Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Janice VanCleave ~ Figs (again)

What's Cookin'?

I did something totally weird today.  I'll often put milk or even yogurt into our scrambled eggs while cooking them.  It gives them a nice texture, makes the eggs go further, and gets some calcium into the dc.  Well, one dd is sick, and in my attempt to get some extra bone broth into her I added chicken broth to the scrambled eggs instead.  Not bad!  No one knew anything was different until I told them :).  I added 1/4 Cup to 8 eggs.

Here is my version of Summer Outdoor Cooking:

It is waaaay too hot these days!  I had stew meat cooking in the little crockpot out on the back porch.  Before that I had the breadmaker out there.  I also use the dehydrator outside.  I don't know why I made bone broth inside the other day AND had the dehydrator on to finish up some banana chips in the house.  On the day that company came, too.  It really clutters up the counter if you are doing more than one contraption at once and the house never cools down once it gets hotter than 80.


I went to pick some figs today to make fig jam.  As I was leaving, my forearms starting itching and by the time I got home (a 3 minute drive) my forearm and other hand were stinging, burning, and itching at the same time.  I scrubbed up, hurriedly put on a baking soda/water paste, and took some Quercetin.  Ahh!  Instant relief.  I didn't know if something had bitten me or if I was reacting to the leaves or what! 

Well, as I sat down to check (love that site!) for fig jam/canning info I saw it:
"I have heard that some people are allergic to the fig latex, a milky white liquid produced by the fig tree and develop contact rashes. Just like with other latex allergies, if this applies to you be sure to wear [sic] and long sleeves when you pick and wear the appropriate type of gloves when picking or handling figs!"  AHA!  My dd has a latex allergy and certain rubber bands bother me.  I am apparently allergic to fig latex.  I need to make sure dd wears long sleeves to pick figs as well.

When I recently picked a few from a friend's tree it didn't bother me at all - but then I wasn't there long and didn't rub my arms on it so much.

Now that I need to go wash and cut them I'm a little skittish.

Janice VanCleave:

VanCleave has too many awesome books to go into in one post.  I'll just point out 2: one for youngers and one for olders.

Last year youngest dd and I went through this book and used it as the basis for her home science studies.  [She was also doing Apologia at her enrichment but, as always, I'm constantly complicating matters and wanted to use *this* :).  She really enjoyed both, by the way.  Oh, plus Science-related Montessori shelf work.]

After doing each experiment she wrote or dictated in her Science Log booklet and illustrated the experiment.  If your child has a culture notebook they could respond in that.  She enjoyed having a separate Science Log for these experiments.

Here are a few entries in her Science Log:

We'll be using Chemistry for Every Kid for the olders next year to compliment their Chemistry studies.  Oldest dd helped me plan out how to use it (you'll see how complicated I've managed to make it all when I post my science schedule).  I had to laugh, and totally misunderstood her, when she said something like, "Why bother doing the experiments when you can just read what happens?"  She DOES enjoy doing the experiments, but when the book already tells her what's going to happen she looses the motivation to conduct it.  She has already experienced it through the reading and it takes away from the lab experience.  Middle dd agreed (emphatically) when she overheard the conversation.  Neither want to see the results before doing the experiments.

SO.... Since I want them to be able to pick up this VanCleave Chemistry book and lead or do the experiments on their own I needed a solution.  I taped index cards over the Results and Why? sections of each experiment (actually I only did this for the first 1/2 of the book because it was getting very fat - will do more later).  They are only taped at the top so it's a flap that I or they can flip to read when we want.  If you weren't going to use very many of the experiments you could make cards with the lab part on one side and the Results/Why? on the back as the control to see if they followed the directions.  I needed something more user-friendly for the whole book.   Plus, when I'm done the index cards will still be usable for something else.

Here are pictures of the index cards taped on the pages to make flaps.  Same page with the flap down and then up:

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