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Sugar-Cube Igloo


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 corn syrup


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 devised.


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 below.


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 more smooth.


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:


By Susan Darst Williams Building 01 2008




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