Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm perfecting my play d'oh

I've been trying to call a truce with the playdough. Recently, I latched onto an incidental tip I picked up from the LGBB's day care place - one of the girls there makes her playdough with "extra oil and a bit of flavouring to make it smell nice."

Now, I thought this would just entice the kids to eat it more. And perhaps for littl'uns, this wouldn't work so well (mind you, most kids I daresay wouldn't sit and eat it by the handful because it's pretty darn awful... but you never know, says the girl who used to chew Blu-Tack because she thought she'd found a loophole in the "No bubble-or-chewing gum" rule in our house). But for older toddlers, heck, why not make it smell a bit nicer?

I use the standard Cream of Tartar tin recipe and just add a good helping of food colouring and whatever essence (rose is a good all-round safe one) I have in the house. You could also try cherry scent or perhaps orangeblossom or a nice lemon.

I reckon the trick is in the stirring/compiling. And forget all that saucepan malarkey. Here's how I do mine (a variation on the C of T tin recipe):

Play Dough
Ingredients: 2 cups plain flour, 4tbs Cream of Tartar, 2 tbs cooking oil (make them generous - more like 2.5-3tbs), 2tbs cooking oil, 1 cup salt, food colouring, 2 cups water.

Method: Boil the kettle. Put the flour, Cream of Tartar and salt in a bowl. Stir a bit to combine.
Add the cooking oil to the dry ingredients.
Measure out 2 cups of just-boiled water, add at least 1tsp food colouring to the water while it's still in its measuring jug (a generous dash, I'm not too accurate in measuring the colour part).
Then add the coloured water to the bowl and mix it all together with a metal spoon.
It will go gluggy and firm up almost instantly, so be sure to work quickly. This will ensure even coverage of the colour and also ample melting of the salt.
You can add your essence/fragrance at this point, just a drop or two should do.

Oh it makes the loveliest, softest play dough! If you've not been a fan of the stuff, or are sick of crumbly, floury or gritty play dough (or simply haven't found a recipe you're keen on yet), give it a try. Let me know how yours turns out!

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