I like to think I’m picky about projects. They have to involve irresistible materials or a smidge of kitsch or flat-out, hands-on educative potential.
In contrast, I present the CD Mishloach Manot.
The idea seemed good at the time. I have a teetering stack of old CDs and DVDs, see, and even though “the disc is dead,” my stack continues to grow. What if I could transform trash into Jewy treasure? What if I could melt unwanted CDs just enough to coax them into ersatz hamantaschen that could hold actual hamantaschen? Wouldn’t they be the cutest little recycled Mishloach Manot?
Melting cds is not recycling. It is simply delaying the date at which the cd will end up in the landfill. It’s more of a repurpose. To repurpose can be fun and useful and can indeed reduce our footprint on the earth if the project obviates the need to run right out to Target and buy this or that. But I wouldn’t run out to Target for Mishloach Manot containers even if I could. I’d rather fold them out of leftover paper or staple a bamboo lunch plate into a triangle or use a clementine crate, etc. etc.
Melting cds could actually increase your noxious footprint on the world. You won’t do yourself or your household any favors by triggering toxic off-gas when you slide these babies into a hot oven. Having anticipated this, I waited for a sunny day and angled a floor fan to shoot the fumes straight out an open window, and I made sure I was the only one home breathing at the time. I’d like to say, “once was enough,” but by golly, I did it twice: last year and this year. Bless my heart.
Melting vinyl discs, aka the Long Playing Record is easy-peasy by comparison. I gave all mine away eons ago, except for Jimmy Smith’s 1964 Jingle Bell Jazz and some Miles Davis. If I weren’t so burnt-out on the melted CDs, I would consider buying a few worthless, thrift store albums just to warm them into lovely, large, black vinyl bowls. But I am, so I won’t. But you can.
My bowls did do interesting things when in the fiery, fiery furnace. Solid colors became bubbly, translucent pastels. When the discs slowly surrendered to the heat, they draped themselves over whatever was beneath them and stayed there. I put them atop various forms, hoping for total control: wads of aluminum foil, jar lids, upturned custard cups, etc. Maybe, just maybe if I’d had silicone gloves I could have held the stupid, hot things long enough to cool into appropriate shapes in my very hands. But they are just too small to fool with, really. See the picture with the kisses? They’d barely hold a normal size hamantasch.
Ah, but now it comes down to a matter of taste. I don’t love these but someone else might think they are neato. Should you wish to try, here’s a link to a tutorial for basic CD bowls. Not for CD Mishloach Manot containers, because there isn’t one, unless you count this post. Note that the temp in the tutorial is a measly 325 degrees. At 325 all I had was a bunch of warm CDs. I had to crank it to 385 – 400 degrees to go for true melt.