Monday, January 30, 2012

Bartending Rolodex Discovery and Easy At Home Science Activity

Last night, I unexpectedly found my old bartending rolodex.  It was like finding a treasure map.  I was giddy and I usually don’t do giddy.  When I graduated  college a really really long time ago, I taught high school for a few years and realized I needed an additional  part-time job to be able to pay my bills and continue working on my master’s degree.  I decided bartending would work best with my schedule.  I went to bartending school…which was basically two weeks of bullshit.  I did get to make my rolodex though.  This consisted of writing out drink recipes in alphabetical order.  The school placed me in a couple of bars.  One was so completely disgusting and scary that it is a wonder a made it out alive.  In addition to making drinks, I had to answer the phone for the hookers in the bar.  A bar partron came up to me and said, “if you’d wear tighter jeans, you’d get bigger tips.”  My response was, “if you’d brush that one tooth, I bet you’d get more dates.”  I only worked there one night.  Anyway, I went on to get a good job at a hotel bar.  The money was good.  So good, in fact, I quit my job to bartend full-time.  It was a really fun and interesting two years, but ultimately I got back to working with kids.  Kids or drunks…that’s how I roll.  I’m moving the rolodex to the kitchen and will start making some of the drinks. 

Think I’ll start with this one:

Love Juice

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Chambord
Fill with cranberry juice

Pour over ice, stir and serve.

And now, Monday's At Home Science Activity!

The Monster Marshmallow

What You Need?
Paper plates
A Microwave

What You Do?
Put a marshmallow on a plate.  Place in microwave.  Heat for a minute.  Watch it grow!

What is Going On?
Marshmallows are mostly sugar and water wrapped around a bunch of air bubbles. When you cook marshmallows in your microwave oven, several things happen at once. The microwave makes the water molecules vibrate very quickly—which makes the water heat up. The hot water warms the sugar, which softens a little. The hot water also warms the air bubbles.

When you warm air in a closed container, the gas molecules move around faster and push harder against the walls of the container. As the air in the bubbles warms up, the air molecules bounce around faster and faster and push harder against the bubble walls. Since the sugar walls are warm and soft, the bubbles expand, and the marshmallow puffs up. If it puffs up too much, some air bubbles burst, and the marshmallow deflates like a popped balloon.

When you take the marshmallow out of the microwave and it cools off, the bubbles shrink and the sugar hardens again. When the microwave marshmallow cools, it’s dry and crunchy. We think that’s because some of the water in the marshmallow evaporates when the marshmallow is hot.

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