A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow is Coming...and a Recipe for a "Snow Garden"

Now you all thought that I was going to show you a picture of snow in our area...right? Nope...here's a picture of a snow garden, like we used to make in grade school.

What do you do when a snowstorm is predicted? People panic when they hear snow is coming and they run to the grocery store for MILK & BREAD and TOILET PAPER!!!! The aisles look as if savages raided them with ripped opened bags of bread on the floor. What's going on? We live in towns with grocery stores and we are not going to be trapped from one snow storm....and yet we did it too, last night. Our weather forecast sounded ominous...big snow, high winds, school closings, white outs etc. We hopped in the car and took off for the store. Women were coming out of the store with a huge bundle of toilet paper (it was on sale) and in the other hand a gallon of milk. We bought two...just in case...for two people. We have a house full of food, and yet panic sets in when we think that we may not get out for a day. I think it is just a natural instinct. We, deep inside, are thinking about survival. So, here are some things to do, to take you minds off the weather, while watching the snowplow go by...Make a cup of hot chocolate, wrap Christmas presents, watch a movie, bake some cookies, shovel out the driveway, make some soup, oh there's lots to do. Maybe you just want to veg out. For those of you, who have no snow coming, and you are jealous of us.. who live in the midwest...

Here is a recipe that you may be familiar with. We made these "snow gardens" when I was a kid.
Step 1: mix together:
4 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons liquid bluing
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons ammonia

Pour the mixture over small pieces of porous rock, charcoal or pieces of broken clay flowerpots in a shallow glass or plastic bowl or plate. Crystals will begin to grow in six hours and continue for three days, depending on the humidity, temperature, and how much airflow is present. To concentrate crystal growth on the charcoal and avoid them forming on the edge of the plate, coat the plate with Vaseline.
Briquettes aren't very good at drawing the liquid up so be sure to keep the level of the liquid at least half way up the side of the briquette.
Most recipes suggest sprinkling two more tablespoons of salt over the charcoal and on the first or second day to get the crystal growth off to a faster start.
Add more of the salt-bluing-ammonia-water mix starting on the third day to keep the crystals growing. Be careful to avoid dripping any of the new solution on the growing crystals or they will be damaged. In time the crystals may grow over the sides of the bowl.
Have some fun today...Balisha (there goes the snowplow again!)


azplantlady said...

Hi Balisha,

I will have to try that with my children. We do not get snow down here, but had plenty of rain and wind from the storm that is now headed your way. Stay inside and keep warm :-)

Amber Star said...

I had totally forgotten about growing crystals like that. We used to do that just because...we don't get much snow in Texas and if we do we want to be out in it all day. Thanks for a wonderful memory.

Roses and Lilacs said...

That looks very interesting. A great way to entertain the kids on a snow day.

I need to stop at the store on the way home...should have done it last night. The kitties are low on food and I don't dare let them run out.

Tomorrow I plan to stay at home and go nowhere. Taking the day off work. Out in the rural areas, snow plus wind equals drifts that reform the minute the snow plows pass.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Oh, goodness I had forgotten all about the growing of crystals. We did that in school --- years ago ;-)

Balisha said...

Hi everyone...I thought that this project would show my age and yours if you remember..."bluing" you know? I don't think that anyone uses it anymore.
The snow tapered off during the day today, but is back and coming down hard. I wonder what we will wake up to?

Anonymous said...

I faintly remember those snow gardens now that you have mentioned them. When I ran my country store people cleaned the shelves when a snow was coming. It was almost funny. I can remember the bread man trying to get to my place because he knew I would be out of bread as soon as they forcast snow! Then, there was the time we had about 8 inches of snow and I had closed because no one could get to the store and look out and there is a carload of people at the gas pumps.(These were not the brightest people in the area by far) They needed gas to return movies that were due back 20 miles away! Needless to say I found out they ran off the road in a ditch and had to be pulled out with a tractor about 2 miles from my place.