January 14: U.S. Ratification Day (1784)
Children everywhere most likely learn about their nation’s roots in school. Highlander, a Canadian who grew up in the United States, and Islander, who was born in the Philippines and became a naturalized citizen, also learned about American history through the popular Schoolhouse Rock television segments that were broadcast in between the Saturday cartoons. Those educational tunes were so catchy!
As today is U.S. Ratification Day, which commemorates the end of the American Revolutionary War/War of Independence, we remember one of the popular Schoolhouse Rock videos, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World”.
We also marked this day by making “modern” fire cakes, a simple staple cooked by the early American soldiers to sustain them while out on the battlefields. Original fire cakes were prepared by mixing flour, salt and water to form a flat dough which was baked over a campfire, hence the name. They taste bland and are kind of hard and chewy. Historical re-enactors at colonial sites still make them and teachers and parents sometimes show children how to make fire cakes to learn about life during colonial times. A cooking component for a history lesson is a great idea for an edible education!
Try this fire cake recipe in observation of U.S. Ratification Day.
- ½ cup flour
- generous pinch of salt
- ¼ cup water
In a mixing bowl, combine the wheat flour and salt. Pour water and mix until everything sticks together. Roll the dough into a ball.
Divide into two disks. Flatten on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Wrap any leftover fire cakes in plastic film and keep at room temperature.
- We used wheat flour in this recipe to mimic what the militia and minutemen may have eaten during the Revolutionary War. White, refined flour was not available to them at the time.
- We also used tap water in this recipe. We imagine that the soldiers used water from streams or wells (unlike our filtered water) to make fire cakes.
- This recipe is not suitable for those who are gluten-sensitive.