I was told recently by our resident librarian Rachel about a book called A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat. After reading about it, I pre-ordered it and waited for it to arrive. I was not disappointed when I finally got to read it cover-to-cover - it's a keeper!
The book looks at four different families - a girl and her mom in England in 1710, a mother and daughter in South Carolina in 1801 (a slave family working on a plantation), a young girl and her mother in Boston in 1901, and finally a father and son in present time.
All four families made the same dessert - a blackberry fool. But the WAY they made it differed greatly. The way the cream was collected (or delivered or purchased, as the case may be), to the way the dessert was kept cold, to the way the cream was whipped - all were signs of developing technology and changing times. It got quicker and easier to make the dessert each time, but it was delicious EVERY time.
As I read, I pulled out each tool that was used in the book - a bundle of sticks, a wire whisk, a hand-held rotary beater, and an electric beater. Children got a chance to use each tool in order to help make this afternoon's delicious snack.