Cooking is a Science!


I am not afraid to state the truth: I am not a very good cook. I tend to turn up the flame too high because I want to hurry things along. Of course, I end up burning the bottom of the pan. Because I have an apple tree, I try making an apple pie at least once a year. Every single time, my husband (he worked in the campus bakery while in college) salvages the crust for me. I always manage to burn at least one batch of cookies in every batch I bake. It is very sad.


But I am fascinated by the science of cooking. It is so interesting to watch onions caramelize, soups thicken, and especially how that combination of flour, butter and water turns into the perfect flaky, crispy (and delicious) receptacle for hot, sugary slices of apples.  (Did I mention I love to eat?) So I was very excited to find a recipe that takes just two ingredients and involves no heat! It is a recipe that is supposed to be similar to a very expensive, commercially made product called moon sand. I couldn’t wait to try it out!


Here is the recipe: Mix 5 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil.


That’s it! And the results? Fantastic! It’s fail proof! And the best part? There is a very dramatic change. Well, it is not quite as dramatic as mixing baking soda and vinegar but it is still very noticeable.


I made a batch of “moon sand” with a small group of children from each class. As the children mixed the baby oil into the flour and the powdery consistency of the flour changed to a moist texture that, instead of falling through open fingers clung together and held its shape.  The texture is soft and fluffy. It smells just as delightful as it feels. Note: Glitter can also be added. Color doesn’t work because of the oil.  It should be stored in a plastic covered container.

This week we were using silicon cupcake holders and (for the 3 and 5 Day children only) small plastic pumpkins and fall leaves that were intended for table decorations to make “cup cakes” with the moon sand. Next week, I’ll be switching the cup cake holders for small wooden bowls and seed pods and acorns for decoration. I am hoping that the children will discover that they can make an impression in the moon sand while using the seed pods.


DO try this at home! Please share your results by posting a comment!


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