Our Family Dinner Book Club selection for the month of March is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children, and will hopefully be a fun and interactive activity for the whole family. Head over to Growing Book by Book for some talking points to get the conversation started. Then visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom for a fun craft to decorate your dinner table. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
The climax of Charlotte’s Web takes place at a fair so I made the focus of this dinner menu foods that would be typically found at a fair.
Charlotte’s Web Dinner Menu:
Baked Corn Dog Bites
Corn on the Cob – I like to cut the cobs into smaller wheels to make them easier to hold, and they’re cuter!
Wilbur’s Pig Slop Pasta
Raspberry Soda Pop -frozen raspberries, defrosted and mashed, mixed with sparkling water
Lemonade – freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, and water in proportions to taste
Mini Hand Pies on a Stick
I am definitely not the first one to do this, but I think it is such a good idea that I just had to share. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the fair and Not eaten a corn dog, even as an adult. Search Pinterest and you will find many variations on this recipe. Most kids love corn dogs, right? Hot dogs, a childhood favorite food, enrobed in sweet and fluffy cornbread, what’s not to enjoy? Homemade cornbread is pretty easy to make. Pour the cornbread batter into mini muffin pans, and then add a slice of hot dog to each and you’ve got yourself homemade corn dog bites in no time! Kids can help measure and mix the cornbread ingredients, as well as add the hot dog pieces to each mini muffin well. Serve with ketchup and mustard for dipping.
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 5 hot dogs, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a large bowl, whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter and honey.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Grease a mini-muffin pan, pour about 1 tablespoons of the cornbread mixture into each cup and press a piece of hot dog into each one.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes.
Wilbur is Some Pig, and his favorite meal is Slop. When he first arrives at the Zuckerman farm he escapes his pen and is lured back with a pail of slop. His meal of slop comforts him while he is at the fair. So what is slop? It is a mixture of all the scraps of food leftover from each of the human meals. All mixed up into a big bucket and fed to the pigs. Wilbur’s Pig Slop Pasta is a little bit of everything. It is full of vegetables that were likely found on the Arable and Zuckerman farms. You can use any pasta shape you prefer, but I like to use a mixture of mini pasta. Next, add any vegetables you have on hand, or any of your favorites. If you like a little more meat in your meal, chop up some deli meats, brown some ground beef or Italian sausage, and throw that into the mix. The recipe below is a loose guideline of what to do, but you can grill the veggies or roast them instead of sautéing. If you like them raw, leave them raw! This pasta has a simple sauce of lemon juice and feta cheese, but if you prefer you can omit that and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
Take the kids to the grocery store with you and let them choose the vegetables they want in their pasta. Stroll down the pasta aisle and pick out the shapes together. Try to pronounce the names together, and then talk about what shape you think it looks like. For instance, bow tie pasta is actually called farfalle, and spiral pasta is actually called rotini. It’s fun learning new words!
- 1 pound pasta (any shape. I like to use mixed mini pasta shapes)
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 small broccoli crown
- 2 medium carrots
- ½ head cauliflower
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 large lemon
- 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and return to the pot. Drizzle with a small amount of oil or butter.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the vegetables, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper as desired.
- Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until fork tender, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, squeeze the lemon juice over the vegetables.
- Add the vegetables to the pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the cheese.
This is the perfect recipe for kids of just about any age to help with! You’ve already spent time making dinner, so why not make dessert easy? You can use your favorite pie dough recipe, or pre made dough for ease. The filling is simply your favorite fruit preserve (don’t use jelly because it is too watery. Choose a jam or preserve that is more thick.) Kids can use small cookie cutters to cut the pie dough into their favorite shapes.
- pie dough
- fruit preserves
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Roll out the pie dough to ¼ inch thick.
- Use the cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes. Make sure to cut out an even number of each shape as you will be using two pieces for each mini pie.
- Place one shape on a cookie sheet, and lay a popsicle stick in the center.
- Add a small dollop of fruit preserves and top with another piece of pie dough.
- Use a fork to crimp the edges, and bake until the pie dough is golden brown, about 20 minutes.