You wanna make a mom of many quake in her boots? Mention stomach flu! We came down with a brief but violent illness this week that hit 6 out of 9 of us starting in the wee hours of Monday morning. We accomplished nothing Monday, very little Tuesday, but by Wednesday, we were ready to get back to homeschool.
Since we are studying early Central American civilizations this week, we made chocolate!
We learned that cocoa butter, at room temperature, is a rock hard solid, which surprised me.
After you add cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar, you stir for a bit.
After we got all the lumps smoothed out,
we applied the little stick on thermometer to let us know when it cooled to 94* so we could add the next step.
In the meantime, we took out the 2 real cocoa beans and rubbed the shells off and tasted them. They were bitter. Eli said they tasted like dirt. I tried a nibble, and he had a point. Even Paul and Katie tried a nibble.
Once the chocolate cooled to 94*, we added the crystallized bits and stirred until they were smooth, then we started putting chocolate into the little papers. We did 6 plain chocolates, then added a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil and stirred it into the rest of our chocolate.
The boys decided it was pretty yummy!
Altogether, we made 16 chocolates. In hindsight, I should have put less chocolate in each cup, since it was quite a mouthful when solid, and we had extra papers left over when we were done. You can add nuts or peanut butter or whatever you choose. I think dried cherries would be amazing.
The boys liked the mint chocolates better than the plain ones.
This was a really fun project. I'm glad I got this little kit. It really added something memorable to our study of Aztec culture.
As usual, Eli has more K'nex creations to share. These are such great engineering toys! The plane above has wings that tuck back.
And a smaller plane.
Thursday, Jack woke up with a cold, so I sent him back to bed. Since we do almost all our subjects together, this left Eli at a loss. I pulled a rabbit out of my hat and produced a pair of motors to go with his K'nex, and he spent the rest of the day designing vehicles and setting up courses for them to navigate.
This was the first one. You can barely see the blue motor on the right side.
The taller design enabled this one to stay upright when going of the binder "cliff."
Today, we were supposed to make pots. Now, we made pinch pots last year, but these were to be slab and coil pots, so I thought those would be sufficiently different enough to hold their interest. Not really. They weren't into the pots at all.
Eli made a couple tanks and some airplanes.
We finished out our week with with a trip to the park to enjoy the sunshine with friends. It felt great to get out and breathe the fresh, warm air. Especially after dealing with sickness most of the week.
Since we're not done with this week's work, we'll start out next week by finishing up Central American history. Then we'll be on to Slavery and Renaissance Art, which, to me, doesn't seem to go together at all, but what do I know, right? The following week looks to be more exciting, with the invention of the printing press and King Henry VIII, who my kids are already familiar with.
Only 5.5 more weeks of curriculum left for this school year! WOO HOO!
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