Cousin Carla is gone. The Odd Oobleck Party Pool is only.
As always, Cole and I loved having Cousin Carla visit. This is her fourth summer visit, and we hope she had a good time too. God knows, we do try to be entertaining and make her happy.. The first summer she came, Joe had just died, and she offered to fill our freezer with food—we let her. Last summer we were working our way through our goal of eating the Food of the Day, every day for a year, so we let her enjoy our Odd daily dietary requirements. And this year will be known as the Odd Oobleck year. How many people do you know who can say that they helped mix 200 pounds of cornstarch and water in someone’s living room? I think this qualifies as an extreme experience if you are over 40. I also bought Cousin Carla a large electric skillet that screamed Welcome to Chicago. She asked for a large electric skillet to fry chicken in for the Oobleck party, and I was more than happy to buy one. Nothing is too fine for our Cousin Carla.
Many of you have asked about the Oobleck Party. I’m not sure if you are planning to have one or are simply curious, but I will try to answer your questions and share some pictures.
What is Oobleck? Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid; that is, it acts like a liquid when being poured but like a solid when a force is acting on it. You can grab it, and then it will ooze out of your hands. Oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss’s book Bartholomew and the Oobleck, in which a gooey green substance, Oobleck, falls from the sky and wreaks havoc on the kingdom.
Why did you want to make Oobleck? Why not? I saw a video of a kiddie wading pool filled with Oobleck, and I said to myself, “Self, I want to do that!” Cousin Carla was coming to visit, so the timing was also perfect.
What is involved in making Oobleck? The only ingredients you need are cornstarch and water. If you are making it in a bowl, for a little fun, you need about 1 cup of water and 1.5–2 cups of cornstarch. Add a little food coloring if you want a true Dr. Seuss experience. If you want to have a LOT of Oobleck fun, the process is more involved.
Cousin Carla and Cole determined that we needed 200 pounds of cornstarch to mix with water in our wading pool.
Where do you buy 200 pounds of cornstarch? We bought 150 pounds from a restaurant supply company and the rest at Walmart in 16 oz. boxes.
Why did you decide to bring the pool of Oobleck into your living room? There was a possibility of rain, and it was a very hot and humid day. Carla felt Oobleck would be more fun in the living room than outside. Who was I to argue?
Weren’t you worried about how you would get it out of your living room? I didn’t worry because I knew the answer—I had no idea how we would get the corn starch pool back outside, but I was sure Carla would figure something out.
How did you mix that much cornstarch and water? I’m not sure as Cole and Cousin Carla took over most of the mixing; but I did hear the words cement mixer mentioned a few times. I do know the metal spoons were soon replaced with a shovel and rake. In the end it came down to dumping the cornstarch in the pool, pulling a hose through the living room window, and slowly adding water. The key is to slowly add the water until you achieve the right consistency. I wanted more water; Cousin Carla was worried about too much water; and Cole, who was filling the pool, just did it his way.
When everyone played in the Oobleck, was it very messy? Ask me instead how much fun everyone had playing in the Oobleck. They had a whole lot of FUN.
Did all your guests interact with the Oobleck? Two hundred pounds of Oobleck greeted them when they walked through the door, so yes, I would say everyone interacted with the Oobleck. Some guests played in it, others walked over it, while others raked it.
How was after party clean up? You really want to know about the mess, don’t you? It’s messy, but very easy to clean up. It is not sticky and does not stain. Cousin Carla swept the floor a lot.
What was the messiest part: Sheesh! If you must know, when Cousin Carla and Cole poured the 50 # bags of corn starch into the pool it was very dusty. I tried to tell them to pour slower, after all we had guests coming and corn starch dust everywhere was not a good thing. Nobody listens to me.
Does Oobleck smell? Nope. It’s not a wiffy substance . . . at least not yet.
Cornstarch and water are used to make gravy. Did you consider trying to make gravy with your Oobleck? Yes. Cousin Carla said no.
The party is over; where is the Oobleck now? It is drying in my living room. Cole and I will shovel it into large garbage bags over the weekend and take it to the garbage. Don’t worry we did offer to let Cousin Carla stay and help but while she appreciated the offer she had to catch a plane home.
Would you have another Odd Oobleck party? Nope. Next year we will have a different kind of Odd party.
Any suggestions for someone planning an Odd Oobleck party? Yes. Take your i-Phone out of your pocket if you do a handstand in the Oobleck.
That is our Odd Oobleck story, and we are sticking to it. Enjoy the slideshow! My camera has some issues so some of my pictures are a little blurry and over exposed but you’ll get the idea. . . .
Odd Loves Company.
Thank you Odd Friend Carolee for the upfront Oobleck formulas:
14 pounds of cornstarch will mix with 1 gallon of water
28 pounds of cornstarch for 2 gallons of water = 5 gallons