We just finished our very first Feast for the Famous and I wanted to share the beginnings of this fun meal, and the details of it.
As our first term (of three) started to come to a close we started thinking of a way to celebrate all the beautiful books we had read. I wanted something that held up the integrity of the “program” we are using – meaningful, rich, and full of connections, as well as something that could easily be replicated for future celebrations. I was inspired by my friend, Amanda, who has started a book club for some local homeschoolers to celebrate books and I wanted to do something similar within our family. (More on her book club soon! Today was our first celebration and it was amazing!)
Then it hit me – a feast! My boys adore food, and I knew they would love a feast to celebrate the books we had read. I limited the selection to nine characters as that seemed manageable to me. Once they had their nine men (it just so happened to all be men this term!) they thought long and hard about a food that matched the man. The food was assigned based on either their travels/location, on their mention of food in the book, or on their temperment (I will explain all that below!)
I made a menu for each place setting. The boys came up with all the little sayings for it save for Martin Luther’s. They thought up all of the food connection save for Archimede’s. We were all stuck on that one and my sister helped us out with that idea! (Thanks Essie!)The very first food connection they made for our Feast for the Famous was to have aged cheese for Leonardo DiVinci. I thought that was so funny, and made sure to have a good selection for them. We had a blue cheese, horseradish cheese, and white cheddar. Having little items such as pickles and jalapenos was a huge help! Plus – these jalapenos from Trader Joe’s are fantastic. If you’re into hot things we recommend them.
The pickles were chosen because of the pickle quote from Benjamin Franklin (and. hello. easy.)
The jalapenos were Judah’s idea because of Michelangelo’s fiery temper, combined with his sweet artistic skills.
I didn’t photograph all of the food for our Feast for the Famous, but the cheese bread was our beloved Pao De Queijo. It is naturally gluten free and is delicious. Wesley chose it for its airy qualities, which reminded him of Persius flying.
As mentioned, my sister suggested the Greek salad for Archimede’s and that fit well.
Sweet peas were a natural fit with Gregor Mendel given his study of genetics with peas.
Marco Polo was a generic “Chinese food” from the boys, so I chose PF Changs knock off chicken lettuce wraps. This has been a favorite go to recipe and has a delicious flavor.
The chicken soup was simple as I tend to have a pot of broth on the stove going most of the time, so I just made sure to add extra veggies and chicken and spices.
Our Plutarch reading on Marcus Cato mentioned that he has one of the first known written recipes for fruit tarts, and while I didn’t attempt to hunt down his recipe, we did make fruit tarts for our own meal. Judah made lemon curd from our very own lemon tree! The other one was pomegranate jam. This was the only meal item that had grain in it. I am trying to avoid all grain at the moment, so part of my challenge was making all of this grain free. With these I just skipped on eating them. Licking bowls during prep time.The napkins came from Ikea and we thought they were a great fit with our theme. My gold toned flatware was a yard sale find (brand new, settings for 12!)
A good friend has been teaching the boys art and they painted their own Mona Lisa’s with her. Since we had studied DaVinci’s life these were perfect to have on display!Some of the beautiful books enjoyed this term. We are following ambleside online and have just finished term one for year three and four. I didn’t photograph this either, but as a side activity for the boys I took five of the men (of our nine chosen for the feast) and assigned a tea to each man – for example, Benjamin Franklin was Bohea, the tea believed to have been involved in the Boston Tea Party, and Marco Polo was Lapsang Souchong, a smoked Asian tea. They had to match the tea with the man based on the tea description. They love their tea so had fun with that. We had a fun night together and the boys are already eyeing our term 2 books to determine who we will celebrate at our Feast for the Famous term 2 celebration.