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American Literary Cookbook

ASSIGNMENT: American Literature Cultural Identity Cookbook Project We are going to create a Lynn Classical High School American Cookbook. We are a nation of immigrants--from various backgrounds, and various eras. Whether or not you were born in this country or a different one, or your parents, or your grandparents, or your great-grandparents, etc., each of us clings to a distinct heritage. By surname alone we are often lumped into that--for example, my name is Hourihan therefore it can be assumed that I am of Irish heritage. While that is true, I also have several other nationalities represented in my DNA, creating, ultimately, my American self. We bring, and have brought, our various flavors from all over the globe to create this American identity, this national culture. As a people of Lynn, MA we will unite our flavors to create an American Cookbook. Michel Guillaume Jean de Crvecoeur was correct in his initial assessment of America being a "melting pot." It is true--we have come

together from different pasts and melded as one to create the American Identity. However, the multicultural aspect of the American Identity lends credence to the concept of America as a "salad bowl;" in that, we create a unified whole while still retaining our individual flavors. As Americans--a nation of immigrants--we have dishes from all over associated with our families' past. Choose a dish that your family eats, or has eaten. Write the recipe down (ingredients & directions) on an index card. On the other sheet, describe the dish in a few lines, and attach a familial recollection of the dish. OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to write out an accurate step by step process. They will also be able to view recipes from others, furthering our overarching course objective in defining American Culture, and the American Identity. PROCESS: 1. Recipe Card: get a FAMILY recipe, something that reflects your heritage and that your family actually eats, or has eaten. On a 3x5 index card (ask me if you need one) print the ingredients, recipe, and the heritage. 2. On the other sheet, write a short description of

the dish (eg: Irish Boiled Dinner--it's a corned beef boiled with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips). So, just describe what's actually IN the dish. 3. Write a brief familial recollection. Describe a time when you remember eating this dish, cooking this dish, hearing of this dish, etc. (EG: I remember my Irish Nana cooking a Boiled Dinner on St. Patrick's day when I was little. My whole family was there. I remember my Nana dashing spices into the pot without measuring. I asked her how she knew how much of each spice, and she told me how she just wings it by memory, smells it, tastes it, and just knows. I do that today. Etc. etc.). Use at least 3 sensory descriptions--taste, smell, textureetc. This is due on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18th. This is the first step. We will be using the recipes to compose a process essay, revisiting the assignment after Thanksgiving break.