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One Family Meal

Posted 10.28.2013

Posted 10.28.2013

Play dough?  Really?  I know we’re supposed to be talking food here, but sometimes we need to buy a little time so we can actually cook.  Or, as was the case this weekend, we were looking for a little distraction before the start of an important game 4 involving lots of red – Sox and birds – bats, balls, tight white leggings, and questionable calls involving words like “obstruction” and “interference.”

ingredientsInstead of pacing nervously around the house, the kids and I whipped together a batch of homemade play dough, and made waffles for our beloved team … in case they got hungry in the middle of the game. 


turned out on counter

knead to smooth

kneaded playdoughWe added a few drops of red and yellow food coloring in the spirit of Halloween, so we could make pumpkin pancakes but stick with the natural oatmeal color on most other occasions.


I’ve tried several different recipes over the years, and found this one to be the best, in terms of longevity and taste.  We all know our kids sneak a bite here and there.  This one is so salty, that my kids both spit it out the first time they tried it and never tested it again.  The dough uses regular household ingredients and requires a short cooking time.  It’s easy enough that we can make it together quickly, and clean up while it cools down.

The batch can easily be doubled or tripled.  Stored in a plastic bag or tightly-lidded reusable container, it’ll keep for weeks, or at least through game seven of the World Series.

play dough hearts

Quick-Cooking Play Dough
Print Recipe
Makes the equivalent of about 2 containers of commercial play dough.
  1. 1/2 cup salt
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 8 drops of food coloring (I used 2 drops of red and 6 drops of yellow to make orange) *optional
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  6. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  1. Combine the salt and water in a small pot over medium heat. Bring it up to a boil, stirring occasionally so some of the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the food coloring if desired. Stir to combine. Add the flour, vegetable oil and cream of tartar and stir with a metal spoon until the mixture comes together. Turn the mixture out onto a clean counter and knead several times until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Shape dough into a disk and allow to cool to room temperature before using, about 10 minutes. Store in a plastic bag or a tightly-lidded reusable container for several weeks.
One Family Meal


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