April 09, 2007

The Roots Below & Perfect Eggs

Last week, I spent some time preparing for the school's science night. This year, the parents decided to present many easy science experiments for the students to try out, instead of having kids do poster displays. This ended up being more fun and educational for the students than last year's pairing of older kids who took over the science projects from their younger partners. I am not so sure the current trend of partnering kids from lower and higher grades in school works as well as the educational experts and media are touting. I can list at least five examples where it didn't work for several students during the last year.

Other parents did projects on litmus paper, paper airplanes, mobius strips, water on pennies, gloppy stuff, bacteria from ears grown for a week, and more.

I put together a table on plants and herbs. Children and adults were impressed with the length and detail of the roots of two-week old bean plants. It's always a revelation to see what you've only sort of imagined. They all also took pleasure in smelling the 10 herbs I brought from my garden (which were growing even tho the temperatures have been below freezing). I found it interesting to talk with Japanese and Indian parents about their culinary experiences with some of the herbs, particularly Chinese garlic, lemon balm, and mint. One mother suggested lemon balm could possibly be substituted for lemon grass in recipes. That would be helpful as this herb that smells like extremely strong Lemon Pledge to me is growing somewhat like a weed in the yard. Lots of plants are growing weedy. Gardening is about controlling nature.

In my attempt to control cooking, I have found that using the Eggsact Eggtimer is the only way I have ever been able to get great (maybe not perfect) hard boiled eggs. I should have written about this before Easter. But thought I would put this in today for future reference. The egg shaped thing goes in with the eggs when you start cooking them. It gets a darker colorer as the eggs are cooked longer and the water gets warmer. When it has completely changed color, the eggs are ready. I also learned last week that putting salt in the water prevents the eggs from seeping too much, if they do crack while boiling. We had fun color Easter eggs. It was the first time my son figured out how to make two-colored eggs. He made a U.S. patriotic red, white and blue egg and a Mexican flag colored egg, too.

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