This recipe began with a science unit in my first grade classes. I had to teach my Little Monsters (I use that term with love haha) about the characteristics of living things. I had to think of a way for them to experience their learning in a fun and meaningful way. Well, I decided to get some silkworms!
I had the eggs and they hatched.
And we monitored their growth.
They made cocoons and emerged as lovely creamy white butterflies.
The children were so excited.So was I. It amazed them (and me) that the silk that we wear comes from these little silkworms. I made the children close their eyes and place their hands on their desks. I brushed my favourite silk scarf along their hands and they squealed with delight. They marvelled at how soft it was.
The children were able to see first hand how these living creatures have different phases. They were so happy. As expected, our little butterflies laid eggs and they hatched this week. My husband went to get some mulberry leaves and he came back with some mulberries. I had never tried them before and they were really good! He asked me if I could do anything with them and I found a recipe for Strawberry bread on http://allrecipes.com It is originally for two loaves but I halved the amounts because I only had enough mulberries for one! It turned out wonderfully!
1 cup fresh mulberries
1 1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 eggs, beaten
Walnuts to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.Place mulberries in medium-sized bowl. (If they are quite large, slice them).Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing batter.Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in large bowl; mix well. Blend oil and eggs into mulberries. Add mulberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, at least 50 to 60 minutes Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaf out of pan, and allow to cool before slicing.
It tastes delicious. And it all started with silkworms!
I learned two interesting things with my science unit.
1. The female silkworms do not have an easy time laying their eggs. You can easily see the poor little things struggling before laying their eggs and dying soon after. There is something really beautiful, in my opinion, about seeing this
2. The quality of the silkworm’s diet made a big difference in their coloration and growth. The first generation of worms were small to medium and were either white or grey. They ate dried and powdered mulberry leaves from the year before. The second generation ate fresh mulberry leaves that were growing here in Madrid. They were larger and had such different coloration. No more just grey and white but also mixtures of black, orange and yellow.
First generation. Not so pretty!
I am quite keen on using fresh ingredients when possible and this was an unexpected confirmation that I am doing the right thing.
Enjoy the bread! Xxxx Natascha
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