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Thread: Kitchen Science

  1. #1

    Default Kitchen Science

    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?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Arrived Pefa's Avatar
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    Harold McGee or the folks at cook's illustrated.
    4 kids. 2 launched - Fabulous Daughter (FD) and Eldest Son (ES); 2 in the nest - Boy1 (B1) 11/14/98 & Boy Other One (BOO) 12/16/00

  4. #3


    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.
    Mom to"E",10-my artist, "J", 8-my engineer/one man demolition crew ,"R" 6,-sweet,brilliant and in constant motion and "D"- well she's 3

  5. #4

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  6. #5


    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.
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Kitchen Science