Thursday, July 23, 2009

P.B. Saves the Day

The lazy, hazy days of summer are getting to us, and the girls needed a project to fill up an afternoon that wouldn't be spent at the movie theater, swimming pool or amusement park. In other words, cheap, easy, and light on laundry requirements. Susan Purdy's excellent book, The Family Baker, includes a Kids in the Kitchen chapter filled with age-appropriate ideas for children. A proven favorite in our house is the Peanut Butter Clay Dough, which uses good ol' p.b., powdered milk, wheat germ and honey to make a pliable dough that can be shaped and decorated with whatever cake or candy decorating odds and ends you may have around the house.

I didn't have powdered milk or wheat germ on hand, due to a recent pantry purging (didn't pass the sniff test), so I subbed confectioner's sugar, which gave the dough a much more supple feel. There's not much of a recipe to it, but I began with about eight ounces of chunky peanut butter and two ounces of creamy peanut butter, and mixed in about a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. To this, I added a squeeze or two or three from the honey bear and stirred the mixture until it formed a pleasing clay-ish texture. My older daughter set out plastic placemats and bowls with leftover Easter candy and cookie sprinkles and mini chocolate chips. The girls were occupied for two hours making their peanut butter clay creations. And I managed some quality time with my hobby: laundry.

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