A Fine Dessert

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A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Sophie Blackall (2015)

Blackberry Fool is a simple dessert of blackberries and cream. The word ‘fool’ might have originated from the French word ‘fouler’ which means to mash. This lovely book takes the reader across four centuries of making a tasty treat of mashed blackberries, sugar, and whipped cream. Throughout the centuries, these four families made the same dessert with slight differences. Historically, there are differences in everything from how the blackberries and cream are collected to the ice boxes used to keep the dessert cool. For example, the first family beat the cream with clean soft twigs wrapped together, the next family used a metal whisk, the next family used a cast iron rotary beater, and the last family used an electric mixer. Reading through these near identical stories, the reader also finds some very distinct differences. One family is a slave and her daughter who cook for the master’s dinner while only one family is a boy and his father cooking instead of a girl and her mother.

This story logically lends itself to studying comparison and contrast with students. I have made a compare and contrast chart for anyone who is interested in doing this with their children. You can find it HERE.

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Well, there’s really only one important thing to do after reading this book…. make some Blackberry Fool! The recipe is at the back of the book. Let me show you the page.  Enjoy!

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