Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids: A Feast of History, with Stories and Recipes Celebrating the Land and People of Our State

Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids: A Feast of History, with Stories and Recipes Celebrating the Land and People of Our State
Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids: A Feast of History, with Stories and Recipes Celebrating the Land and People of Our State
Hardcover: $18.95
192 pages
ISBN: 9780870204937

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale
Price: $18.95
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Product Details
By Terese Allen

What are some food favorites in Wisconsin, and why are they special to us? How have our landscape and the people who have inhabited it contributed to our food heritage? This unique blend of history book and cookbook gives kids a real taste for hands-on history by showing them how to create and sample foods that link us to the resources found in our state and the heritage of those who produce them.

Designed for kids and adults to use together, The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids draws upon the same source material that makes The Flavor of Wisconsin by Harva Hachten and Terese Allen a fascinating and authoritative document of the history and traditions of food in our state, and presents it in a colorful, kid-friendly format that's both instructional and fun. Mindful of the importance of teaching kids about where the foods they eat come from, each chapter examines a different food source-forests; waters; vegetable, meat, and dairy farms; gardens; and communities. The authors explore our state's foodways, from their origins to how they have changed over the years, and then offer a selection of related recipes. The recipes are written for modern kitchens but use many traditional ingredients and techniques. Level of difficulty is clearly noted, as well as whether a recipe requires a heat source to prepare.

Terese Allen has written many books and articles about Wisconsin's food traditions and culinary culture, including "The Flavor of Wisconsin," the 2012 "Wisconsin Local Foods Journal," and "Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook." She is food editor for Organic Valley and a columnist for "Edible Madison" magazine. Terese serves as president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW) and is the former chair of the REAP Food Group, a food and sustainability organization in southern Wisconsin.

As director of the Office of School Services at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Bobbie Malone wrote and edited many books for classrooms, including the fourth grade textbook, "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story;" the New Badger History series; and the Badger Biographies series. Now she consults with school districts and museums and is busily working on a biography of author-illustrator Lois Lenski.
Watch a cooking demonstration with Terese Allen as she shows you how to make Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes. This video was filmed and produced by Bill Lubing for the Dane County Farmers' Market.

Holiday Hickory Nut Cake Recipe

The 'Butternut Cake' of The Pioneers


  • Oil (butter)
  • A little flour to prep pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temp.
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped hickory nuts or butternuts (if you don’t have either of these, use pecans)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

In pioneer times, making a cake with nuts took a lot of work. You had to gather the nuts in the woods and then crack them by hand. You had to beat the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. You even had to build the fire in the woodstove to bake the cake! Now you can just buy hickory nuts at farmers' markets, use an electric mixer, and turn on the stove. NOTE: Hickory nuts still aren't easy to crack, though, but they are worth the effort for the flavor they bring to this cake!


Heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease inside of a standard-sized loaf pan with oil or butter. Then sprinkle a little flour on the pan. Shake the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Dump out any extra flour.

Separate 3 eggs into whites and yolks. Set them aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place sugar and soft butter in a large bowl and beat together until they look a little fluffy.

Add milk and vanilla to the egg yolks and beat well. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the butter mixture, and then stir in the hickory nuts.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat until the whites are firm enough to form stiff peaks when you touch them. This will take several minutes.

Use a big spoon or rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the cake batter. This should take a minute or two, so go slowly and be gentle!

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the loaf pan or on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool, use a small sifter to sift powdered sugar over the cake.

Sweet Potato Pie, a Kwanzaa Recipe excerpt shared from "The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids."

"Sweet potato pie is an African American dessert that is often served during Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that runs from December 26 to New Years Day. On each day of Kwanzaa, families light a candle and discuss ideas about what's important in life. At the end of the week, they celebrate with a party where there is dancing, music, and, of course, delicious heritage foods," writes cookbook author Terese Allen.

To make sweet potato pie according to this recipe geared toward young readers, you will need the following INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 2-3 large sweet potatoes)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half or heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 store-bought 9-inch pie crust (in a foil pan), unbaked - or make your own pie crust!

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, melted butter, and sugar. Stir well. Using a fork or wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the half-and-half, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Place the pie crust on the baking sheet or pizza pan. Pour the filling mixture into the pie crust. Bake the pie until it no longer "jiggles" in the middle. This will take 45-55 minutes. (Check for doneness by poking a toothpick in the center of the pie. If it comes out clean, the pie is done.) Cool the pie to room temperature on a wire rack.