Monday, 25 November 2013

Mad Scientist Party Suite - and dry-ice icecream recipes!

I recently held a party for my 12 year old son - it took a couple of months for me to get organised, what with working and bushfires, and all I can say is "thank goodness for MDS!!"
I started out with a theme of sorts in mind, using the "Howlstooth and Scaringbone" DSP, as his favourite colour has always been orange.  The party was to be a "Mad Scientist" party, and it went from "Mum, no one will come!" to a hefty 24 kids.  Gulp.  Just as well I'm now a highschoool science teacher!  In the end it turned out to be quite a bit of fun, for me and them.  We did nine different activities in 3 jam-packed hours, and judging by the smiles on their faces and parental comments in the days afterwards, it was a big success! 

I printed invitations three to an A4 page on glossy photo paper, using one of my favourite pics of Einstein.

I made personalised white cotton aprons, with name labels printed onto T-shirt transfer.  I used a selection of labels and embellishments from the MDS program, and arranged them on an orange chevron background on A4 paper, to maximise the number I could print on each sheet of transfer.  I made one template in MDS, and added names in Word so I could save successive versions (and reuse the original!).  I also used more printouts of these tags for their goodie bags.

For the activities, I printed out instructions using a similar template, as the kids were going to be doing some of the activities themselves.  The icecream turned out to be spectacular, using just reasonably readily available dry ice.  The "recipe" was as follows - 600ml thickened cream, 500g carton custard, 1/4 cup milk, squirt of vanilla paste and 3 tablespoons icing mixture.  Blend in a stand mixer, and add flavourings of choice.  In a blender, crush about a cup worth of dry ice pellets into powder, and tip slowly into the stand mixer while it is running.  Keep running until the fog is mostly gone, scraping down at least once, the bottom of the bowl will be the coldest part.  Add more crushed dry ice if the consistency isn't firm enough, otherwise scoop into cones or store in a plastic tub and put in the freezer until you want it.   On party day I made a batch of vanilla and a batch of cookies and cream using crushed Oreos.  The next day I made subsequent batches using the left over dry ice with a tin of mango halves and a small tin of passionfruit pulp (seriously yum!), 2 tablespoons nutella spread and half a cup of choc chips (also yum), plain vanilla using vanilla bean paste and crushed oreos. The surprise was the fact that tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide trapped in the icecream give it a slightly fizzy taste.

Another activity the kids did was making sherbet, and I had prepared all the ingredients in labelled tubs. The funniest part was watching the faces of a couple of brave souls who dared to taste the tartaric and citric acid crystals, even after being told they would be sour.  The very best learning by doing!  It would also have highlighted the interesting chemical reaction between the sour and the sweet, and the bubbles from the acid and carbonate reaction.  Not to mention the importance of following instructions ;-p

And finally, there were the thankyou cards, that I printed four to an A4 page.  This one was a super quick production using a designer template from the Lemonade Stand MDS suite, and I switched out the pre-designed DSPs for the Howlstooth and Scaringbone patterns,  I changed the sentiment, and voila!

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