It’s been bitterly cold today, so the littlest chickpea and I abandoned our original plans and looked indoors for activities. Mounds of laundry folded later – not to mention the construction of an epically complex train track – and he was bored.
Cartoons wouldn’t cut it and he didn’t fancy baking, so we went to the cupboard for our trusty Play Doh. The little one loves to make a mess with the dough – squashing it, stamping it, cutting it out with cookie-cutters. It’s creative play and I’m more than happy for him to get his hands dirty. Unfortunately, the creative aspect of melding the different colours together (while clearly fun and educational) leads to a less than perfect result when it comes to clean-up. Somewhat predictably, the blues, reds and greens had merged into an unhealthy-looking conglomeration which Mr 3-year-old declared unsatisfactory and refused to play with.
But, of course, now he had his heart set on Play Doh. So to the kitchen we went – and rustled up a batch of the homemade variety. This recipe has a litte more flour than standard salt dough, to give a softer consistency, but still had the same basic colour and we have no food colouring in the house.
“I wonder…” I said to myself, “if we could tint this with the juice left over from yesterday’s cooked beetroot?”
And, as it turns out, you can indeed!
The dough turned out a lovely soft pink shade and has shown no signs of staining anything as beet juice is often wont to do. On a whim, I made the second batch yellow with a touch of turmeric – and we’ve spent the afternoon moulding shapes with our favourite cookie cutters and squidging soft dough between our fingers.
I’m making a triceratops. The laundry can wait.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 cup salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp beetroot juice (optional) or...
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
Add the colouring of your choice.
Dribble in the water, mixing well to combine.
Knead the dough until smooth. If it remains sticky, add a little more flour and continue to knead until happy with the consistency