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Migrate to Mongolia: A Tender Sapling Travelers Cultural Adventure – Part 3 (Food)

This post is part of the Tender Sapling Travelers Series and Part 3 of a 3-part installment on Mongolia. See Part 1 here (book recommendations and learning about the ger) and Part 2 here (prayer wheels, including a step-by-step craft).

I usually love researching and selecting which native food to prepare for our monthly Culture Club homeschool cooperative potluck. However, Mongolia had me stumped.

The traditional nomadic diet is so opposite to what we eat, it presented a few challenges:

1) Where would I get the ingredients or cooking tools, such as the abdominal cavity of a marmot, inside which I would cook chunks of mutton over heated stones if making “Boodog?”

2) If I could get all the supplies and pull off a traditional dish, which typically involves no seasoning and is usually heavy on the animal fat to help Mongolians survive their cold winters, would my kids or any of the 30 other children at our potluck try more than a bite of it?

3) Given that there are several vegetarians in our coop and that our potluck dishes sit out at room temperature for some time, I prefer to select vegetarian dishes from each month’s country. Mongolian food is so heavily meat-based! It’s summarized by Wikipedia as a diet consisting primarily of “dairy products, meat, and animal fat.”

Then I remembered: Continue reading

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Homemade Yogurt Grows Good Cultures + Character too!

Want a fun food project to enjoy with the kids that’s healthy, green, globally-loved, and cultivates some wonderful qualities of the heart too? Look no further: Yogurt!

How can all these lessons be packed into one food? Here’s a quick run down:

* Healthy: Yogurt is considered a health food. We’re talking ideally homemade, no sugar added, real yogurt. Historically, yogurt is credited with curing at least one king from an incurable case of diarrhea. Yogurt is a great pro-biotic with awesome bacteria for your body, which I recently learned that 90% made up by microbes according to this fascinating article by Michael Pollan. (While our yogurt-making experience is solely with cow’s milk, there are non-dairy options and recipes out there, if you prefer that route.) Continue reading