(I am so excited, spell check is finally working again! I hope that makes it easier for everybody to read my posts!)


martha said...

Aw. you'll be coming to our neck of the woods and we're leaving! ;)

All in a Day said...

Melissa and I sat and watched the video of Megan reading and had to laugh. What a cutie!

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