As a mom of twin toddlers, I’ve recently discovered the value that teachers have in our children’s lives. My kids love pre-school and their wonderful teachers who help to shape and nurture them. They are excited to do their “homework” and share all the fun projects they’ve completed at school. I’m grateful for the passion teachers share and the wonderful work they do! That is why I’m delighted to share a guest post by co-founder of a carton of milk, Arielle Diskin. An elementary school teacher, Arielle knows how to make learning fun (and how to make “fun” an important learning experience).
Let’s Make Pickles!
by Arielle Siskin, contributing writer
As two elementary school teachers we love to find ways to bring cooking into the classroom. There are so many skills your children can build upon from cooking with you. They can work on math skills with measuring, reading skills with looking at the recipe, and teamwork by working with you to cook. Cooking is a great activity to do together on any day, but especially one of those super rainy days where all you want to do is stay inside (but you don’t want your kids going stir crazy).
It’s important when you’re cooking together with kids that you make something that you can both enjoy at the end. You also want to cook something that’s healthy so you continue to model your healthy eating habits for your kids. For you all here at Nutri-Savvy, we wanted to bring you one of our favorite recipes to make with children…pickles!!! You will actually be taking cucumbers and brining them into pickles. Along the way it’s exciting to allow your children a taste of each ingredient before you add it to the recipe.
How to make your own pickles
You will need a 6 quart stove pot, a big jar or seal-able top canister, and measuring cups.
10-20 kirby cucumbers (these are the smaller cucumbers)
1 kirby cucumber cut into round slices (we will be using this as a taste tester experiment over the week that the cucumbers are pickling)
1 ½ quarts of vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)
2 gallons of water
2 bunches of fresh dill (they usually come about 5 stalks to a bunch)
10 garlic cloves peeled
1 ¼ cup of Kosher Salt (it’s best not to use table salt)
3 Tablespoons of whole mustard seed
Mix the water and vinegar together in your large stove pot, add the salt, and heat slightly to help the salt dissolve.
In your large canister, the one where you are going to store your cucumbers while they are pickling, put the mustard seed, the garlic cloves, and the dill. You want to make layers of the seeds, garlic, and dill and cucumbers. Continue layering until you have used up all your cucumbers. Save just a little bit of the spices to put into your testing jar with the sliced pickles. This way you can record the progress of the cucumbers over a week’s period.
Ladle the warm water/vinegar/salt recipe over your cucumbers. Save 1 cup of liquid to put over your sliced tester cucumbers. If your liquid does not completely cover the top of your layered tower, add in more water. Your cucumbers and spices should be completely submerged in liquid.
Let your pickles sit for at least 1 week before trying them.
A really fun extension to the pickle cooking session is to taste the cucumbers in intervals over the whole week. That’s what the sliced up cucumber is for. You can use this sheet (it’s a PDF that you can print out) to record what the pickles look like, taste like, and feel like throughout the week that the whole cucumbers are pickling. It’s a really fun way to add in some science skills to your cooking activity.
Please let us know how your pickling went!
Here’s a little fun “home-work” you can do together while your pickling is in progress: From Cucumber to Pickle
Arielle Diskin is the Co-founder and editor of http://acartonofmilk.com Check out this amazing site for mommy tips, bedtime stories, educational activities and more!