My newest t.v. obsession is The Pioneer Woman on Food Network. I just adore that woman...in a totally non-stalker kind of way.
The last episode I watched had a simple recipe for Pico de Gallo that is 1/3 tomatoes, 1/3 cilantro and 1/3 red onion, drizzled with some lime juice. (she also throws in jalapenos, but my tender Kansas pallet can't hang when it comes to heat) Then to make Guacamole, all she does is mush ripe avocados and add a few heaping spoonfuls of the Pico de Gallo. Is that genius or what?
Yesterday, Ryan and I made ourselves some Pico de Gallo and Guac for lunch. Yes, that was my lunch since I (or, um...WE) ate almost the entire bowl. Of each.
While chopping and slicing and dicing, I incorporated learning into everything possible. The onions were particularly strong, so we did some myth-busting to see if the old wives tales of chewing gum and/or burning a candle would keep our eyes from watering.
Gum - 1
Candle - 0
I also explained about the ripeness of produce, how everything has a peak season and how using ingredients that aren't ready to eat will affect a recipe. Ryan's response: "But sometimes I wait to pick a tomato from the garden because it's still kind of green and the next day I go back to pick it and it's half gone." We then discussed the result of having a family of bunnies living in our yard.
I explained the concept of thirds (the Pico de Gallo recipe called for equal parts of all three ingredients), which was tough for him to grasp since it's an odd number. Cutting something (a pizza, for instance) in half or forths made sense to him, thirds took some trial and error.
Ryan learned the easy way to slice and spoon out an avocado from its peel. (I did it, but he now knows something that I just learned last year)
He also learned that putting the avocado pit in the bowl with the Guacamole will keep it from browning. (another trick I just learned last year - this transitioned into a talk about oxygen affecting the natural color of produce)
All of this while doing "Home Economics" and spending some quality time in the kitchen with my boy who loves to cook.
No wonder Ryan's starting to enjoy homeschooling.