Edible Origami: Crispy Cranes

I have never never ever ever been able to fold a paper origami crane on my own. Now there’s the suggestion that I make origami cranes out of wonton wrappers and put them on my salad?

What oh what is this world coming to? Well…let’s go find out!

For those of you less inclined to play with your food, I still think your life will be terrifically enhanced if you learn some simple origami. It’s a calming activity that can keep little fingers busy for a while, no batteries are required, and kids are fascinated both by the process and the endless possibilities.

Snuffle around online and in books for ideas if you’re new to origami (start with a cup, perhaps?). Then please oh please come back and show me how to make a crane.


Halloween Ideas for Young Learners

If you have young learners and if it’s almost October and if you want to do something Halloween-ish and if you’re not quite sure where to start, oh you hafta see this: over at Super Simple Songs is a whole wagonful of ideas for Halloween!

More than one wagonful, I think.

There are 6 categories with loads of stuff for any class that has kids and a teacher in it.

It’s a one-stop shop for ideas. Seriously, you could just take a break from your own lesson planning and use all that stuff instead.

All you have to do is tell a co-worker to start printing furiously while you stand by the printer and scoop everything up. Another co-worker can get the laminator going, and, if you order pizza and blast your favoritest foot-tapping tunes, you’ll have everything done in an afternoon.

Gallop on over and take a look!

Which reminds me, I’m still collecting names of the 7 Dwarfs in different languages. Let’s dust that post off and see what’s missing, shall we?

Popeye’s Favorite Cake

Spinach cake!

Green cake!

The mother of a former student always made this cake for the class birthday parties.

If I happened to be on the other side of the room when she added the whipped cream, I knew I had to start racing her son to the table: he could eat half the cake before anyone else could get a bite!

It’s like a light chiffon cake.

And it’s green!

There are a whole bunch of steps, but if you read through it first, you’ll see the recipe is really not that complicated.

Call your kids. They’re going to love this.

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Third-party Hugs

I hugged Tor!

Well, okay, not really, but close enough: GBK Gwyneth and her girls are traipsing all over Austin Kiddie Limits this weekend, and she found and hugged festival organizer Tor Hyams for me!

Is anyone near Gwyneth? Can someone hug her for me, please? Because oh happy happy happy me she deserves a huge hug just because she remembered to hug Tor.

I love these international hugs. Who do you want me to hug for you?

Concentrating Photographs

If you’re a bit old-fashioned like I am, somewhere in your home you have at least one box of photos.

If there’s no chance you’re going to organize those photos any time soon, at least turn some of them into the addicting game of concentration (that game where all the cards are face down and you try to match pairs – okay what do you call it?):

1) Choose 5 photos. Ideally the photos are all the same size and there is no writing on the backs (they’re unorganized, remember?).

2) Make copies of each so that you have 2 of each photo.

3) Stick each photo on stiff paper. Laminating them is optional.

4) Turn each photo picture side down, mix them up, then play concentration.

5) Later you can add more photos, and you can also change the ones currently in your pile.

6) If you’re one of those organized people and have your photos stored online somewhere, see what Ze Frank did for inspiration. Make your own concentration game, play his, or maybe maybe just possibly maybe he’ll make one for you.

The Enlightened Kitchen

Banana tempura?

Kiwi fruit with mashed potato?

Soymilk mousse with blueberry sauce?

I didn’t know the Buddhist monks here munched on such creativity.

Mari Fujii claims they do, in her beautifully designed vegetarian and vegan friendly The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh vegetable dishes from the temples of Japan.

Kinda makes you want to be a monk or a nun for a minute, doesn’t it?

Find your closest Japanese Buddhist bookstore or trot over to your local library to get a copy of this book.

Get two copies if you can: you’ll want one in the kitchen and one on the coffee table for your guests to drool all over.

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