Herbs & Spices Overview – Science Lesson 31

Today I learned about Herbs and Spices.  I’ll start off talking about the herbs, than I’ll move on to the spices, and after that I’ll talk about some relating character traits connecting the two.

To start off, the lesson listed a good handful of herbs, some of which I had not known about, including  Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Bergamot, Lavender, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Angelica, Celery, Coriander leaf, Dill, Fennel, Pili-Pili, and Eucalyptus.  The main definition of an herb is that it is a fresh or dried leafy part of a plant that is used for its flavoring, perfume, or its medicinal qualities.   Herbs can be from a(n) annual, biennial, or perennial, and it’s supposed to be used in small bits.

Now I’ll talk about spice, and these are a couple spices that he listed in the video: Cinnamon, Allspice, Chili Peppers, Vanilla, Chocolate, Curry, Paprika, Saffron, Pimento, Cannelle, Dill, Tumeric, and Ginger.  The definition of a spice is a dried seed, bark, or root used for flavoring, coloring, or preserving food, and it has a medicinal value.

Then there’s the nutritional benefits and culinary uses.  The health benefits are Phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties, the Terpene compounds, which decrease the production of “free radicals” or harmful cells in the body, therefore it gives them anti-cancer properties, the anti-inflammatory properties, the vitamins and minerals, and they support and influence the metabolism (the system that sends out antibodies when you get sick) positively, keeping you healthy.  And there’s the culinary uses, which are being served fresh, chopped (use a sharp knife for this, or it will leave a brown/black discoloration on the herb/spice), crumbled if dried, heated in oil to extract the flavor, ground into coarse or fine particles, or turned into a flavor extract that will quickly permeate that dish.  Herbs and spices are quite an interesting subject!

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Green Goblin Smoothie – Science Lesson 30 – Yet Another Failure

Green Goblin Smoothie – more like Bad Blue Smoothie!  I did everything correct……… what went wrong?  I don’t know.  Well, I know I need a little more practice in the smoothie section.  I was supposed to put in some raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, 1  frozen banana, one lettuce leaf, two teaspoons acai or something like acai,  two cups nut or seed milk (I used almond), and of course the blender and friend (unless it turns out like this!).  As always, stuff it all in the blender and blend it.  If it turns out like this, throw it away.  It tasted terrible!

Three Annoying Smoothies – Science lesson 29 – Another Set of Failures

The troublesome trio of smoothies – Berry Blue Smoothie, Blueberry Mint Smoothie, and Strawberry Daydream Smoothie.  In the making of each one, I made at least one mistake.  For the Berry Blue, I was supposed to put in  1 cup blueberries or purple grapes, 2 Tbsp. acai or blackcurrant powder (or blackberries), 800 ml (27 fl. oz.) of nut or seed milk (example: almond milk), 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional), 2 semi-frozen bananas, 1/2 avocado, and the seeds of one vanilla pod.  I accidentally put in too much blackberries and it turned out too blackberry-tasting, and I then didn’t like it, so our guests drank it, and they liked it.  For the Blueberry Mint smoothie I put in too much mint, and I was supposed to put in 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 frozen banana (peeled before frozen), 1 cup spinach, 1 cup apple juice, ½ cup pineapple chunks, and ¼ cup fresh mint.  That one was too minty, and again, our guests liked and drank them.  When I made the Strawberry Daydream, they were not there (thank goodness they weren’t!), and I accidentally forgot to cap the strawberries, simply dropped the strawberries in the blender, and blended the ingredients, which were  2 cups strawberries, 2 nectarines, 1 mango, 1 banana, ½ cup fresh lemon balm or basil, and 1 cup water.  While I did that, mom asked me if I’d capped the strawberries, and I said, “Whoops.  I forgot to do that.”  It was then that I noticed that I’d forgotten the caps.  And mom started laughing so hard she was crying, and I nearly burst into tears because I thought that she was laughing at me.  Later on, however, she said that she thought that I was cute when I said the line. She said that she understood that since we had been putting so many leaves in that I forgot about the strawberry leaves (when it happened I was actually thinking about the spinach leaves that I had put in the Blueberry Mint Smoothie the day before) and put them in.  These three smoothies were super annoying!

Success Principles-ABC Lesson 26-Three Successes That I Have Had

In this lesson he asks you to name three successes that you have had, and talk about them, and if they coincide with his success principles, talk about it in 150 words (at least!).  Here’s my compilation.

1. Finishing fifth grade.

2. Riding 60 miles on a bike.

3. Getting Scout rank in BSA.

1. Finishing fifth grade: When I finished fifth grade, I was ecstatic!  I then went to summer camp for two weeks.  After that I had two more weeks to play, and in July, I started having to overview my classes.

2. Riding 60 miles on a bike: I had to work at it all by my self, with a little bit of encouragement from dad and the music from the boombox on his bike. He also tipped me about eating lots of carbs before biking — and I made it! 🙂

3. Getting Scout rank in Boy Scouts of America: this one was hard, but I made it through!  I kept missing seven requirements that kept slipping my mind or I couldn’t do.  I figured it out over time (with the help of mom and dad) and got Scout rank!  After that I was exited to go up for Tenderfoot, which I am still working on.

Slow Roasted Garlic Tomatoes – Science Lesson 15 – My First Failure

Eeaugh!!  Yuck!”   That’s what I said when I tried these.  They were disgusting!  Why?  I had put in WAY too much garlic!  The point of the recipe?  I don’t know.  I do know I am NOT putting that much garlic in again.  The problem was that I didn’t know how much a clove is, since I had a big can of pre-minced garlic.  The original recipe was to use some tomatoes, a matching amount of  garlic cloves, and some thyme and olive oil, and simply hallow out the tomatoes, drop one clove of garlic, one  teaspoon of thyme in, and put the top of the tomato back on, put them in the oven for an hour and a half, and serve.  

I learned a lesson that day.  Do not put in too much garlic ……… in anything!  Maybe I’ll try again sometime in the future, but that was quite the failure.

Malus Domestica, My Favorite Fruit – Science lesson 21

Ah, how I love the fruit of Malus Domestica, that delicious fruit that I simply can’t resist, especially with some peanut butter in the mix. The sheer versatility of it makes it all the better. And the deliciously good treats that it can make is uncountable. For instance, the caramel apple, the apple pie, apple fritters, applesauce, peanut butter filled apples, the common everyday apple slices with peanut butter. Those are just a couple. But first, let’s talk about the apple in the language of Botanists.

First off, I mentioned that the botanical name for the apple is Malus Domestica.  Its category is Angiosperm, the genus Rosaceae (ro-say-see-eye), and the common name Apple.  Speaking of names, there is a synonym to Malus Domestica: Pyrus Malus!  The name Malus Domestica can refer to any apple cultivar, so watch out for that.  Also, the fruit does not ripen after harvest (eg. Banana), so you have to eat them before they start to look brown, and that’s when you have to throw them to the birds because they’ve deteriorated (rotted from using itself up after being taken from its energy source).  The apple is an Angiosperm  (has the little tubes in the leaves) and is picked in the fall.  Apples are quite an interesting subject, and are a favorite fruit of mine!