Cook up some Civil War era dishes during the study of a young slave’s quest for freedom.
by Susan Rowan Masters
Regular contributor to the Gazette
October 1, 2008
A Teaching Guide for Night Journey to Vicksburg
(with printable option)
By Susan Rowan Masters www.srmasters.com
“This is a beautifully-written, powerful story that focuses on a single individual’s life in order to communicate broader issues of bravery, self-sacrifice and the rewards of freedom. Susan Rowan Masters uses wonderfully descriptive language to convey the terrors of slavery and escape, and does so in a way that avoids sensationalism. This is a moving story that will be of great interest to readers of all ages. While the novel certainly could be used as part of a history curriculum, it will also stand alone as a coming-of-age story that transcends a single historical moment.” –Civil War Book Review
Journey with Jubi, a slave boy, in his quest for freedom by cooking up the foods he and his sisters share along the way. Peek inside the ‘croker sack’ Henry Long gives to Jubi and you will find old-fashioned cornbread called hoecakes as well as a chunk of salt pork.
Hoecakes are thin cornbread originally baked on the blade of a hoe over an open fire (pgs. 23-24).
You will need:
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
3 Tbs. self-rising flour (or 3 Tbs. regular flour, 1/2 tsp. of baking powder)
1 teaspoon salt
a large bowl, a large spoon, a spatula and a griddle.
Combine the salt, flour and cornmeal in the bowl, adding enough hot water to make a batter. Pour a little on the griddle. When it sizzles, add half of the batter. Let the cake brown on one side. Then adding a little oil first, flip to the other side. When done, repeat with the other half of the batter.
Salt pork is pork cut from the belly of the hog, preserved in brine in large barrels (pgs. 23-24). (Note: as salt pork shrinks during cooking, select a piece one-third larger than seems necessary to feed the class.)
You will need:
salt pork (thick slices of bacon can be substituted.)
potatoes and cabbage (optional)
Place the pork in the kettle, cover with water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils pour it off to remove the salt. Pour on more boiling water at once. Boil very slowly, almost simmering, until done. When tender take it out, remove the skin and bones and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Serve with potatoes and cabbage, each boiled separately.
For more information and a complete Teacher’s Guide to Night Journey to Vicksburg, visit www.silvermoonpress.com. For school orders, call Silver Moon Press: