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Cooking Up Some American History 


A photo of corn used in Native American cooking

Succotash—Cooking with the “Three Sisters”

Often referred to as the “Three Sisters,” squash, corn, and beans were raised together by many Native American groups. Not only do the three crops help each other grow, they come together to make a delicious and very nutritious meal. Succotash is made using the Three Sisters.

A photo of black-eyed peas used in African cooking

Black-Eyed Peas—A Good-Luck Dish!

Brought from Africa, black-eyed peas are actually a bean. Typically flavored with a portion of their meat allowance, enslaved African Americans created a dish that is still a staple of the South—and will bring you good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Day!

HoeCakes/Mushcakes Recipe from Cooking Up Some American History. 


HoeCakes/Mushcakes were

George Washington’s Favorite!

This was George Washington’s favorite breakfast! He would drown them in honey and butter and down them with his usual three cups of tea!

Waldorf Salad

From a Five-Star Hotel to Your Kitchen!

This famous dish was created by the maitre d’hotel of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel in 1893.

Eggs and Bread For a Bigger Breakfast!

As the hardships of the Civil War reached the average family, stretching available food became a must. Adding breadcrumbs to eggs meant there was more breakfast available.

Jumbles—The Original Doughnuts

This dish is the early American version of what became pretzels, bagels, and doughnuts.

Hardtack—Watch Out for Your Teeth!

Hardtack became a joke with the Union (Northern) troops, who called the biscuits “tooth dullers” and “sheet iron crackers”.

Honey Cake—It’s the Bee’s Knees!

Dessert is always a favorite dish. During World War II, when sugar was scarce, this cake was made with honey.

A photograph of a Honey Cake a World War II dessert
Historical recipe from American history of Potato Floddie

Potato Floddie Recipe from Cooking Up Some American History. 


Historical recipe from American history of Hoecakes Mushcakes
Historical recipe from American history of Hardtack from the Civil War

Hardtack Recipe from Cooking Up Some American History. 


Potato Floddie—Tastes Like...Victory!

Growing your own potatoes in your victory garden meant that you could provide a tasty, filling meal without worrying about rationed food.

A photograph of a vanilla milkshake, hamburger, and french fries

Vanilla Milkshake—I’m All Shook Up!

The 1950s saw the rise of fast food restaurants. A burger and fries served with a milkshake was standard fare as the restaurants spread across the country.

All of the items on this page have lessons and recipes in Cooking Up Some American History, a teacher resource book published by Sunflower Education.

Each of the 50 recipes is accompanied by an brief introduction and a classroom connection. Short, simple, fun activities that connect the recipe to history, math, science, or the language arts. Cooking Up Some American History gives you a way to turn children’s love of food into a love of American history. It is a unique cookbook that provides truly authentic recipes in historical contexts, adding flavor to learning.

Cooking Up Some American History Front Book Cover
Cooking Up Some American History Front Book Cover

From Native American Pumpkin Seeds to Revolutionary War Hasty Pudding, these authentic historical recipes add flavor to learning!

This unique cookbook provides authentic and easy-to-make recipes in historical contexts!