With the coronavirus keeping us hunkered down on the farm, life is not much different than before. It has forced me to stop restocking my shelves and using what I have on hand for meals, which is probably a blessing. A heifer broke her leg, and I have to make room for more hamburger. For many of you, the kids are home from school and trying to learn remotely. If you have a hands-on learner, then they are going to love these projects in the kitchen. I found a couple of websites with food science experiments. I wish my teachers had access to these neat ideas. Maybe I would have taken science more seriously.
    Check out http://www.weareteachers.com or http://www.littlebinsforlittlehands.com. I lost track of time looking at these sites. It made me wish my kids were still around to play mad scientist in the kitchen.

Edible soil layers
    Using a clear glass, layer the ingredients to visualize the different layers of soil.
    - Bedrock: chocolate and butterscotch chips.
    - Subsoil: chocolate pudding.
    - Topsoil: crushed Oreo cookies.
    - Organic material: green colored coconut and gummy worms.
Colored deviled eggs with natural homemade colors
Hard boiled eggs
Food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar for each color
    Remove the shells from the hard boiled eggs and slice each egg in half. Remove the yolks from egg halves and place in a bowl. Set yolks aside. Get enough mugs for the number of colors you want to use. Fill two-thirds of the way full with cold water. Add three drops of desired food coloring along with 1 teaspoon vinegar to each mug. Place egg whites in mugs and allow to sit in the food coloring until desired color is reached. Remove whites from dye and drain on a plate lined with a couple of paper towels. Make your favorite deviled egg filling. Mine is mashed egg yolks combined with Miracle Whip, vinegar or sour pickle juice, mustard and salt. We like them with a bit of bite. Top with paprika.
    Now if you are ambitious, you can make your own natural color dyes. Red/purple is probably the easiest. Just use pickled beet juice. You can use spices for yellow and orange colors. Boil 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons turmeric or 2 tablespoons paprika for 5 minutes. Pour into cups or bowls. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar. For the color blue, you will need to boil 2 cups of water with 3 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries for 5 minutes. Strain color liquid into cups or bowls and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
    Since we cannot gather together for an Easter church service, here is a way to teach the resurrection story. I found this in my church cookbook when the kids were in grade school. We made these cookies together as we talked about the Easter story. Here is a hint. Like any good 4-H demonstration, have everything premeasured and prepared to move smoothly between the steps to keep their attention. I cannot wait to do this with our grandkids.

Resurrection cookies
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
    Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
    Let the children smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
    Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
    Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.    
    So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
    Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonful onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
    Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Close the door and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matt 27:65-66.
    Go to bed.
    Explain to children that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
    On Resurrection morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow. On the first Resurrection day, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.
    He has risen. Hallelujah.
    Natalie, Mark and his brother Al, farm together near Rice, Minn. They milk 100 registered Holsteins under the RALMA prefix. Their four children are grown up and all involved in agriculture with hopes of someone returning to the farm. For questions or comments, please e-mail Natalie at mnschmitt@jetup.net.