Introduction: Troll Tears Rock Candy
In today's story, Beth was gifted a crystallized tear from the troll-wife in memory of loved ones lost. Crystallizing tears requires troll magic, which I unfortunately do not know, but crystallizing sugar only requires a kitchen!
(FYI: This activity requires a lot more time than our usual activities! It only take about an hour to get set up, but then it needs to sit for about a week to make really solid rock candy. I only let mine sit for 3 days before I had to write up these instructions, and that's why it's so small!)
(FYI 2: This is a stove-using activity, so don't do it without parental or older sibling help!)
Depending on jar size, this will make enough sugar solution to fill one or two jars. If you want to make more rock candy than that, you can expand the recipe, always keeping a 3 to 1 ratio of sugar to water.
-bamboo skewers or cotton string
-food coloring (optional)
-a parent or older sibling
Step 1: Roll Your Skewers in Sugar.
If your skewers have pointy ends, snip them off. Then, pour some sugar on a plate, get the skewers wet, and roll them in the sugar. You want them coated in it! Then, set the sugar-coated skewers aside to dry while you do the next steps.
If you don't have skewers, you can use cotton string, too! It won't have pointy ends that need snipping off, either. You can cut lengths about 6 or 7 inches long (depending on the size of your jars). Dip the strings in water, then rub them around in the sugar. Set them aside to dry.
Step 2: Simmer Your Water.
Measure out a cup of water and pour it in your pot. Set the stove burner to medium heat. Bring the water to a simmer. When you can see little bubbles, you're ready for the sugar!
Step 3: Add a Cup of Sugar to the Water.
Measure out a cup of sugar. Pour it into the pot and stir it until it's dissolved and you can't see the sugar anymore.
Step 4: Add Two More Cups of Sugar, One at a Time.
Add another cup of sugar and stir it until it dissolves. Add the third cup of sugar, and stir that until it dissolves, too!
Step 5: Bring the Sugar Solution to a Boil.
When it's boiling, if you want to add food coloring, this is the time to do it. You'll only need a couple of drops. I decided to make mine blue, like troll's tears! Stir the food coloring in.
Step 6: Let the Sugar Solution Cool.
Turn off the stovetop and take the sugar solution off the heat. Let it sit and cool for 20 minutes.
Step 7: Pour the Sugar Solution Into Your Jar.
Before you do, though, run your tap water til it's really hot, and then hold your jar under the hot water for a couple of minutes until the glass is quite warm. Then, pour the sugar solution into the jar.
Step 8: Put in Your Sugared Skewers.
Grab your skewers covered in sugar. Lay the wooden spoon across the top of the jar, and insert the sugar-coated skewers into the solution like in the picture. This will keep the skewers separated while crystals grow.
If you are using string, you can tie two sugar-coated strings to the wooden spoon and dangle them in the sugar solution. Don't let the ends of the string touch the bottom of the jar!
Step 9: Make an Ant Guard.
Your rock candy will need to sit on your counter for some time while the crystals grow, so you want to make sure it's safe from ants. Fill a saucer with water, add a couple of drops of dish detergent, and stir it around. Set the jar in the center of the saucer, so that it's got a moat all around it. Now ants can't get at your jar!
Step 10: Let the Cystals Grow.
Check your jar every day, and very gently rotate the skewers once in the morning and once in the evening. This will keep them from sticking to the bottom of the jar. (If you used string, you won't have to do this!)
Step 11: Wait Til Your Candy Is Done!
Look at that! There are already some crystals after 3 days, but not very many. You'll want to let yours sit for about a week! And don't take it out of the sugar solution to look at it like I did. I needed to take a picture!
After a week, what does your candy look like? I bet it's delicious!