Our skies have been blue, it's Spring break around these parts, and everyone's back in the pink (thank you, kindly, for all your well wishes!) So, I'm unplugging this week, to spend time with my peeps. We'll be soaking up the sun, whenever it shines. Exploring our world. Getting a good black line of grime under our nails.
No words, then, or recipes this week. But I'd hate to leave you empty-bellied and empty-handed. So a little something, for those with little ones. You've seen dough-filled fingers before around here, but there's no dough that sees more action in our home than that dough, down there. It's simple stuff, standard cooked playdough, straight out of our dear old co-op's 2003 newsletter. I must have made 200 pounds by now.
It always sounds a little silly, to me, to say "I make my own playdough!" I'm not really that self-sufficient; stitching buttons still ruffles my every last feather. But homemade playdough, oh, have you tried it? It's something else. The texture's lovely, silky and pliable, and fresh out of the pan, the warmth is unbeatable. It's open-ended and all-ages and all-natural and all that jazz. It's also cheap, and fast, and dead-simple, but none of that's the main thing.
The main thing is, homemade playdough's happy. It's happy because you can do no wrong. There's never that sad moment when your miserly bits of yellow-tub turquoise and fuscia squoosh irredeemably into streaky brown. There's always enough to go around. And if it rains, because it is Spring after all, it's like mud you can invite indoors to play.
I often double this recipe, for a truly impressive mound. When we do add color, we color it all the same, for that lovely, endless, no-worries quality.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup water
optional: a few drops food coloring, glitter
Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”. Remove from stove and knead for several minutes. If you choose to add food coloring or glitter, do so now, during the kneading process. Play dough will keep for months stored in a covered plastic container or plastic sandwich bag.