Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whipping Muffins

Once in a while, your boss will come to you and say something magical. Something like "Anna, (or, you know, your name) I need you to make some muffins to be thrown into the pool every night." These are the moments when you think 'I have found my true calling in life.' If you work in theater, and you don't have these moments occasionally, you should probably start thinking about a job that pays you in real money. 

To be fair, these muffins are being thrown 'into the pool' which actually means upstage. There isn't really a pool on our 'Ten Chimneys' set, so I didn't have to make these muffins waterproof.  I decided that I wanted to make the muffins out of Smooth On Flex Foam-it X because it's light, durable, and really fun to make things out of. Most importantly, if I made soft, nerf-like muffins, we could have muffin fights in the shop.

The first thing I did was to try out the material.  I grabbed an old muffin tin, one that I won't use again, and gave it a good coating of Universal Mold Release before mixing and pouring some of the Flex Foam in and letting it cure.  As you can see, above, the expansion is pretty good, but the smooth, shiny tops of the muffins aren't very convincing. So, I needed to think of something to sprinkle on the top of the foam while it was curing.  The first thing I tried was crushed cork which I've used very successfully as crushed nuts in the past. This worked really well on the muffins, or, it would have if I wanted the muffins to look like they had Grape Nuts sprinkled on top. Back to the drawing board.

After a bit of thinking about tasty, tasty muffins, I decided that a streusel top would be the way to go, so I set out to make a good fake streusel topping. Real streusel is made of butter, flour and sugar. My streusel topping is made of sawdust and flex glue.  I also tried corn starch, but it didn't work as well, and I was worried that little micies would eat it in storage.
To make the streusel, I just sifted some sawdust and slowly stirred in flex glue until the topping was the right consistency.  I let it dry over night before it was ready.  When it came time to pour the foam, with a drip of brown tint in it, I waited until the foam was starting to rise, and I sprinkled some streusel onto each of the muffins.

The texture came out just as I'd hoped, but the muffins needed a bit of paint. I used a combination of Design Master sprays and acrylic paints to finish the job. I'll admit, painting isn't my forte, but I think these are passably muffiny.   
I used hot glue to secure the muffins into the tin. I also bent a piece of aluminum wire to fit inside the lip of the muffin tin. I glued it onto the tin, in hopes that it will help protect the edge from all of the flinging that's going to occur.

So that's that. Whipping Muffins. Oh, and by the way, my computer kept trying to replace 'streusel' with 'stressful,' and that amused me. Happy Propping, y'all.


  1. Those look amazing!! I'm totally craving muffins now.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.



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