Baker and Candymaker

More than any other artisans, children want to apprentice to the Baker and the Candymaker. The projects are obvious — bake something, make some kind of candy. The trick is to find recipes that can be reasonably completed in approx. 30 minutes. Our recipes are below.

Baker
Candymaker

 

———

BAKER

This project was refined over the years by Nancy Westerfield.

Materials:
— several rolls of refrigerated dough for making biscuits
— cinnamon butter

Prepare the biscuits according to the instructions on the package. Before cooking, coat them with the cinnamon butter.

Alternatively, you can purchase unsweetened dough, and salt the tops.

We originally tried to make the biscuits from scratch, but discovered that takes too long for our Judean Village class period. However, if you have a longer time period, you could make the dough from scratch.

After the baking is complete, the apprentices like to go into social hour and “sell” the things they’ve made for “denarii” — in our monetary system, a denarius is a penny, so really they’re giving the goodies away. But they get pennies, which go to the Baker. The next time the Tax Collector comes around, he or she can shake down the Baker for extra taxes. This contributes to the overall story line of the Judean Village program.

Cultural and religious significance:

For an article that describes how archaeologists reproduced authentic bread making techniques from the Ancient Near East, see Biblical Bread: Baking Like the Ancient Israelites.

 

———

CANDYMAKER

This project was refined by Heather Chen.

Use a recipe for no-bake candy based on dates. The recipe for Date Candy Balls, below, should take about 20-25 minutes to make. The recipe allows participation by 2-4 children: helping chop dates, helping melt and stir the date/butter mixture, molding the mixture into balls and rolling in powdered sugar. Then the apprentices can arrange the candies on a try for “sale” during social hour (see

Date Candy Balls

8 oz. dates
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups Rice Krispies
powdered sugar

Chop the dates fine. Cook the dates and the butter together until butter melts and mixture boils. Cook 4 or 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut. Allow the mixture to cool so that it’s still soft, but cool enough to hold its shape. Add the Rice Krispies, and form into balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar.

After the baking is complete, the apprentices like to go into social hour and “sell” the things they’ve made for “denarii” — in our monetary system, a denarius is a penny, so really they’re giving the goodies away. But they get pennies, which go to the Candymaker. The next time the Tax Collector comes around, he or she can shake down the Candymaker for extra taxes. This contributes to the overall story line of the Judean Village program.

Cultural and religious significance:

The date palm (tamar in Hebrew) was so characteristic of the land of Palestine that the Greeks and Romans called the land “Phoenicia,” or the land of the palms. Dates were an important food source.

In the Psalms, which are poems traditionally supposed to have been written by King David, the tall upright date palm is used as a symbol of righteousness: “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree.”

The leaves of date palms were used for religious celebrations. This is mentioned, for example, in a description of the Feast of the Tabernacles (Sukkoth) in the book of Leviticus 24:30: “On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees — from palms, willows and other leafy trees — and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.”

Curriculum for Unitarian Universalist congregations