Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Isn't That Pinteresting?

Weekly round-up of our experiments with things I found on Pinterest.

When I was in college, I had a wonderful friend named Yung Bok who was from South Korea. At one point, she decided that I was too old to be single and she was determined to get me married. (At this time, I would have been about 21 or 22... Yung Bok - who was also single and had no interest in being married - was in her late 30s... I did try to point out this inconsistency in thinking, but Yung Bok would not be disuaded.) Yung Bok decided that the thing that would make me more marriageable would be cooking skills. She decided that she would teach me to cook. (Again, I tried to tell Yung Bok that I was able to cook, just not interested. No effect. Yung Bok was a stubborn woman.) At any rate, I learned to cook several Korean dishes. They were great! I loved eating them. But I did not love cooking them. Yunk Bok taught me very traditional methods which were long, complicated and involved. My favorite dish to eat was Bulgogi... also known as Korean Beef. Making this dish via Yung Bok's recipe is a 2-day process. It's delicious, but it just takes SO much time! So when I came across this link, I really wanted to give it a try and I made it for dinner one night last week. It's super easy and so good! It really tastes just like Bulgogi ought to and making it with ground beef instead of flank steak means it's much more affordable and faster to cook. Next time around (sounds like a good meal for tonight!) I'm going to add some cauliflower and sliced carrots to bring it even closer to Yung Bok's version of Bulgogi... not to mention adding a little extra nutrition. It's good stuff. You should definitely try it!

Factory Tours USA (http://factorytoursusa.com/)

I took a look at this site to see what was in our area, and it reminded me of the existence of Hammond's Candy Factory in Denver. Haley had been on this factory tour before but the rest of us had never been. So on the Friday after school let out for summer, I took the day off work (because Aaron had to work on his usual day off... and someone had to watch the kids!). And I loaded up the car and headed to the candy factory. It was a fun trip. I could wish that we had gotten to see more candy-making in action. And it would have been great to see it closer up than through a couple of windows to the factory floor. But on the other hand, the fact that we just watched through windows and video monitors meant that I didn't have to worry that one of the boys would suddenly bolt over to check out some boiling hot sugar or an interesting - and possibly dangerous - piece of machinery. The really difficult part of the whole experience was the end of the tour, which ended - of course - in the gift shop. Trying to keep the kids (and myself) from buying out the whole candy store was a chore. I won't confess how much candy went home with us, but suffice it to say that our "free" tour ended up costing more than I had planned! There are a few more factory tours we want to check out in our area (though the biggest ones here are mostly beer companies or the Celestial Seasonings tea company... so not ones our Mormon family plans to check out!) but mostly I think this could be a great reference for when we're traveling and wondering about things to go see along the way. Most of these tours are free, and I'm all for free and educational entertainment!

Glow Bottles

We have been planning to do this one for weeks, but kept not getting around to it. According to the post on Pinterest, you just put 1/4" Mt Dew in bottle, add tiny bit of baking soda and 3 capfuls of hydrogen peroxide. Shake it up and it glows. Then you could use the bottle as a giant glowstick or pour on the sidewalk to "paint" in the dark... sounded like lots of fun!

So a couple of weeks ago I got a bottle of Mountain Dew and four bottles of Pepsi. After all, I needed a glow bottle for each child to play with, so I just had to make the sacrifice of emptying those bottles of Pepsi. It was for the children. Nothing to do with any supposed Pepsi addiction on my part. ;) I picked up some hydrogen peroxide at the store and we were ready to go.

Sunday night we finally got around to making our bottles. The kids waited excitedly all day, wondering when it would be dark enough. They got to stay up late waiting for dark so we could do this project, which made it all the more exciting. The anticipation was killing them! When I finally announced that it was time, they ran into the kitchen and jumped around with glee as they watched me start the mix. I added Mountain Dew to an empty bottle, followed by the baking soda and peroxide. I capped it and shook vigorously. And nothing happened. No glow. Not even the tiniest bit of light. We turned off all the lights and looked again hopefully. Nothing. I added more of the various ingredients, hoping I could tweak it into luminescence. But it remained stubbornly dark.

I went online to see if I could find a more precise recipe that would work for us... only to learn that the whole recipe is apparently a hoax. The original video clip showing the experiment was probably faked by adding the contents of a glow stick to the bottle. I couldn't believe it! Why would someone put that up there just to trick people into trying it and failing? People are jerks sometimes.

What a crushing disappointment after so much build-up. The kids were very sad about it. Preston cried. I felt terrible that it had failed and I had to send them off to bed on such a down note. *sigh* Hopefully future Pinterest experiments will go much better.

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