5.20.2006

Experimenting with Forms

Since I'm not studying Plato, I'm studying philosophy of play-dough, instead.

I love recipe*zaar.

Thousands and thousands of recipes. Some of them are good, some of them are lousy... but most of them have reader comments explaining why they are good or lousy, and how they experimented with the recipe, and how their experimentation made the recipe better or lousier.

And best of all, you can sort the recipes according to rating.

So lately, whenever I'm looking for a recipe, I'll just examine the top three or four recipes that dozens of people have given 5 stars. I'll also read a bunch of the comments, and get a feel for what made each of the five star recipes so great. Then I'll try to combine the best elements of each recipe, and come up with my own.

So here's the play dough I made yesterday. And I must say, I liked it very much.

Combine in medium saucepan:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup salt

Add:
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Knead together with a big spoon over low heat.

A few drops at a time, slowly add 3/4 cup water, fully incorporating the water before adding more.

Keep kneading it over the stove until it feels like... well... play-dough.

Color as desired.

I divided it into two lumps, and used six drops of blue in the one, six drops of green in the other. My aesthetic sensibilities would not allow me to give them a variety of colors that would inevitably mix together into a revolting sludge.

It's a little bit oily, so do be careful not to get it on things. But then again, you knew to be careful already, since it has food coloring in it. And the oil is what keeps the salt from drying your hands out.

I'm going to keep experimenting, and tweaking things, but I do think it turned out well.

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