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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Many Uses for Flour


People have been using flour for eons!
The uses for flour that we think of include but aren't limited to: baking cakes, making corn bread, cup cakes, pie crust, desserts, casseroles, beans, etc! Flour is so useable even to thicken broth with. I don’t know if we could ever find all the uses of this kitchen and baking essential.
 
I ran a Home Daycare for 25 years, here are some fun recipes for crafting with the kiddos!
 
  Have fun, these are just in time for the upcoming Holiday Season. Making little ornaments, gifts and just plain keeping them busy during vacation time!

For the Kiddos



Recipe 1 for Modeling Clay

Mix together:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Food coloring, optional
Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe 2 for Modeling Flour

Mix and cook over low heat until mixture thickens:
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 cup water
Food coloring, optional
Cool before using.

Recipe 3 for Modeling Flour

Combine over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture becomes stiff and comes away from sides of pot:
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 cups water
Food coloring
Cool before using.
Store in a plastic bag.

Recipe 4 for Modeling Clay

Mix:
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups cold water
Food coloring
Heat all over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is dough like. Cool, covered with a damp cloth. Coat finished products with a sealant to seal and preserve.

Make Play Dough with Flour

Play dough is a classic childhood toy everyone can have fun with, and it’s so easy to make at home you’ll never buy that stinky store variety again.
Basic ingredient ratios:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix)
essential oils (optional)
Mix all together.

Make Cloud Dough with Flour

The consistency of this dough is captivating to feel and hold. It can be powdery like flour one moment, then moldable like damp sand the next. This brought HOURS of entertainment to my home, hopefully it will do the same for yours.
Ingredients:
8 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
Essential oil such as lavender (optional, but remember lavender has calming properties ;) )
Instructions:
Scoop and pour the flour into the center of a large tub.
Create a crater in the middle of the flour.
Pour the oil into the crater.
Gently mix it all together.
Use your imagination. 
 
No-Cook Paper Mache Paste Recipe from Flour
 
Ingredients:
Paper Mache ~ newspaper strips
Water
Flour
Instructions:
To make this paste, simply mix together 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Pour the flour and water in a large bowl and stir it well. Keep mixing until there are very few lumps left. You want it to be runny like a white glue, not thick like paste. Add more water or flour as necessary.
If you don’t like the smell of the glue mixture you can add a few sprinkles of cinnamon or your favorite ground spice to sweeten it up. You should be able to store this glue in a covered bowl or jar, in the refrigerator, for a few days.
 
Paste
 
When I was little anytime I needed paste Mom would just mix flour with water to make a paste. Worked great for gluing paper projects together. So if you ever run out of glue or paste, reach for the flour. And it's safe for toddlers who seem to put everything in their mouths ;)

Household Uses



Refresh a deck of cards

You can spruce up an old playing deck by dropping the entire thing (loose) into a paper bag with about a ¼ cup of flour. The thirsty flour will soak up all the oils and grime from years of dirty fingers, greasy snacks, etc.

Use Flour to Deter Ants:

Flour and Borax. Mix 1 cup flour and 2 cups borax in a jar. Punch holes in the lid of the jar and sprinkle contents around the house foundation. Keep Borax out of reach of children and pets. 

Buffing Stainless steel with Flour

After cleaning your sink with a paste of baking soda and water, dry the sink out completely and shake in some flour.
Use approx. 1/4 cup. Simply buff your sink with a soft cloth rag and keep at it until your sink is glistening.
Wipe out leftover flour with your towel and shake into your compost bin or trashcan.

 
Polish Copper with Flour and Vinegar
 
Ingredients:
¼ Cup Fine Sea Salt
¼ Cp All Purpose Flour
White Vinegar
Mixing Bowl
A Soft Rag
Instructions:
1. Combine the sea salt and flour.
2. Add the white vinegar a little bit a time while stirring until you’ve made a thick paste.
3. Rub the paste onto the pot or pan using a cloth until it shines.
4. Rinse, dry, and done.

Making Spray Glue from Flour

Instructions:
1. Boil 3 cups of water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Reduce heat to medium.
2. Whisk 3 tablespoons of flour into the water. Add the flour a bit at a time, whisking the liquid as you do so to break up the flour and distribute it evenly in the water. Continue whisking after all the flour is added and until the mixture thickens and becomes somewhat gelatinous in consistency.
3. Let the flour mixture cool to room temperature.
4. Check the consistency of the flour mixture; it should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s thicker than this, stir in some water until it reaches the appropriate thickness. Mix well, whisking if necessary.
5. Fill a spray bottle 1/4 full with rubbing alcohol.
6. Add flour mixture to fill the rest of the bottle. Leave about a half inch of space at the top of the bottle to allow air mixture.
7. Cap the bottle. Shake well before using. Apply to porous surfaces, especially paper products.

In the Garden 

Flour

Flour is effective on beetles, grasshoppers and wet, soft-bodied insects. Sprinkle flour on insects to kill them. Beetles’ and grasshoppers’ wings and legs get coated in the flour and it impairs their movement. They fall to the ground and die or are attacked by predatory insects. Soft-bodied insects such as aphids and slugs become coated in flour and are unable to stay moist, then gum up or dry out and die. Flour mixed with salt may be more effective against large infestations, but salt can burn plants so take care to sprinkle only on insects. Personally I like to use the flour by itself. It's a safe non-toxic way to help keep infestations down with out worry about children or pets getting into it.
 

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