Jamming, canning and churning with GSP
RELEASED: July 21, 2005
DANVILLE, KYAt first glance the Governor's Scholars in Stephanie Dew's What's Cookin'? course look to be stirring a frothy vat of an unusual purple substance. Upon closer evaluationsmell and, of course, tasteit's obvious that the purple goo is blueberry jam.
Dew, associate professor of biology at Centre College, is using fun and tasty cooking projects to teach students about the science behind what appears on their dinner plates.
So far the Governor's Scholars have made whole wheat bread, pumpkin bread, pickles and ice cream. They've even churned butter.
For this particular lesson, Dew is teaching the students about food preservation by canning their finished jam.
Aaron Herbert of Louisville says he's enjoyed the hands-on learning aspect in this course. "It's interesting to know how the food is made, and it tastes good," he says.
This course is also teaching valuable life skills.
"When I get home I'll make food for myself instead of depending on others," Herbert says. "I know what's in the food now."
Earlier in the course, the students made two types of bread and discovered how seemingly similar products are actually very different.
Matt Wade of Elizabethtown, Ky., explains, "We made two kinds of bread and each one had a different way of rising. We used baking soda for the pumpkin bread and yeast for the whole wheat bread."
Brittany Little from Shepherdsville, Ky., says she discovered that cooking is so easy that even her "male counterparts" can join in the fun.
"I actually like cooking now," she says. "I also learned that guys can cook too, so if any guy tells me that he can't cook, I'll tell him he can."
Szuyung Chuang of Louisville admits that before coming to GSP her cooking ability was limited to breakfast cereal and salad. Now she says she's ready to cook at home.
"I told my mom that I'd make her breakfast with bread and jam, and of course cereal," she says.
No day in the kitchen (or science lab) would be complete without a failed reaction or cooking blooper.
Sophie Sun from Lexington, Ky., and her group discovered that measuring ingredients is a vital part of cooking.
"We made the best ice cream everjust a little sweet," Sun says with a laugh. "We put in too much sugar by accidenta lot too much sugar, which made it a little grainy. We didn't measure and thought it would turn out, but it didn't."
Sun's group redeemed itself for the next assignment by making the best bread in the class.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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