Indelible Blue Pen

Jason C. McDonald (CodeMouse92)

July 29, 2011

Mud Between The Toes

Thanks to a tech friend of mine, I finally got the data off of my broken external hard drive, and I found this old unpublished article. I hope you enjoy it! :)

After a stressful morning, I retreated to our backyard for a while. Upon spotting a patch of noxious flowering weed bushes, the idea came to me to pluck the flowers (which we didn’t want anyway) and soak them in water overnight. This would give me a colorful water base for a batch of mud pies.

Then the thought occurred to me. “Aren’t I too old for this sort of thing?” After pondering the question, I realized that I was too old to not make a batch of mud pies. Now, this realization quite obviously will raise a few eyebrows, so let me clarify.

Modern society has so often mislabeled “maturity” as acting in a busy, professional manner almost constantly. And this belief has led to a culture of overworked, overtired, and grumpy people. We find ourselves so tied up in work that we can scarcely stop and breathe, much less let our hair down.

This poses a question: when was the last time you went outside on your own accord and made yourself a batch of mud pies? How about build a tower with LEGOs? Or sneak up on a flock of pigeons and shout “boo”, just to watch them make a mass exodus? Likely when you were still in grade school.

“But I have a deadline to meet!” you argue. “I don’t have time to play.” My response is, you don’t have time not to. After all, when you’re pulling your hair out, it certainly is hard to think. If you don’t find some way to relax, you’re going to miss the deadline anyway. And I don’t know of anything more relaxing then spending an hour being a kid again. In my mind, one of the greatest signs of maturity is possessing the wisdom to know when to go play.

So grab a rusty pan and a spoon and make yourself some mud pies. Shoot, while you’re at it, why not invite your friends over and make a party out of it? Or buy yourself a brand new can of Tinker Toys and build something. Find a coloring book and a box of Crayolas, and don’t be afraid of coloring outside the lines. Whatever tickles your fancy.

But before you call up your best friend and set up a good old-fashioned play date, here’s something that you can probably use. My very best mud pie recipe, which I still use today.

I suggest using an old saucepan, a spoon, an ice cream scoop, a sifter or old window screen, a few old bowls, and a Frisbee or old cake pan.

HINT: If you don’t have an old screen or sifter, you can pour the dirt down a rough board. The ridges will collect the fine soil, and the coarser material falls to the bottom.


About 5 large green tree leaves.

3 large scoops of dry clay. (This is the base for the mud pie.)

1 large scoop of dark soil or potting mix. (Darkens the clay and adds color.)

A handful of flower petals (I prefer dandelions)

1 spoonful of sand (preferably white).


In the saucepan, grind up the tree leaves and add water. Stir until the water is tinted gold. Strain out the leaves. This tinted water is called “gold water”.

Sift the clay until it is a fine powder. Set aside. Do the same with the dark soil. You don’t want any sand, large plant debris, or rocks in your sifted dirt. Add the gold water to the sifted clay, then stir in the sifted mulch. Mix in the flower petals. Pour into Frisbee or cake pan.

Sprinkle the top of the pie with sand and let bake in the sun until dry.

Don’t forget to take photos!



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