Monday, December 18, 2017

Organic Chemistry: Honey

Day One
We began our session with reviewing Milk and the Cow. We looked at our dried casein plastics from last week and compared them. The one made with cow milk and the lemon juice turned out the best. It was thin and was the only one to not mold.

We then read "The Cattle" from Drawing from the Book of Nature (pp.75-78). Dennis Klocek discusses Environment and Temperament, Food, Related Plants and Animals (surprisingly, his discussion of gut bacteria provided an excellent transition to the Honeybee), Family Life, Relationship to Humans, and The Image. He gives advice for those drawing the cow, including the basic geometric shapes (delta and the keyhole or pear shape).

For those who wanted to draw the four stomachs of the ruminant (rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasum) as their MLB illustration, we used the illustration from page 9 of Horns and Antlers by Wilfrid Swancourt Bronson.

The girls created their summaries and illustrations for their MLBs, and then we kicked off Honey and the Honeybee with a science experiment: Why Does Honey Crystallize?

This experiment was not at all successful. None of the honey grew crystals! We did notice that the notes specified to try to purchase local honey because some other honey can have things added to it that will affect the results of the experiment. Perhaps this is true of our Clover Honey from Walmart?

Day Two
We began our session by reading "The Honeybee" from Drawing from the Book of Nature (pp.53-59). Dennis Klocek discusses Environment, Food, Relationships, Family and Life, and The Image. He gives plenty of figures (fig. 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 7.10, and 7.11) plus advice for those drawing the honeybee.

We next looked at samples of bee pollen, beeswax pastilles, and honeycomb. Because the experiment last week was not successful with our cheap honey, I got three other kinds of honey from the Neighborhood Co-op in town. They were Orange Honey, Acacia Honey, and Neem Honey. We tasted all three of them, plus the honey with honeycomb. The girls chose to redo the science experiment from last week with the Acacia Honey. This honey actually was crystallized a little bit in the bottom of the jar, so it seemed promising... but the experiment once again was a complete bust. So I DO NOT recommend it!

Our second project for the day (which redeemed me from the unsucessful science experiment plus it makes for a perfect gift around the holidays) was Peppermint Cocoa Lip Balm. MMMMMM.

This is expensive if you're making it for the first time, but after that you can churn out batches of lip balm with very little expense. And I really like the cute little 1/4 oz. lip balm tins! We simply write our names on the bottom with a Sharpie but you could always decoupage art onto them to personalize.

The recipe calls for

BEE SAFE and melt in a double boiler! Combine and melt the first four recipe ingredients over simmering water, then remove from the heat and stir in the last two ingredients. Immediately pour the mixture into lip balm containers. Allow to cool completely before placing the lids on the containers.

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