Country of the Week: USA / Whoopie Pies
This week we’re exploring the USA and our first stop is New England. Since I always like to start with food, a quick search revealed that the region is known for brown bread, baked beans, clam chowder, lobster, and apple pie. These all seemed promising, but then I read that whoopie pies are the official state treat of Maine and that was that.
Whoopie pies seem very similar to the Suzy-Qs that were sold in my high school’s cafeteria. Both desserts feature two slabs of chocolate cake filled with a big gob of cream filling. And we’re talking serious, shortening-based cream filling.
There are dozens and dozens of recipes out there for whoopie pies, but I wanted to use the most authentic one possible. I found this recipe for real Maine whoopie pies on designer Katy Elliott’s blog. Katy spent an afternoon learning the ropes from her Grammy and her Great-Aunt Rita (the “Queen of Whoopie Pies”) and now she’s sharing their method with all of us.
The whoopie pies were easy to make and so delicious!
While you’re munching on your whoopie pies, you can get a little learning in:
- Ask your kids to name the New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island). You can have them fill in a map like this.
- Ask them to name each state’s capital (Augusta, Concord, Montpelier, Boston, Hartford, and Providence).
- See if they can think of any famous landmarks in New England (like Plymouth Rock and the Freedom Trail).
- Ask if they can name something for which each state is known. This could be anything from Vermont maple syrup to sports teams.
- Have the kids research and talk about famous politicians, artists, poets, writers, and athletes from the area. You can read a Dr. Seuss story to younger kids (his hometown is Springfield, Massachusetts) or if your kids can handle a bigger challenge, pick a poem to read and discuss. (Lexie read Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled” to us.)