Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tar Pit

This is not actually food.

But it's still too hot to cook here, so I can't post actual recipes.  We're living on fruit and cheese sandwiches (do you want my recipe for cheese sandwiches?  Take good bread, cut thick.  Hellman Mayonaise, spread thick.  Add Boarshead White American cheese, a couple of slices.  Cut off crusts.  Mmm!).

Tar pit is something I make for the kid, and have been making for the kid, since she was knee-high.  She loves it.  It's called tar-pit because she used it, when she was that little, as a tar pit to mire all her little dinosaurs in. (I also carefully scrubbed out egg shells so she could hatch the baby dinosaurs from them.  She was my tiny paleontologist.)

It's not really called tar pit.  I forget what it's called.  But we make it several times a year, and it's still a big hit.

It's really cool and terribly disgusting to make.

Start with 2 large bottles of white school glue, the kind that used to be 8 oz and is now 750 ml.

You'll also need Borax, the powdered sort.  Only one store in our area sells this anymore, so good luck.

Take 4 teaspoons of Borax and mix it in a small glass measuring cup with 1 cup of hot tap water, as hot as will come out of your tap.  Stir it up thoroughly.  Add some food coloring if you like. Whatever color you like.  Purple is good for tar pits.  Use lots.

In a largish glass or ceramic bowl, put a cup and a half of hot water, and add all the glue.  Stir, stir.

Dump in the Borax & water mix, while stirring & stirring.  The kid can dump while you stir.  This is the Very Exciting Part, because as you dump, the Borax reacts with the glue to become -- I don't know -- hideous globs!  Nasty horrible gummy yucks! Don't flinch! Keep stirring!

When it gets too thick, scrape off the spoon, shove the mess at the kid, and let her or him continue to knead by hand.  Go "Ack-ack-ack, that's disgusting!" in an encouraging way.

As it solidifies a bit, you can dump the solid bit (vaguely ball-shaped by now) out onto wax paper and let the kid keep kneading and messing, and take everything else off to scrub, because it will be slimy and uck.

If your kid is like my kid, they will be occupied for hours.  Small toys, scissors, butter knives, and such to bury in the tar pit make playing more fun.

When they are done, seal in a Rubbermaid vat and the tar pit will keep for weeks.  Oh Boy!

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