View Full Version : Kitchen Science

Jen Law
03-01-2013, 04:29 AM
Does any one know of any good resources for explaining chemical reaction that happen in the kitchen in a way that an 8 yo could understand (or the 8 yo's mother who did advanced chem 15 years ago and has a very poor memory could understand and "translate to said 8 yo).

Specificly I am looking for explanations of the chemical processes that take place;

- Separating curds and whey when making simple cheese
- butter making
- yogurt making
- bread making
- fermented drinks like mead
- pectin in jam, why jam sets.

We do all of these things regularly and I have been asked 100 times why these things do what they do. I know the "how to" but I don't know the "what the heck is actually happening" so I always answer the questions with "I will see if I can find something that can explain it o us" but I haven't managed to find anything helpful. Any suggestions?

03-01-2013, 05:12 AM
Harold McGee or the folks at cook's illustrated.

03-01-2013, 06:32 AM
I actually learned a lot from early episodes of "Good Eats", like why water boils over *after* you put the pasta in. He explains things really well. without dumbing things down. I haven't watched newer episodes though. :)

03-01-2013, 07:09 AM
My kids liked working through Science Experiments You Can Eat: Revised Edition: Vicki Cobb, David Cain: 9780064460026: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Science-Experiments-You-Can-Eat/dp/0064460029/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362139663&sr=1-1&keywords=experiments+you+can+eat) and More Science Experiments You Can Eat: Vicki Cobb, Giulio Maestro: 9780064460033: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/More-Science-Experiments-You-Can/dp/0064460037/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362139730&sr=1-2&keywords=more+science+experiments+you+can+eat) when they were that age.

03-01-2013, 08:59 AM
There's a Boston Children's Museum Activity Book called Messing Around with Baking Chemistry that I like. And there's a Magic Schoolbus episode about baking chemistry as well.

I think mostly you can just do the things and watch accompanying videos about things like yeast and bacteria.