The sight of moldy bread transported me back to third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Elskes, placed a piece of bread in a yellow Tupperware container and placed it in a cabinet so we could witness the growth of mold. I would open the container periodically and observe the fuzzy green fungus. So even though my homemade bread did not nourish my children's bodies while I was away, I decided it could nourish their minds with mommy home. Rather than throwing away the moldy bread, we kept it around for observation. We looked up mold in the dictionary and encyclopedia. We discussed the difference between harmful molds (black), tasty molds (cheese), and beneficial molds (antibiotics). We concocted a new mold growth experiment, using bread, cheese and compost bound fruit and vegetable remnants. If the kid's hypothesis is correct, we should see some growth by Friday.
Avery and I love to collect homophones and homonyms, so we discussed the alternate meanings of the word "mold". We mixed up some plaster and used bottle caps as molds. Not the best idea, as I still haven't figured out how to release the plaster from the bottle cap, but the kids liked playing with plaster.
Then we made a molded cake. Aidan was concerned that we were making moldy cake. I assured him that molded cake was much better than moldy cake, and they both agreed by having seconds.
Today they are making molded cookies with Grandma. I'm anxious to sample some shortbread when they come home. So next time you notice mold growing on food, don't berate yourself for being a bad housekeeper. Consider it an educational experience. Observe the different types of mold growing, from long stringy filaments to yellow clusters to green fuzz. Get out your candy molds and make something cute with plaster. Butter and flour your bundt pan and make some banana chocolate chip cake. Send your kids to grandma's to bake more delicious treats. Call it science for the week.