Friday, May 29, 2009

Snapping and Eating Asparagus

Instead of going to work early this morning, I volunteered in Caroline's class. Since asparagus is in season, I decided to teach the eight 2-ish year olds how to cook asparagus. I arrived at 9:00 am with a bottle of olive oil, sea salt, an asparagus ink-stamp, and about 60 spears of asparagus. We prepped the asparagus by snapping off their tough ends. The children loved the sound of the snap and some of them snapped and snapped their spears until all but the tips were snapped into bits! We put the long spears and bits together in a bowl and tossed the asparagus with olive oil. Then, I passed around a small round box of sea salt so that each child could have a turn to put a pinch of salt into the bowl. We spread the asparagus onto a broiler pan and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes or so. The children were eager to try the asparagus and patiently sat around a kidney-shaped table waiting for me to pull the pan out of the oven. The spears and bits were placed into individual cups and so that each child could have their own serving. Some of the children, like Caroline, already knew and loved asparagus. Others had never tried it before. And one child was introduced to it at home but, according to her mom, wouldn't touch it. This morning, all eight children asked for more and eagerly ate all of the spears and bits. And then just for fun, I stamped their arms with my asparagus-ink stap.

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