Friday, January 28, 2011
Strawberry Popcorn - Accidental Science
Before we returned Rose Wyler's Science Fun With Peanuts and Popcorn to the library, I thought we should try out one of the recipes from the peanut and popcorn party section, at the back of the book.
We had noticed one suggestion for adding flavored extract, and food coloring to kernels of popcorn, that sounded interesting.
With Valentine's Day looming on the horizon, and with a limited number of flavor extracts to choose from in the cupboard, we decided to try strawberry popcorn.
We placed 1 cup of unpopped kernels into a Zip-loc bag, with a few drops of red food coloring, and two tablespoons of strawberry extract. We sealed it, and left it overnight, until all of the liquid was absorbed into the kernels - a science experiment in itself, by the way.
In fact, what I had done, was to mix up the recipe, which I had only glanced at, with one of the experiments earlier in the book. The recipe actually called for adding the flavored extract, and color, mixed with water, to already POPPED kernels. Oh, well.
We knew from previous experience, the color would only dye the outside of the kernels, but we were curious to see how the flavor would translate to the popped corn, so we continued.
As, you might expect, if you've ever done a soaked kernel experiment, we ended up with fewer popped, and smaller kernels, and they were tougher to chew. But, they did have a very nice hint of strawberry. It was somewhere between, eating a bowl of strawberry flavored children's cereal, and regular popcorn. It was enough flavor, that we could enjoy our popcorn without adding butter to it.
As a nice side effect, the extract seemed to set the color on the kernels, as well as making them smell wonderful. So, the younger girls had quite a bit of (supervised) fun playing with our left over kernels. They'd make a great addition to a sensory tub, keeping in mind they are a serious choking hazard for toddlers.
It's great to be a homeschooler.