When the emigrants traveling the Oregon Trail, stopped for their dinner/lunch/noon-time meal, they called it Nooning.   It was a time of rest and relaxation, even if it was for a short time.  We decided to take our Nooning Party at the Thomas Fork Crossing.  We thought it would be a great place to have a party, before crossing the river.  There were two bridges built across that river, and the owners charged $1.00 per wagon.  If you couldn’t pay, then you crossed the river which was very dangerous.   The pioneers in my class will decide this week, if they had enough money to cross the bridge.  

In the meantime, we partied!  Yee Hawww!

On the menu was:

  • Buffalo Stew (actually beef)
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
  • Fresh Butter
  • Dried Apples (which didn’t dry, so we didn’t have them)
  • Lemonade

For our decoration, the kids made their own lanterns.

Take a 1lb can, clean it out, make a dotted design on the side with a marker.  Fill it up with water and freeze.

Once frozen, take it out and place on a towel, so it doesn’t roll.  Then carefully punch holes where the dots are.


Then, place the can in the sink, to let the ice melt. Once the ice is out, dry the can and place a candle on the inside. We used tea candles. The light will shine through the holes and you’ll see your pretty design.


I made the Buffalo Stew, bread and undried apples. The kids had the best part and that was to make the butter. Since we don’t actually have a live dairy cow around us, we used Heavy Whipping Cream. Each kid got a glass baby food jar and filled it half way with heavy whipping cream.

They churned that heavy cream


until it was butter.


Now that everything was completed and it was noon time, we had our Nooning Party.


If you will notice there are two mason jars in front of the boys.  Some where along the way, I lost one of our camping cups.  I told the boys the cup bumped out of our wagon, when we were going down the last big hill.  They were more than willing to drink out of mason jars.  LOL  The girls in the group didn’t want anything to do with the jars. 

We had a great time and we are now packing up our belongings, to cross the river.  Pray for us.

Applie, The Wagon-mistress

10 responses to “Nooning

  1. Did it turn out that you didn’t have enough money to drive across the bridges? I’ll be praying extra hard that you make it across the river just in case you have to go into the water. Please be careful as we I know they’ll need an alligator wrestler in Oregon.

    I’m do glad that everyone liked the stew, the girls did eat it didn’t they?

    Dd#1 ate a slice of bread. Dd#2 ate some stew and bread. Dd#3 ate a slice of bread and one piece of meat.

  2. Great entry!!! Will be praying for a safe crossing
    Wagon -Mistress.

  3. That is so cool. I bet your students never forget this experience!

  4. It looks like everyone is having such fun. I love the lanterns. 🙂

  5. What memories you are making for these kids, Wagon Mistress!

  6. The lanterns are awesome. It looks like the kids are having a great time. 🙂

  7. What fun-love the lanterns and the whole “nooning” idea.

  8. What a great adventure!!!!! You rock!


  9. It looks like everyone is having a good time on the Oregon Trail adventure. You are a great teacher.

  10. Those students of yours will probably reminisce about you when they are older.

    The lanterns are very nice! =)

    Thank you. 🙂 I don’t know if they will reminisce, but I will. Some of the things they say are so funny. The boys wanted to load their oxen on the wagon and ride it down the Bill Hill, instead of using rope and chain to lower the wagons. LOL

    The girls got so upset when they lost their pet, that I had to tell them in advance they would find them. LOL

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