So, as some skeptics out there suspected, that whole Bake Your Own Carving Block tutorial was an April Fools joke. A complete hoax, through and through. Oh, there were elements of truth to it--the better to make it believable. For instance, when I wrote, "This tutorial has been more than a year in the making," that was the honest truth. I had the idea for the tutorial about a year ago, and it took me that long to save enough shavings to create a tutorial that would look legit!
And when I wrote about the equipment: "Amanda found ours at a Japanese dollar store and our total expense was less than $10!"--that too was completely true.
But those are about the only two true statements in the entire tutorial. The rest was a complete hoax.
"But!" I hear you thinking, "Look at those photos you took! They look so real!" Yes, they do look convincing, don't they? But remember, they had to look convincing if it was ever going to fool anyone! =)
In step 1, when I'm shredding pink stuff with a cheese grater and cutting it with a knife--I really did these things. That's real pink stuff that I really did shred with the cheese grater. But the cheese grater was so hard to work and cut so little off at a time, I got tired of it and started cutting up the pieces instead. Much faster. So step 1B--that's me being lazy. =)
|Real pink stuff, really being shredded with a cheese grater.|
|Real pink stuff, when I got too lazy to shred enough pink stuff!|
|Step 2: Apply DEET as a food release spray|
I actually went through our kitchen looking for Pam. I figured it needed a food release spray, but when I looked for it, I couldn't find it anywhere. Were we out? Was it hidden behind the cinnamon and I was just overlooking it? I didn't know, but then I realized I'm just making a fake tutorial anyhow. Who the heck cares? It just has to look like I sprayed something on it! So I started searching the kitchen for anything "spray-able," and you know what I found? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Then I thought I could use one of those water spritzer bottle thingys, but I couldn't find any of those in the house either. And then I remembered my DEET. It came in a small bottle that was sprayable. And it clicked immediately--what a WONDERFUL idea!!!! I was going to try to use something else other than food release spray and pretend it was a food release spray, but DEET keeps bugs away--that could actually be a good thing for our little rubber stamps! Who cares if it worked? It looked good and it sounded even better! Perfect for an April Fools joke!
|Real pink stuff, real scraps. But the DEET had|
already been washed off and the tray dried again.
I took a few photos of the DEET-covered tray, then immediately washed off the DEET and dried the tray. It had served its purpose.
For step 3, I then piled on a bunch of old pink shavings from real carvings that Amanda and I had done over the past year. It's a real photo, of real pink stuff. There's absolutely no DEET or food release on the tray, though. It didn't need it since I had absolutely no intention of baking it. =)
The fork in the aluminum foil I did just because I thought it was funny. As if there was lasagna or something cooking and you didn't want the cheese to get crispy. =)
* to 350 degrees and waited for it to warm up a bit. I wanted that orange glow to show that the toaster over really was on and quite warm. When it glowed sufficiently, I put the tray in and took a few photos. The pink stuff really is still in there, but as soon as my photo shoot was over (perhaps after about 1 minute), I turned off the toaster oven and removed the tray.
It's not until the tutorial gets to step 7 when the hoax really crosses from fact into complete fantasy. That's when I bring out the "melted" pink stuff. Since I didn't have any melted pink stuff--and I'm not even sure that it would melt (but I haven't eliminated the possibility either)--I needed something else. Something pink and liquid-ish. Anyone care to take a guess at what I did use? If you guess Pepto-Bismol, you guessed correctly. =) If you've got the runs, this concoction might help you out! But for carving purposes, it's absolutely terrible!
|Here's the switcher-roo! The pink shavings have been|
replaced with Pepto-Bismol--plus a few chunks of real
pink stuff to make it look "mostly" melted.
|Removing real air bubbles from the Pepto-Bismol.|
I did, in fact, try popping them with the end of a toothpick, but they were stubbornly resistant to popping, which is when I pulled out my spoon and started "skimming" the biggest bubbles off the surface. It looked pretty good in the photo, but if you really zoomed in closely, you'd see all sorts of smaller air bubbles I never did get.
I was almost done with the Pepto-Bismol. Before I dumped it out, though, I wanted to get Marjorie involved. I let the Pepto-Bismol tray set out overnight--mostly just to see what would happen--and a very thin, slight crust formed on it by morning. Which was an awesome effect! I thought it made the pink stuff look like it was already cooling (but hadn't cooled completely) giving it a sense of legitimacy, and even made it look less like the Pepto-Bismol that it really was.
|Here comes the second switcher-roo--the Pepto-Bismol-laced|
pink stuff was switched out with strawberry-scented candle wax.
So I dumped out the Pepto-Bismol (along with whatever pink shavings were still in it), cleaned up the tray, and dried it. Then I threw in the candle wax, put it on the stove, and started melting it. When the wax melted, it became a translucent red color, which looked nothing like the pink stuff, so I let it cool and harden a few hours before I took more photos. It also left the apartment smelling like strawberries for the next two days--which Amanda commented immediately upon walking in the door from the trip she was on. =)
And as you can see in the last photo of the tutorial, the candle wax just popped right out of the tray. No food release, no DEET. I was a little worried that it might stick to the tray, but fortunately, it didn't. Well, there was a tiny little section in the very middle of the tray that stuck, which is why I popped it out "a little bit" for my photo. I didn't want the part that stuck to the tray to show, so I covered the "mistake" with the "carving block." Then I took one last photo for the tutorial...
|...a perfectly formed block of candle wax. =)|
* No toaster ovens were harmed in the making of this hoax.