Friday, September 5, 2008

Yowza!

I spoke to the teachers of my daughter's nursery the other morning. I had an idea that the kids would enjoy a bit of messy play by making onigiri, and I would lend my rice ball makers and cutters for them to have a play with. they said they'd need to discuss it. The next day I got the go ahead with great enthusiasm! So I'm quite chuffed to be able to share the fun of onigiri and bento with the preschool class.

This morning the Deputy Head Teacher (Assistant Principal) approached me and asked if I wouldn't mind coming in and doing a demonstration for the 7th grade class as well, as they are studying Japan this term. I said sure! ...while quietly bricking my pants.

Wee kids in kindergarten are one thing - but a class of eleven year olds? They'll want impressed! Right? I don't know how I can make rice balls impressive to pre-teens. I thought I could make a hand out, explaining origins of bento, the 4-3-2-1 nutrition, chyraben, ekiben, oekaki and bring in pictures of bento (Any Volunteers?!) and then just let them run riot with squishing rice and making an edible morning tea.

Trying to think of what food stuffs to bring. See most of these kids will think Japanese food = raw fish and that's it. They'll instantly be on the defensive and suspicious. (I work in a world of worst case scenarios, in case you were wondering). So ...any suggestions? Also this a nut/seed free environment so no sesame anything allowed. Makes furikake a bit dull.

Also, if it is a success and the kids really enjoy the demo, I can just imagine how many annoyed mothers will be glaring at me because their kids demand a bento lunch? Carrot butterflies? Are you mental?! Oh dear. Alright, I do get a sick wee pleasure out of that thought but that's just between you and me, ok?

11 comments:

Patricia said...

Uhmm, may I come to one of your classes? Seriously, I would like to learn about this, I look at your stuff with incredible awe. I'm so glad you get to strut your stuff at the school, they'll love it!

Emily said...

Congratulations on being recognised for your bento-ing skills!

No worries, you will rock them! Bento! Bento! Go! Go! Obento Baby!

Amy said...

I think you're on the right track with the 7th graders. Tell them up front that there will be no raw seafood, so that they won't be "grossed out" before you even get started. Next, give them the lesson. Give them hand-outs with pictures - doesn't have to be fancy, just something to help them remember the steps. Then demonstrate. Finally, let them dig in! Be sure to provide both meat and vegetable options, and you're good to go! This is the perfect opportunity to break out all those gadgets ;-)

Jomamma (judith) said...

That's so cool... There's no way Shorty's lunches can't get noticed. I was eating at my desk and someone from the Administration office popped in and she said "OH my look at your tiny little lunch... and it's so pretty!" Be sure to take pictures of the whole event!

notmarcia said...

Maybe you could take some manga that depict Japanese foods. Or some animae... Teens should be familiar with these trends and would then be better able to make the bento connection.

Linlin said...

I love this idea! This is how we fight obesity in kids; teach them about food! Two thumbs up!

Lyvvie said...

Thanks everyone for the support! I do feel a bit less anxious about the idea. I've ordered some bento books to bring with me, a couple of Japanese food magazines and supplies. I even sent an e-mail to Japan Centre to ask if they could suggest any sesame free furikake and they came back with two very good suggestions.

I think I'll bring shrimp, veggies and a few shockers like pickled ginger and wasabi and let them dare each other.

Feeling much more confident.

Thanks folks!

Allergy Mom said...

I hate to be a killjoy, but I would suggest not bringing shrimp. Shellfish are of the worst allergens out there, right up there with the nuts and seeds. It's just not as common a problem in school.

On a more helpful note, items that hopefully might work are edamame, avocado, mango (seriously was in some of the best sushi I've ever had), carrot, cucumber, red/yellow/green bell pepper.

I can't wait to find out how it goes!

Lyvvie said...

I was thinking the same...

Allergy stuff is HARD!

allthingspurple said...

my kids enjoy making furikake-mix-riceballs with cling wrap . if you ran out of moulds, you could start handing out cling wraps? just an idea. Wish I have more ideas for you, cos my bento are usually just cookie cutter types. You probably have loads of ideas by now. Good luck. It sounds like fun !

Lyvvie said...

That's a great idea ATPurple! I hadn't thought of that, but will definitely being be bring the wrap. Thank you!