Cooking More or Less

Scripture: Genesis 25-26

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Jacob and Esau.
  • Students will learn Jacob convinced Esau to give him his birthright by giving him some stew.
  • Students will learn how to identify halve and double recipes.
  • Students will participate in an activity allowing them to practice halving and doubling recipes.

Guiding Question: How does one change a recipe if you only want to cook one half that amount of food or twice that amount of food?

Materials: recipe(s), paper, pencils (Note:To make this more hands-on and fun, bring in the ingredients for a recipe and bowls, measuring spoons and cups, etc.)

Procedure: Review the story of Jacob and Esau and the stew exchanged for the birthright. Explain to the students that we don’t know if Jacob used a written recipe, but he may have been using a recipe his mother had shared with him. Share the recipe(s) with the students. Demonstrate for the students how to adjust the amount of ingredients used in a recipe if they want to only make one half that amount of food or twice that amount of food (Note: To halve a recipe, multiply each ingredient by ½. To double a recipe, multiply each ingredient by 2. Some measurements may be easier to use if the answer is converted- for example 4 teaspoons could be changed to 1 tablespoon and one teaspoon). Give each student a recipe. Have them rewrite the recipe if they wanted to halve it and if they wanted to double it. (Note:They only need to change the ingredients. There is no need for them to copy the instructions.) If time and circumstances allow have one group make the original recipe, one the halved version and one the doubled version. Do they all taste the same? (If done properly they should. Remember cooking times may vary for the altered recipes.) What was difficult about converting the recipes? Could they make ⅓ of a recipe or three times the recipe? (Note:Some recipes do not work if made in batches which are too large or too small.)

Additional Questions:

  • In what other ways do cooks change the ingredients in some recipes?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research in what other ways cooks sometimes alter recipes. Are there any “rules” for changing recipes in those ways? Encourage them to take a recipe and alter it in some way. If circumstances allow, have them cook the original recipe and their altered recipe. Did their alterations improve the recipe? Why or why not? Have them share their findings with other students.