Claire was flipping through a kids' science book and wanted to try an experiment with an egg and vinegar. You put in the egg in a glass and cover it with vinegar and eventually the acid in the vinegar eats away the calcium in the shell. It really was quite interesting and we were left with the soft, thick membrane holding the white and yolk of the egg. Of course, this had to be punctured, just to see what would happen. Then we had an eggy, vinegary concoction.
Claire thought it would be interesting to drop in some of the mini-marshmellows we had used earlier in making toothpick towers. Benjamin eagerly joined in at this point.
Then came the genius idea of picking the candy off the dried up gingerbread houses and adding them to the (gross) mix. Here you can see the vinegar/egg base on the left and the gingerbread getting ready for demolition. And two big smiles!
The candy pieces all sunk to the bottom, so Claire insisted I take this picture so we could see every little detail. They discovered that after the gumdrops sat in the "stew" for a bit, the sugar all disolved which made them look like shiney "diamonds." Hmmm. Sticky diamonds, I guess.
Out come the egg beaters. Later Claire found the pumpkin carving tools which were perfect for sawing through the walls of the gingerbread houses. This activity filled up nearly three hours of time (on Martin Luther King Day when they didn't have school). And the kids were giggling and working together the whole time!
I cleaned up this gross mess. And let me say that vinegar and ginger both have very very pungent scents. I had to hold my breathe a bit. But it was worth it. It was one of those crazy times when everything just comes together to make big fun. Now I know we'll have to make gingerbread houses again next Christmas if not for the holiday decorations, but for the post-holiday "yuck stew."