Monday, February 24, 2014

Doin' It Up Delaware Style

As I explained to the kiddos tonight as we put up our fact wall, "You could drive from end to end of Delaware in less time than it takes to drive to here from Grandma and Papa's house."  The second smallest state in the nation, at my first perusal, didn't seem to have many other claims to fame, other than the obvious that it was "The First State" (it's nickname) to officially ratify the US Constitution (on December 7, 1787, by the way).

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my research to my boss, Ketra (hi Ketra! *waves*), who reminded me that one of the most prominent things about Delaware is its business law.  In 1899, Delaware passed very relaxed business laws making it easy (and enticing!) for corporations to establish themselves in the state. In fact, more Fortune 500 states establish themselves in Delaware (even if they are headquartered elsewhere) than any other state in the nation.  While interesting, I was a by stymied on how to share this with Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Then I saw that one of the corporations, DuPont, was actually founded and still claims its headquarters in Wilmington, DE.  DuPont has a huge global impact and Wilmington is actually considered to be "The Chemical Capital of the World"  Now we were getting somewhere!  I decided to push on and was soon overwhelmed with things that made Delaware special.  The glorious beaches and sand castle building (more on this tomorrow!), the first log cabin , the first battle the original stars and stripes was flown at, the International Punkin' Chunkin' competition (Noah and Kayla are really really excited about this one and want to know if we can try it out) and Barratt's Chapel, considered to be the "Cradle of Methodism", just to name a few.

Needless to say, when I combined this with information on the state bird (Blue Hen Chicken - known for its fighting skills), the state tree (American Holly) and all the rest, we easily sailed through getting the Delaware wall up.  And best of all, the kids are excited about it and ready to learn more.  So so far, my feelings on Delaware are that (like me!) it's small but mighty!

(Kristi's really funny side note:  When trying to explain the blue hen chicken tonight, I told them about soldiers during the war using the chickens to fight each other so they could bet on them.  They both agreed that was pretty ridiculous as I went on to lightly gloss over animal fighting/betting in general.  Never one to miss a moment, the Bean pipes up with "Oh my gosh, Mom, it would have been so cool - they should have used giraffes!  They could fight with their little horns!"  Grant and I both (after we recovered) told her that we didn't think there were ever going to be any giraffe fights....)

I dove right in to some of the cuisine tonight, as well.  Delaware is known for its production of boiler chickens, and some of the oldest recipes in the state prominently feature chicken.  (And don't worry, Bean, lots of seafood, too!) So I tried my hand at a recipe for Delaware Chicken Salad.  According to local legend, ladies perfected their own original chicken salad recipes and kept them a closely guarded secret.  This one went over well with my crew, for sure.  I paired it with some authentic Vinegar Fries which can be found along many of the boardwalks at the plethora of beaches Delaware claims.  For dessert I made a Peach Pie (the official state dessert of Delaware) with a secret crust!  This disappeared in the blink of an eye.  Seriously.

As I hinted, we may be doing something sand related tomorrow ;-)  You'll want to check back with us then.  Plus I get to go help at Noah's class tomorrow - woo hoo!  So until then...

Delaware Fun Fact of the Day:  Delaware is the only state without any National Park System units such as national parks, seashores, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, and monuments. (And you thought I was kidding about it being difficult to find Delaware info!)

Cinderella came for lunch today (She ate mac & Cheese and blueberry yogurt)

This is the crust for the pie about 10 mins after it came out of the oven, wish I would have grabbed my camera to show you the original poof!

Top secret recipes just for chicken salad!

Delaware Chicken Salad (everyone here loved this recipe, by the way)

Boardwalk Vinegar Fries - it's official we're a crispy/crunchy fry family.  Other than Mikayla, everyone would pass at a second go on these

Peach Pie!

The crust was a HUGE hit on this.  I can honestly say it is the most unique pie crust I have ever made.  (I mean, egg whites and Saltines - really?!?!?)  Everyone agreed that it tasted a whole lot like the meringue cookies I made with the leftovers from Baked Alaska but even better

Our Delaware Wall up and running!

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