Let’s play with our food again!

Oh… no! Evil Dragon Man tries to blow up Black Hack (our favorite British taxi dude).

Last year we saw how much fun we can have, turning plain old cornstarch into OObleck. How about we have some more of the same? Mix up some OObleck from about 1 and 1/2 cups of cornstarch in a large bowl…. Check out my previous post for details.  Now we can play!

Slowly dip your hand into the gooey stuff. It sinks, but it’s hard to take your hand out quickly (without taking all the OObleck and its container with you). Instead, lift your hand slowly and pretend its a monster from the lagoon!

Try sinking a plastic dinosaur or a toy car in your bowl of OObleck… anything you like, as long it washes up easy.  What a great, gooey mess when you pull it all out 🙂 . Make up a story about the slimy things you find in the green lagoon.

Black Hack made a wrong turn. He’s stuck in quick sand!

Dragon Man gets his giant magnet and points it at Black Hack. He hauls him out!

Make a rainbow

You can create eerie mixed-media art using OObleck. Pour a little of the stuff into six muffin cups. Add food color to make a rainbow in your tray. Spread out some newspaper and decide what you want to paint. Go crazy!

After a day of drying, the cornstarch coating starts to crumble. Take pictures to preserve your art.

Never pour OObleck down the drain!

The solid particles of starch will settle out of the water  and clog your pipes. Instead, put the OObleck into a ziplock bag and throw it out with the garbage.

Here is some of the art we created:

Dragon Man falls in the quick sand too. He thrashes his wings. He’s sinking!

Black Hack gets a disguise… he’s dressed up like a woman (hahaha)

Dragon Man stops fighting. He floats! Slowly he swims to safety.

How does it work?

When you mix cornstarch and water together, the solid bits of cornstarch get suspended in the liquid. The result is a liquid that changes into a solid when force is applied. Smack it and it feels hard. Press it down gently and it feels soft and runny.

That’s right, OObleck is what scientists call a colloidal suspension. When you punch the cornstarch-and-water mixture, you force the long starch molecules closer together. The impact traps the water between the starch chains to form a semi-rigid structure. When the pressure is released, the cornstarch flows again.

All liquids flow. But some flow more easily than others. Water flows fast. But honey is one liquid that flows verrrry slowly. Turn its bottle upside down and it takes a long time before the honey in the bottom starts to flow downwards toward the tip. If you heat the honey for a few seconds in your microwave oven, it flows faster. Most liquids react this way to heat and cold. In fact, that is how the expression, “Slow as molasses in January” comes about. OObleck is different, though. How fast it flows depends on force.

The best thing about using cornstarch in cooking is that it has almost no flavor. A close second-best thing about cornstarch is how it acts when it is heated. It gets thick… even when there is only a little of it in the mix. This makes it great  in some recipes for pudding, jelly or sauce. Heat makes the starch molecules absorb liquid, swell up, and stick together. Cornstarch  produces a glossy jelly-like texture, perfect for many Asian dishes. It’s also great in frozen desserts, because it holds its shape. When making a sauce, corn starch is best mixed into a bit of cold water, then whisked into the hot liquid. Cornstarch is not only fun to play with, it makes food fun to eat, too. Watch for future posts where I’ll be showing you how to make some cornstarch sauces and puddings that are simply delicious. Let’s get cooking!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danny
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 12:25:22

    The OOBleck Car and Reptile Looks Really Neat And It looks so good it looks marshmellowy so yummy I want to try to make that.


  2. Evan :)
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 12:19:57

    i think that the picture with the see monster and the car was hilarious ha ha ha. i tride the meet loof pie. IT WAS GOOD. im not in the cooking club by my friend charlie let me try some.

    have fun cooking


  3. Justin
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:30:08

    This is quite neat!
    Is that Icing on cars and toys? Very creative and delicious. 🙂


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:43:22

      It’s OObleck, Justin. The article tells you how to make it. It was really fun! You really need to read two OObleck posts to get all the details. Click the links. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.


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