(Singapore Blog Awards 2013) Something from the 60’s that inspires me

In line with the Singapore Blog Awards 2013’s 60s Fever theme this year, finalists in the Best Food Blog Category are to submit a blog entry on something/someone from/about the 60’s that inspires us.

Melicacy has emerged as one of the top 10 finalists in the Singapore Blog Awards 2013, in not one, but two categories –Best Food Blog and Best Cooking Blog. I’m exceedingly thankful for this opportunity, and will continue churning out vibrant posts on my blog accompanied by loads of food-porn –whether victorious or not.

Play-Doh is one of the several things from the 60’s that inspire me.

It’s been around on the market way long before the 60’s (it was first manufactured in the 1930s), but its popularity grew tremendously and generated lots of hype since its launch on the toy market in the mid-1950s.

As a child, I loved playing with cooking and food toys. Parents and teachers taught us never to play with fire, so I never did. I turned on the stove for the very first time at the age of 18, and the very first thing I attempted to cook was scrambled eggs. Instant noodles came to a close second, but it was usually out of desperation.

I’ve always wanted a kitchen play set when I was a kid!

Talk about the 60’s and the words ‘old’, ‘vintage’ and ‘antique’ come to mind. The only things that have retained their youths, in my books, are the toys. Toys have always been a big inspiration to me. Not only have they been a huge part of my childhood, even till date as a young adult, toys have never lost their appeal to me.

Traversing through generations, Play-Doh still remains a popular toy in major toys stores, though kids these days have the privilege of the latest inventions and fanciful dough-assembling kits. Often used as an educational tool in schools, this kid-friendly toy stimulates one’s creativity –for the manners of interpretations are limitless. You can mould it into anything you want it to be.

When I get inspired, I get motivated to try new things. Writing a blog post on how Play-Doh inspires me has now inspired me further to fabricate a ‘three course meal’ using play dough.

To make your own play dough from scratch, here is a simple recipe I found online (compiling and adapting from various sources), using just a few simple ingredients that contain no harmful chemicals.

Hands-on projects like this helps you unleash your creative talents!

Play Dough Recipe:

- 1 cup white flour
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tbsp cream of tartar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup boiling water (adding more in increments if needed)
- Food colouring
- (Optional) Sesame seeds, dried parsley flakes, coarse/ground pepper, breadcrumbs, chilli powder, etc.

1) Mix dry ingredients (first three) in a metal bowl or any heat-safe bowl that won’t react to boiling water
2) Add boiling water and oil, stirring constantly for a few minutes till well incorporated
3) Add colouring

I did several batches to obtain play dough of different colours.

Here’s my workspace. The optional ingredients help to add texture and provide a more realistic appearance.

Here’s my soulmate and my pillar of support, just quietly lazing (sleeping) beside me while I’m working on my ‘three-course-meal’.

Salmon with Mashed Potato and Vegetable Puree and Chickpeas

The mashed potato doesn’t require any food colouring at all. Just top it off with a sprinkle of dried parsley flakes. The salmon looks a little deformed, only because I added too much water. It has to be slightly drier to give you more control in moulding it. I sprinkled on some sesame seeds and freshly ground pepper for the finishing touch.

Burger and Fries

I toasted a slice of bread and tossed it in a blender. Quick and easy, you just need to pulse until it turns to crumbs. Pat them on a moulded “burger bun” to create the textural surface. Not forgetting the sprinkling of sesame seeds atop the burger bun.

Fries are the easiest. I scooped some dough into a piping bag (I simply cut a tiny hole at the corner of a polybag) and piped them directly onto the plate.

To sum up my post, what drives me most in life is the freedom and liberty of creativity, and I derive satisfaction from stretching them to great lengths, and breaking boundaries.

This was my first attempt at making play dough from scratch, and it was mostly out of experimentation and spontaneity. The most important aspect is enjoying the whole process, rather than focusing too much on the end result.

I hope this post will inspire you too!