Sunday, 6 January 2013

Adventures in play dough making

This weekend we embraced our inner DIYer parents. You know the kind. They make felted animals, sew their kids clothes, fill out their handcrafted baby journal on a regular basis and construct play kitchens out of old entertainment units. Seriously. This is a thing. Haven't you been to Pinterest

Crap. Come to think of it... that kitchen is next on our list. I admire these people. Time is one thing, you can always make yourself find time; I have no idea how they find the energy. I think in the end you just need to get off your ass and just do it. As with most things that don't involve a glass of wine with a great book, motivation is key. 

For our DIY adventure, we decided to start by making play dough. It was surprinsingly easy after our first two failed attempts. Those may not have occurred if we had normal flour in our hourse. We bake with spelt, chickpea, coconut, etc. flours... luckily we had some cake a pastry self rising flour left over from the last cake I made during the holidays. 

The problem with this is it has baking soda and salt already added. This  little quandary lead to us perusing the interweb for a recipe using self-rising flour. One site told us to just mix it equal parts water and flour. yeah. ummm. dough. it made dough. the sticks-to-everything-including-your-fingerprints kind of dough. 

We decided to go with the initial recipe I got from a friend and said salt ratio be damned. It turned out really well if you omit the little chunks from our momentary lapse of continuous stirring.  

The one thing we weren't expecting was for our amazingly curious and resilient daughter to be scared. She was more than a little apprehensive about the colorful stretchy substance. She actually ran away from it at one point. I think the pink offended her.

Eventually she came around, realizing it wouldn't bite, and it entertained her for hours (on and off of course) through the afternoon. 

I'm excited for our next batch and to play around with natural food colorings. Know of any really great ones? I hear beets make for amazing purple.

Oh, and if you want to give it a whirl... here's the successful play dough recipe:

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons cream of tarter or ( 1 tablespoon powdered alum)
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons vanilla
food colouring
Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until reaching consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and food colouring. Divide into balls and work in colour by kneading. (wear gloves, colouring stains until it is mixed into dough)

And, if you have any brilliant tips for helping the dough last longer, be sure to leave a comment below!

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