Northeastern Oklahoma has finally emerged from a cold snap...a cold snap that closed school for two days because apparently there are kids in 2010 who walk two miles to the bus stop. Temps last week were in the single digits three nights in a row and a couple of days we never made it out of the 'teens.
So the boys and I were home for two days, because really even getting in and out of the car just made just made us all angry. In my desperate search for out-of-the-ordinary stuff to do, I came across this activity on 918moms.com (you remember them, don't you?) and had to give it a try.
First of all, I didn't take pics but of the result. Methinks I can explain this one ingredient recipe without illustration:
1. Get a pan, something flat and shallow like a jellyroll pan.
2. Dig out your cookie cutters from the recesses of your cabinet, unless you have yet to put them away from Christmas like me. Lay them in your pan, making sure they don't touch.
3. Cut some string or yarn in lengths of ten inches or so, one for each cookie cutter.
4. Loop the string through the cookie cutter and hang it over the edge of the pan. Do not tie the string, just let the ends dangle.
5. Get a large pitcher and fill it with water. I thought it would be neat to add blue and yellow food coloring to it, so I let the boys drip-drop it in there and stir. That's a activity in itself, believe me.
6. Locate a nice flat area outdoors for your pan to rest. Our nice flat area was one step outside our patio door. Any further than that and the pan would still be out there: too far to go!
7. Put the waterless pan out on the flat area. Carefully carry your pitcher of food-coloring-ed water away from your white carpet and around furniture to the door. Poor the water into the pan, making sure it comes up about half-way to the top of the cookie cutters. Strings should still be dangling over the edge.
8. Check on the freezing process often. I had the boys checking every 15 minutes...they thought they were big stuff giving me the play-by-play. Alex got curious and wanted to touch it about halfway through the process (10 degrees outside, mind you). My first reaction was not to let him since it was so cold, then "sure, honey, you go right ahead!" So, yeah, about 15 seconds was all he needed before he scrambled back inside.
9. When the pan is frozen solid (took ours about two hours) bring it inside and get creative as to how to release the cookie cutters. We boiled water and drizzled it over the top, wiggled and jiggled and loosened...probably for 20 minutes. You'll have to pull on the strings a little to get them loose, too. When the ornament finally breaks free, tie the ends of the string together and put it on a plate in the freezer.
10. Here's some advice though: don't use the food coloring. Some of the ornaments froze clear instead of the beautiful blue green, even though they were all made from the same water. I'm sure there's a sciency lesson in there somewhere, one that I'll never know.
11. Hang the ornaments on your frozen shrubbery. They're really kind of cool!