Saturday, 14 April 2012

Elephant No. 195: Tin Foil Food Container

 We're hosting a big family dinner party tonight, and there are usually leftovers to take home, so I figured I'd try making some kind of elephant container today. Most restaurants make tin foil swans, but I thought it would be interesting to see if I could make an elephant container instead.

I've never made a tin foil swan, but I've seen pictures of them and I know how to wrap food, so I figured this would be a snap. And indeed it is—although I did have to make two attempts to figure it out.

To start, I cut a piece of aluminum foil that was approximately square, and big enough to hold a bunch of stale nuts destined for the squirrels. There are about two small handfuls here.

Next, I folded a crimped line along the middle at the top to seal the food in.

I made the tail first, twisting the smallest possible bit at the end as tightly as possible to form a seal. Even though I used mixed nuts for this, you'd want a good seal if there was anything moist inside.

I then made sure that the food was packed towards the tail end of the elephant, so that I would have lots of room to make the elephant's head and trunk.

I folded about 40% of the length of foil upwards to create a neck and start the head, and gave this a twist at the bottom to again seal in the food.

I folded part of this big piece back down, and pinched in some large ears on either side, leaving the middle slightly raised and slightly smooth as the elephant's forehead. The first photo below shows the head from the front. The second shows it from behind.

When I liked the shape of the ears—even though these are lopsided—I finished by twisting the part in front of the ears into a trunk. You can obviously shape the trunk in any way you like: raised, down, curled, whatever. I left mine sticking out.

This took me about 10 minutes from start to finish, including my first attempt, which failed mostly because I made the tail too big and didn't leave enough room for the head. I'm astonished at how easy this was, and that my first attempt at a tin-foil-anything actually turned out.

I just hope I get to make one of these at the end of the night to send home with someone.

Elephant Lore of the Day
I'm assuming that much beer and wine will be consumed this evening, so what better to write about today than rum-running elephants?

In December 1991, the Daily Telegraph reported that a herd of elephants was continually breaking through Indian army defences in the jungles of northern Bengal to steal the soldiers' winter food and rum rations.

Soldiers had tried to keep the elephants out by lighting fires around the depot's perimeter and putting up electric fences. The elephants, however, had other ideas, dousing the flames by spraying them with water from their trunks, and flattening the electric fences by dropping uprooted trees on them. Once inside, the elephants had no problem smashing steel railings and wooden windows to steal the rum, sugar, flour and bananas inside.

One soldier said that the elephants crushed the rum bottles by curling their trunks around the bottom, then poured the contents down their throats. Once satiated from their little spree, the elephants headed back into the jungle, only to return some weeks later.

And woe betide anyone who got in the way of the elephants' fun. One elephant never forgot a man who poured hot water on him, and returned regularly to demolish the man's hut.

Elephants raiding fields near Bangalore in central India, 2007.

No comments:

Post a Comment