Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Warm Sesame Broccoli: Leprechaun Trap

This week, Daughter #2 got the project that I most dread in Kindergarten - the Leprechaun Trap.  Students are asked to conceive, design, and execute a working trap to capture a leprechaun.  The first year I watched Daughter #1 do this, and completely left it up to her to decide what to do.  I didn't help her, assist her, or offer advice.  She came up with a very simple, "Wait until the Leprechaun comes into the box and then I'll pull the string and he'll be trapped."  She colored it, cut things out and brought it to school.  I didn't really think it a very important project, so I didn't do much aside from making sure she had what she needed to do it to her satisfaction.

Turns out, I was the only parent in the classroom who thought it wasn't a big deal.  Every other child came in with elaborate, fancy, super sophisticated leprechaun traps (hey - whose homework is this anyways?) which clearly had the markings of adult handiwork involved.  It seemed that the parents loved the project more than the students and the leprechaun traps were amazing.  Daughter #1's seems completely simple and crude in contrast.

Daughter #2 came home with it on Monday, and once again, I battled with myself momentarily - do I get involved, and if so how much?  Truthfully - I'm not that clever at catching little green people.  I don't have interesting ideas about how to catch a little green man to make him give me his pot of gold, nor am I really all that interested.  I personally find the project - not interesting.  This is not how I like to use my brain.  I decided to let Daughter #2, as I did Daughter #1, attack it on her own.  I asked her what she needed and the first thing she did was to throw a complete fit at the project itself.  I didn't have the right box, and I didn't have any good ideas, and she didn't have any good ideas.  I could only offer some lame help such as, "They like sparkly stuff.  Trap him with the sparkles I'm giving you" as Daughter #2 went off the deep end with the pressure of trying to construct something as lame as this leprechaun trap.

It was Daughter #1 who came to the rescue however.  She remembered the project, and surprisingly enough, remembered her own project's weakness - when she realized that she had to WAIT for the leprechaun in order to trap him. (a manual trapping of the leprechaun while everyone else in her class had some sort of automatic mechanism.)  She sat with Daughter #2 and gave her some pointers, about how to perhaps make the trapping function more automatic.  With Daughter #1's help, Daughter #2 grounded herself, and began to work on her project.  It's still driven by her, and the only thing I did was buy more sparkles and explain that some enticing signs would be helpful.  (Evidently leprechauns like to disobey signs - so figuring out the wording to get your leprechaun to do the opposite is a bit of cleverness.)  Phew.  I'm just going to see what she does on her own.

Now, even though I am unable to capture little green men in boxes with sparkly things and confusing signs, I AM able to create a delicious dish that Children all gobbled up.  It was so simple and easy to execute it's almost like I didn't really work at it.  At all.  It takes one bowl (if you microwave it) and the results are simple, delicious and healthy every time.  It's a great side dish to almost any Asian meal and is so easy to add to your list of dishes.

So I can't make a trap for a leprechaun!!  I can perhaps change your child's mind about vegetables!
Warm Sesame Broccoli
Serves 4

Ingredients
12 oz to 1 lb of broccoli florets, washed and trimmed
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Method
Steam broccoli until crisp tender. You can steam in your microwave by placing florets in a large microwaveable bowl, adding 3 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the bowl, and covering it with saran wrap. Cook in microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.

Remove broccoli from heat. Drain water if necessary.

Toss with sesame oil, salt, and black pepper. Finish with toasted sesame seeds. Salt and pepper to taste as needed.

Printable recipe

1 comment:

LadySaotome said...

I've dealt with 2 years of kindergarten and never had to worry about Leprechaun traps. Perhaps I'm lucky? I don't remember anything like that when I saw in school myself.

That broccoli recipe sounds simple & delicious! Oh, btw, I made your rum cake the other day and my husband was wowed. Thanks! :)

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