Everyone loves jello, I mean most of us who grew up in America in the 80s or 90s can sing part of the ad, and may be thinking J-E-L-L-O in a somewhat deep voice. But do you know the science behind jello?
I had bits and pieces of ideas for this month’s Poppins Book Nook, but didn’t know for sure what I wanted to do for chemistry, and somehow in my mind The Witches (affiliate link, which we’d just finished reading and were looking for snacks for) and Jello or gummies seemed like they went together in my head, I don’t really know why. It just did.
Learning about the science behind jello
We tried out two recipes, the usual recipe on the box, and a gummy recipe from Almost Unschoolers (she’s almost always successful in the kitchen), but more on that later.
First though to find out the science behind jello.
The kids were quite fascinated by all of this, and now it’s time to make our jello and our gummies……
So, let’s pretend I don’t have 20 photos looking like this, and I actually have pictures of the process, I’d draw it out for you, but the morning is coming all too soon, and I’m showing the kids the reality of public school this week, much to my dismay (I have to get up at 6:00, there’s a reason I homeschool, and this stinks, but the kids needed a “lesson”).
So the gummy recipe says mix 1 box of flavored gelatin and 3 boxes of unflavored gelatin. This would be why you read the recipe before shopping. All I’d remembered was 4 boxes of gelatin, so we’d bought 4 boxes of FLAVORED Jello.
No problem, I thought, it’ll just have an extra strong flavor.
But just in case I hedged my bets, and instead of making the 3 different flavors of gummies we’d talked about we only made 1. And 2, no make that 3 types of Jello, because I’d chosen some too.
So, as I’m frantically following her directions and mixing the powder in, the kids are building jello box monsters. And cutting up the empty boxes to create accessories.
Accesories!!!!!!!! (Yes, that’s needs like 10 exlamation points, I think I’m missing a few)!!!!!!!!
Eventually I have it more or less mixed in, so I proceed to the heating step and the pouring in step and set that mess aside.
Now to make real Jello, but you know. I am terrible at making jello, watching this movie and reading the gummy instructions up above gave me some insights into part of my problem. Are you ready for it?
I don’t really mix it completely. There’s almost always a fine layer of powder I can see at the bottom because I get tired of stirring the powder. So I end up with a slightly gummy layer at the bottom.
So we put the jello in the frig to set up, and left the gummies out on the counter because I didn’t remember seeing anything about putting it in the frig.
We came back to start watching The Witches (affiliate link, and I will warn you it’s somewhat scary for kids, my kiddos spent the entire evening cuddling), and prepped lots of snacks.Finally I pulled the Jello out of the frig and discovered.
It hadn’t set. At all, despite it being over 3 hours later. How long does Jello take to set?
So I checked on the gummies and they weren’t set either, so into the frig they went. We happily ate our other snacks and we had a quick chemistry lesson about the science behind dry ice, and how the carbon dioxide instantly sublimates, going straight from solid to gaseous form.
However the kids were suitable impressed by our witches’ brew to make up for the failed gummies and jello.
Saturday we went to eat our jello and it was still rather jiggly, but by SUNDAY it was ready to eat…..
Someday something will go right in the kitchen. This was not that someday.
Oh well, I keep trying.
You know who is successful with experiments using household items? Maryanne, she has a great list, click on it back there.
The wonderful bloggers that participate in the Poppins Book Nook are:
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God?s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy?s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy?s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A ?Peace? of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ Simple Living Mama
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
One day… I will try jello too. You tried a lot of science for this book!
We did, I was surprised where our food plans took us. Jello is supposed to be so simple, but I always get it wrong. Sigh.
Almost Unschoolers says
Well…your movie buffet still looked fabulous, anyway 🙂 And, it sounds like no one was maimed or injured by the dry ice. All in all a success!
Yes the buffet was a huge hit, but they usually are. And I was quite pleasantly surprised no one was hurt by the dry ice.
Still looked like a fabulous spread to enjoy the movie with!
It sure was, the kids had a blast eating away at all of the goodies. Even if the jello didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
I bet your kids learned a lot from this! You aren’t supposed to, but I have successfully set jello up quickly by sticking it in the freezer.
I’ll have to try that next time, I never remember to start it far enough in advance to set it in the proper time frame.
Marie-Claude Leroux says
That was an amazing spread for the movie – and fun to have come up with two science experiments to go with it!
Figuring out snacks for the movie has become much easier now that the kids help figure out snacks.
Oh Ticia!!! We should get together and cook. For the life of me I am completely unable to make custard (as in packet add milk type thing) I can make jelly. I’ll show you the jelly and you can show me custard. If it goes horribly wrong they both have enough sugar in that they’ll probably taste fine!
I’m so glad others have problems with the kitchen, is that selfish of me?
This is such a great post! I have never thought about the science behind jello before! And hooray for no dry ice injuries!
Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!
I know I was shocked we had none!