This 15 minutes is actually a retype of something I wrote earlier today at the kitchen table.
The Girl is using my computer and the Baby is coloring be side me. And by coloring I mean, dumping an ice cream bucket of broken crayons on the table and then putting them back in the bucket. But hey, she’s cleaning up her mess so she better than the other 3/5th of my household.
We are actually going to peel the paper off theses crayons to make the multicolored melted crayon blobs I made as a child.
Do you remember them from when you were a kid? They were small bricks of crayon chips that wrote in rainbows. You could buy them in the store but I use to make them in the oven. Now you can actually buy an official Crayola Crayon Maker. You take the official crayon nubs (provided) and put them into an official Crayola Crayon form and melt them under a lightbulb.
It’s like an Easy Bake Oven for wax. Personally, I’ve always had an issue with the Easy Bake Oven. I’m opposed to eating any food that cooked under a lightbulb. There is just something not right about the nutritional quality of chemicals that are changed from a liquid to a solid with 100 watts.
I hated when the Girl asked Santa for the Easy Bake Oven several years ago.
“Can’t we just cook on a real oven?”
“But it’s a cute oven.”
“Fine, so ask Santa for a cute oven that is full-sized. Make it stainless steel and have it be a gas cooktop and an electric/convection oven.”
“But the Easy Bake Oven is pink.”
“Okay, then ask Santa for pink instead of stainless steel. But it still has to be electric/convection.”
But she begged and cried, and I did a quick survey of Moms (I asked the Grannys) and was told that the Easy Bake Oven was a right of passage that I could not deny my daughter. Not only did she need the Easy Bake Oven in order to reach her next emotional milestone, I actually had to eat the “food” the Easy Bake Oven produced in order not to damage her psyche.
So Santa brought the Easy Bake along with several packages of Bratz cake and cookie “food.” We made exactly two recipes before the oven was relegated to the far back corner of the kitchen cabinet. I couldn’t even use the 100 watt bulb because nothing in our house is incandescent and most of the lights don’t hold anything higher than 65 watts.
Maybe I could use the Easy Bake Oven for the crayons.
One of the things I like best about making melted crayons is that you are taking something that is essentially waste and making it new (unlike buying the official color “nubs”). Let’s face it–there is nothing like a fresh box of crayons to make your day. During back to school season, you can sometimes catch me in the crayon aisle sniffing a box of 64. And I have no patience for the special “scented” crayons and markers they are now marketing. Crayons are supposed to smell the way they do! Markers are supposed to make you a little dizzy. I have two words: Mimeograph ink. No wonder our grades were so low back in the day. The teacher would hand out a test, still damp from the mimeograph machine and every kid in the class would hold the paper up to his or her face. Ah, killing brain cells in the pursuit of education–good times!
Back to the crayons–while the best thing was a brand new box of crayons, the saddest thing was when the first crayon broke. The box just wasn’t the same. And forget about that stupid sharpener that was built into the box. That thing NEVER worked.
So you take these broken, unwanted crayons and strip all the paper off of them. Then you break them into smaller pieces and put them into a muffin tray (that you don’t want to use again). Put the in the oven at 250º until they’ve melted– between 5 and 15 minutes. Please, please, please, let these cool completely. Do NOT mess with these while they are hot!
The first time I made these, I thought I’d done something wrong because the top of the crayons had melted into a gross brown glob. After they cooled, I popped them out to throw them away and saw the the bottom of the crayons–the side that had been face down in the pan–was brilliantly colored, beautiful melted crayons that were smooth and shiny.
So this is sorta like what God does to us: he takes us–stripped down, broken and unwanted. He steps in and changes us. We emerge changed. He uses our trials and tribulations to make us into something new and beautiful.
Confession time: to everyone who wonders how I come up with something to write about–this isn’t what I sat down to write. I sat down to write about someone who thinks that she has the worst luck in the world and that God is out to get her. That’s what I sat down to write–but this came out instead. Sometimes what we plan to do, isn’t what we are supposed to be doing.
And while I was writing this out longhand, at the table, the Baby was “helping” me–first by coloring in my book and then by trying to eat several of the crayons. To finish this piece, she ended up sitting on my lap, sucking her thumb and playing with my hair and I thought, “Wow, this moment is absolutely perfect. I’m surrounded by my family, getting sweet, sweet, baby love, and writing. God is good.”