Wednesday, July 14, 2010

5 of our Favorite Pioneer Day Traditions

1.  Cook in a Dutch Oven:  Believe it or not the Pioneers did bring their Dutch Ovens across the plains!  You could do a main dish, side dish and/or a dessert in the Dutch Oven!  We grilled chicken on the BBQ and made peach cobbler in our Dutch Oven.  Here is my SUPER EASY recipe from my camp cooking class in college (I know).
Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler:
1 quart peaches (I use my home canned ones)
1 yellow cake mix
1 can Sprite

Pour in all ingredients in the order listed and do not stir.  Then cook with 10-14 coals on both top and bottom until golden brown on top.  Top with icecream or whipped cream.

*note:  if you want the cobbler to be firmly set up (like a cake), you may want to drain 1/2 of the liquid from your quart of peaches.  We like ours more juicy (like a warm pie) so we dont drain any juice.

2.  Have a Taffy Pull:  Last year, we did our Pioneer Day Taffy Pull out on the back patio using the gas burner on our BBQ grill.  The weather was perfect and it saved my house from the mess!  I found this recipe online and it is the recipe we used. 
Salt Water Taffy


1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vegetable glycerine (sold at most party or natural food stores)
2 tbsp. butter
4 drops each of red and blue food coloring
2 tsp. lemon juice

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, salt and glycerine with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then until a candy thermometer reads 255 degrees. Stir in the butter. Divide the mixture into three equal portions. Mix red food coloring into one batch, blue into another and leave one plain. Pour each batch onto a greased flat pan and fold over the edges with a spatula to keep them from hardening.
When the candy is cool enough to handle, brush with lemon juice. Then, with well-buttered hands, each child can stretch one of the batches into a long rope until elastic (about five minutes). Finally, twist together the ropes, cut into pieces and wrap individually in waxed paper.

3.  Have a Corn on the Cob Eating Contest:  Anyone who dared, could enter this contest, at last years Pioneer Day Party!  The rules were the contestant had to eat all of the corn from the cob, swallow and show an empty mouth, then run to the back fence and toss the cob over and run back to the finish line.  It was pretty fun...and funny to watch!
4.  Dress up!  And Decorate a Wagon:  We dug out our old bonnets, hats, and anything else we could use as Pioneer clothing. Then we made our stroller into a covered wagon. Just cover the open canopy using a white sheet and safety pins. Then attach brown strip of cardboard to the bottom with some brown or clear packing looked pretty good! (I wish I had a better photo but this is the best I had! The oldest cousins got elected to be the oxen...)

5.  Play Pioneer Night Games:  Last year the kids (I had my 3 and 5 cousins sleeping over) were outside until dark and they all started playing hide and seek, sardines, and capture the flag.  I am not sure Pioneers played those exact games, but I remember thinking that I could certainly imagine the Pioneer kids playing in the warm dusky evenings before bed. I realized that my kids do not get a chance to play those simple games very often.  I practically had to drag them all inside and it was after 11pm!

Those are some of the things that we did last year...5 more fun ideas that we are trying this year will be posted next week....


  1. you certainly are a super Mom!! all those great activities...I know when your children are older and they are doing the same things with theirs they will look back on all you taught them and smile!!

  2. So fun! I'm going to use a few of these ideas.

  3. Love the great ideas! I think we just might do some of these this year!

  4. I pray all is OK...have missed your are truly a remarkable Super Mommy!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hope all is well with you and your family. I have become fond of your blog and look forward to your posts. Even Super Mommies have an off day. Find your peace.
    a friend you haven't met.

  7. I miss your super mommy posts! I hope you are doing well though, the lack of posts is getting me concerned. You are an awesome person, and I'm really inspired by you!

  8. perfect ideas!

  9. How long would you say the taffy takes to make from start to finish? I would like to use it for an Activity Days activity, but don't want to wait an hour to cool, you know? Thanks for the great ideas!

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