Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Night To Remember

This past Saturday was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  I have been interested in the Titanic since I was a young child.  There was no way I was going to let this day pass without some kind of commemoration!  I decided to hold a dinner using a menu from the book, Last Dinner on the Titanic.  The kids (mostly, the girls) poured over the book, looking at all of the menus from first, second and third class.  First class had 10 courses for the last dinner on the Titanic!  I was not going to make 10 courses.  Besides, in first class, there was alcohol served between each course, and we do not have alcohol in our home.  That left us with having either a second or third class dinner.  Since Tom Sawyer very much wanted to use the china (which would not be in third class) and the food in third class was similar to what we normally eat (lots of soup and vegetable dishes), we decided to go with the second class menu.  We decided to offer baked haddock and roasted turkey.  We did have to adapt the recipes slightly to go along with our food allergy diet.  Here is what we ate:

Second Class Menu

First Course ~ Soup
Consommé Olga

Second Course ~ Main Dishes
Baked Haddock
Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
Green Peas
Boiled Rice
Roasted Potatoes

Third Course ~ Desserts
American Ice Cream ~ Lemon or Vanilla
Cheese and Biscuits
Fresh Fruit

After Dinner
Tea or Coffee

The consommé was adapted from one of the consommé recipes in the book.  We did not like the second class choice, so we took our idea from the first class menu.  It was basically a vegetable broth with seasoning.  Tom Sawyer studied the parts of the book that talked about napkin folding and how to lay out the crystal and china.  He really enjoys setting the table and playing restaurant, so this was the fun part for him.  Maybe he'll have a restaurant some day?  He also helped design the fruit display.  On the Titanic the large fruit displays with fresh fruit were considered especially impressive.  The fruit in our display was a week's worth of fruit for us.  The girls helped with all of the cooking.

Once dinner was ready, we called everyone to the table with the song, "The Roast Beef of Old England" (found on YouTube).  On the Titanic, this song was used to call everyone to dinner with a bugler.  We listened to period music throughout dinner (also found on YouTube). (YouTube is my favorite resource this week.  I am able to go and find a video clip or music on almost anything we are studying and enhance our learning.)  Everyone assumed their roles as passengers on the Titanic, and we talked about period history.  We also talked about how the Titanic was built and how it was "unsinkable".  We drank sparkling grape juice and worked our way through the three courses.  Unfortunately, I only got a picture of dessert.  During the Edwardian period, it was common to have something cold, something warm, and something sweet and tangy.  The kids were excited about getting extra desserts.

After dinner we decided to go on a walk and measure the length of the Titanic (888 feet).  As we were walking along (all dressed up), marking the street with chalk every 25 feet (the length of our tape measure), the police passed us.  They turned around and passed us again very slowly.  We were all prepared to explain we were the neighborhood crazy homeschoolers, but they passed us by.  Whew!  I guess they decided that we were strange but not dangerous.

We finished off the evening with the movie, A Night to Remember.  Most of the kids wandered off before the film was over, since it was so late.  I liked this movie better than its more popular cousin, Titanic.  We plan to watch the Unsinkable Molly Brown this weekend.  I am glad we were able to do something special to remember this major world tragedy.  By preparing the Titanic's last dinner, the kids got in some home economics, social skills, math, history and music.

Please visit learning all the time for more great resources.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Excellent! I enjoyed reading this!

  2. This is a fantastic idea...I bet the kids won't soon forget it!
    Isn't YouTube amazing?! I turn to it a lot also...there is an absolute wealth of information on there!
    Thanks for linking :)

  3. What a great way to remember this event! Well done!

  4. One of my kids is Titanic obsessed, so we also celebrated the anniversary of the sinking, although this year just with watching some Titanic documentaries. Last year, I made a seven course dinner and re-created some of the first class menu from that night, but I wish I had known about the second and third class options...that would have made things easier! I LOVE your table decorations and I laughed out loud at the thought of the police passing by your family all dressed up and measuring out the Titanic length!!!

  5. I absolutely love this!! Can I feature this on my History/Geography Meme? I must do this when we get to this point in our history studies. I have a replica cup that I bought when we went to a museum exhibit about the Titanic at the Maryland Science Center.

  6. I'm glad you linked this up at Look What We Did!!

  7. What a great idea. I am sorry I didn't think of it. I would love it if you would link this idea up with me on Friday, at Hammock Tracks Weekend Edition. I think my readers would enjoy seeing what you did.