Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sneaky Sunday Science - Cabbage Juice In the Lemonade

If you want to sneak in a science lesson at dinnertime, start early in the day, with a head of red cabbage.

Cut half of it up, and place the chopped pieces into a pot, and add just enough water to cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. If anyone complains about the smell, remind them that cabbage soup was all poor Charlie Bucket, and his family had to eat (other than an occasional chocolate bar).

Drain the now purple liquid from the cabbage, and allow to cool. You can add vinegar, and sugar to the cooked cabbage pieces, to make some really horrible pink pickles - but I wouldn't suggest it.

Instead, using a sieve, to keep out any bit of cabbage, fill an ice cube tray with the cabbage water, and place it in the freezer.

Then at dinner, wow the children by pouring an ordinary glass of lemonade, and adding a purple ice cube... produce pink lemonade!

It really tastes alright. I was a little skeptical, and the children (who were probably tipped off by the Mission Impossible theme song I was humming, as I poured the drink) were less than enthusiastic, until one brave volunteer gave it a taste. It's funny, because you can't taste the cabbage, but it kind of takes the edge off the sourness of the lemonade, which combined with the color, does lead you to believe your drinking pink lemonade.

If you're unconvinced though, you can go with the more common, pH testing, color changing experiments by pouring some of the liquid into a couple of jars, and then adding lemon juice to one...

...and baking soda dissolved in water, to the other - always fun!

Or, you can soak some paper in the solution, and then paint on it with acid, or base solutions, after it dries (or cut it into litmus strips).

All of these ideas, came from Jill Frankel Hauser's Super Science Concoctions, which is either the best children's science book I've ever seen, or the most disappointing. I'll let you know shortly, after we try out a few more of the experiments.

But for now, you can find more fun with science, at this week's Science Sunday link-up, hosted by Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

I have to admit I love Ph experiments. I've got a cool unit planned this summer that uses a bunch of experiments to go with it.

Christy Killoran said...

This is a fun experiment! I will have to try it!

Kelly said...

How fun! I'm going to look for the book you recommended. pH experiments would just be so fun to do with the kids now.

Joyful Learner said...

Great stuff! We'll have to make pink lemonade this summer! Thanks for sharing such cool experiments. Please let us know if the book is any good. I have one science book and the experiments so far have been a flop.

Phyllis said...

It makes sense that it would take the sourness out of the lemonade. Cute way of peaking interest in acid/base experiments. We will be doing chemistry this year and I am going to have to add this one to my list. Thanks for sharing it.

Unknown said...

I love this experiment. I'll have to go get this book. Thanks for sharing!!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

That is stinkin COOL!

Happy Monday!


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Val - Bwahaha, "stinkin" is right! :)