Thursday, October 2, 2014

Apples Aplenty

Gordon Lee has been learning all about apples this week. There are endless ideas for things you can do with apples. Plus, my child who wouldn't touch a raw apple before this is eating them like candy now! What a bonus. :) His books have really helped him understand how apples are formed, and they also help him realize that different apples have different flavors. 

After reading his books, he decided that his favorite apple was the golden delicious based solely on the name of the apple and the way it looked to him. Conveniently, the skin of the golden delicious apple is very thin.  So, a child like him really enjoys eating that kind whole. The skin is so thin that the texture of it does not bother him at all.  As he was eating a giant one today, he kept saying, "Mommy, you have to take a bit of this! It is just so delicious!"

Since the are so many possibilities of things to do with apples.  I will just share a list of our idea (including things we have done and things we have yet to try).

1.) Apple Prints- It is so easy to cut an apple in half horizontally (and also vertically to see a different print) and make a print with the 5 seed pockets of the apple. Gordon Lee made a few prints choosing green paint.  He definitely had fun.  They don't look like the ones you might see in an article about apple prints, but this is all his doing.  And I believe in celebrating his artwork regardless of how it looks.

2.) Fun Apple Snack- I sort of just happened upon this idea.  I had recently seen a sort of caramel apple candy idea that a friend shared.  And I was planning on trying it.  Instead of dipping a whole apple in caramel, you scoop the interior of the apple into a ball shape, dip it in caramel.  And you have a caramel apple pop.  I actually did not get to that yet. The reason was that I completely didn't think about the fact that I didn't have any sticks for this! So, instead, Gordon Lee had fun just using a melon baller to scoop the apple flesh out of the apple.  He had fun.  He could basically make his own snack.  Plus, it's clean and easy. He used a honey crisp apple for this. And he loved it so much, he would just stick some pieces straight in his mouth.  
- I cut the apple in half. 
- Dug out the core
- Showed him with his hand on the melon baller how to scoop it out of the apple.
From there he had it! The melon baller did slip once and slightly cut his other hand.  But that was my fault because I walked away to throw out the apple core. During that time, he got overly eager.  If I had been watching him right then, I could have prevented that. So I would definitely recommend supervision even if his cut wasn't very big.
 (Eating the apple before it makes it to the bowl)

(Final product in the bowl)

3.) Making Apple Sauce- This one is so easy. Gordon Lee and I cut up apples, steamed them, and then put them in the blender with some cinnamon sugar. The applesauce was delicious! I couldn't get Gordon Lee to even taste it after we made it.  But I know I will certainly be eating it.

4.) Trying a Variety of Apples- There are so many kinds to try.  And Gordon Lee especially enjoys tasting apples of varying colors. It's easy to buy one or two of a different kind and try them (although maybe the cashier at the grocery store might not find that fun). Gordon Lee still loves golden delicious the best.  I'm trying to find some pink lady apples because those are my favorite and he loves the color pink.
(This isn't the best picture, but he really loved this apple.  And he would eat the whole thing!)

5.) Examining the Apple-
-First, one of his books told us to look at the bottom of the apple and you can see the sepals of the apple flower.
-Cutting the apple horizontally so that the seed pockets appear creates a good math activity.  You can dig out seeds and count how many there are in each seed pocket.
-A new discovery for us was what looked like an apple blossom in the center of the apple if you cut just above the seed pockets. I find this one pretty remarkable since the actual petals of the blossom fall off before the apple forms.  But it's a neat way to see that the apple actually came from a flower.
-We have also dissected an apple to name the parts of the apple.

Ideas yet to try

6.) Making an apple pie from scratch (This is on the agenda for tomorrow).
7.) Making candy and caramel apple "pops." I just need to find a way to get sticks for the "pop" part or we will just end up with candy and caramel apple balls.
8.) Possibly visiting an orchard.  There is one about 40 minutes away from here. I want to go, but I definitely need to be able to plan it out right.
9.) Doing a blind taste test and seeing if Gordon Lee can guess what kind of apple he is tasting.
10.) Attempting to make some version of an apple sweet bread.

There are even more ideas than these. But some (like making apple cider) are a bit more than I can do right now. ;)