Thursday, November 19, 2009

Florida: Oranges

Florida's state flower is the orange blossom flower and their state beverage is orange juice.  So we worked on oranges for the state of Florida.  We were spoiled when living in Florida because we had a wonderful navel orange tree.  We miss it.  A couple of days ago, Arin said, "Mommy, our grapes are all gone, are we going to plant oranges now?"  Looks like she also misses the convenience of fruit growing in our yard.

We bought a bag of oranges from the grocery store - I never recommend doing this, but we had no other options.   We had planned to juice some of the oranges, but most of them were dried out, more like end of the season oranges than beginning of the season oranges.  Very disappointing!

We read:
An orange in January by Dianna Hutts Aston
Oranges to Orange Juice by Inez Snyder
From Oranges to Orange Juice by Kristin Thonnes Keller
A Star in My Orange by Dana Meachen Rau
We made orange cream cheese cut out cookies.  To go along with fall, we made them in leaf shapes.  The recipe tells how to make frosting for them, but we prefer them without the icing.

We also did a couple of experiments with oranges and orange juice.  First, we cut the ends off of an orange to see if one end is sweeter than the other.  The blossom end is sweeter. 

After tasting the orange ends, we cut the oranges up and had them for a snack.

Next, I poured water in one glass and an equal amount of orange juice in another glass.  I told Arin that we were going to put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in each glass.  I asked her which one she thought would bubble when the baking soda was added.  She guessed the water.  It was actually the orange juice.  This is because orange juice is an acid, which when mixed with the baking soda, it releases the carbon dioxide from the baking soda.  We also tasted the new "orange soda".  It was terrible!

For our last experiment, we filled two glasses halfway with orange juice.  I told Arin that we would be adding half a teaspoon of baking soda to one glass and half a teaspoon of baking powder to the other.  I asked her which she though would bubble more.  She said the baking soda.  This time she was right.  This is because when you add baking soda to the acid (orange juice) you are upsetting the balance of acid and alkalai, actually adding more acid to the mixture.  We learned our lesson and did not taste these mixtures!

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