History in the Baking

King Alfred's Cakes

I'm trying a new approach to history. We read through several chapters and work our way back through the projects that go with them for a fun review. We are using The Story of the World Vol. 2 by Susan Bauer.  We just read about King Alfred the Great and how he pushed back the viking invaders after they forced him from his castle. The story goes that while Alfred was biding his time, he lived with a farming family who was unaware of his identity as king. While staying with the farmer, he was expected to help out with the chores. When asked to watch the baking cakes while the woman of the house left to tend to other chores, Alfred completely forgot and let them burn. When the farmer's wife returned, she scolded him terribly and he was so ashamed he couldn't bring himself to tell her she was scolding the king.

Our project was to see if the kids were better at tending cakes than King Alfred. We mixed up a small batch of sweet cakes and set them to bake without a timer. I left to tend to other chores and left it up to the kids to watch over the cakes so they wouldn't burn. This was perfectly safe because they watched through a window and never opened the door. After a while, my daughter thought it was time. They were beautiful! My kids are definitely better cooks than King Alfred!

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