Today's snack: cut three
pieces of multigrain bread into cubes and build a "bread igloo" using peanut
butter as the "mortar."
Box of sugar cubes
Glue, prepared frosting or
Thick white paper plate
Pencil compass or dish or
other circular object
You can still buy sugar cubes in the grocery store,
and that's good, because they're among the most wonderful building blocks ever
You can use humble little sugar
cubes as "ice blocks," and mortar them together with glue, icing or corn syrup, to build everything from
tiny igloos to big castles.
To build this igloo, take a thick
paper plate (your igloo will be heavy, so if you don't have a thick plate, use
three or four thin ones together) and a pencil-compass. Draw a circle four or
five inches in diameter. If you don't have a pencil-compass, just trace around
a dish or other circular object. Using craft glue, position cubes around the
outside edge, leaving a gap for the "entrance." Once you have your first row,
position another row on top of it.
Stagger each cube in the second row
so that each cube rests partly on the one beneath it on the left, and partly on
the one beneath it on the right. Make the second row a little smaller in diameter
than the base row, and each higher row even a little smaller, forming a
staggered dome shape. Continue gluing cubes in place this way. Stop after two
or three rows to let dry, and then continue to the top.
There should be a small space open
at the very top, which you can leave open if you wish to put a model of an
animal skin to simulate the "exhaust" flap on a real igloo, or you can plop in
a final cube to complete the dome.
You can make a smaller arch of cubes
around the opening if you wish, and then conceal the cracks between that
entryway arch and the main dome structure with frosting, using the recipe
Once it's dry, if you'd like smooth
walls, you can beat two egg whites with three cups of powdered sugar. That will
make a "mortar" that you can apply with a spatula or blunt butter knife to plug
the cracks and make a rounded shape. The igloo pictured did not have this step,
so it shows the "steps" the individual sugar cubes made. A real igloo would be
Add coconut "snow" around the
outside edges, and add any miniature Eskimo figures, toy polar bears, walruses,
or other items you'd like to.
Igloos may be the most familiar
Arctic structures to build. But you can do a lot of "building" with the most
plentiful "art supply" on Earth - water. Among the ways to get
interestingly-shaped structures with which to build, you can pour water into forms
- sandbox toys, plastic tubes, cups, kitchenware and just about anything. Freeze,
then pop out of the form and add to your ice and snow project.
Can you build a tiny replica of the
fabulous structures that are in the annual Winter Carnival in St. Paul,
Minnesota? Take a look: