Crafts Recipes



By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 44).

About this coal garden:

Usually, around power plants or [old] factories, you might find the burned remnants of real coal, with which you can make this pretty dish garden. Adding the salt mixture a little at a time, each day for about two weeks, to let it build up artistically, works best.

To that add your [drops of] food colorings as you wish. Humidity in the air may even cause it to increase in volume, where the salt mixture has been applied.


1 big chunk of burned coal [aka: “clinker”, not charcoal]

6 TB salt

6 TB [liquid] blueing, as used in laundry

6 TB water

1 TB household ammonia

Food colorings


Put the chunk of coal in [an accommodating] dish. Mix together the salt, blueing, water, and ammonia. Add enough water to the dish, containing the piece of coal, so that it’s barely covered by the water. To the piece of coal, add the salt mixture until it looks like tiny mountain peaks, letting it build up gradually.

With an eye dropper, add food coloring to it, also. Lasts forever. Salt mixture can be added [a little at a time] for up to 2 weeks.


See also:

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Crafts Are Happy Escapes

By TheRecipeDetective

Hi! I'm Laura Emerich and Gloria Pitzer, the ORIGINAL Secret Recipe Detective, is my mom. This website is lovingly dedicated to her memory and legacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.