In addition to pulling out our finest greens for today’s big holiday we used the occasion to introduce the Younger Fives to chemical reactions. To be more precise the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, which leads to some very yummy Irish Soda Bread.
To start the day we went over the basics of this reaction between an acid and a base and then let the kids play with the ingredients themselves. Five Ball was most surprised with the results after he decided to dump his entire supply of baking soda into his cup of vinegar all at once. The older kids experimented with a bit more moderation:)
Then we moved on to trapping one of the by-products of the reaction (carbon dioxide) in a balloon. While creating bubbles was exciting this step gave the kids a very tangible example that a gas was indeed being created.
We then moved into the kitchen where we used the Happy Herbivore’s recipe to make Whole Wheat Vegan Irish Soda Bread. We talked about the importance of leavening agents in making bread and the history of Irish Soda Bread. Did you know that Native Americans were the first to use soda (they used pearl-ash or Potash) in their breads to make them rise?
While the bread was in the oven the kids watched The Magic School Bus Baked in a Cake. They have seen this episode several times before, but it does a great job of reinforcing the concept of chemical reactions in cooking. Plus the kids can never get enough of Mrs. Frizzle!
Once the soda bread was out of the oven we sat down to a veganized Saint Patrick’s Day meal of Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Spice Cake. All in all a very educational Saint Patrick’s Day that led to five very happy tummies. We hope that you all had a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day as well!