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Celer-ant (and Rave)

Posted Apr 08 2011 7:25am
In yet another installment of Shocking Things Ms. Smart's Students Don't Know, I present to you this anecdote
One of my fourth grade reading groups has been working on finding the main idea of paragraphs or passages. Recently, we've been looking at a non-fiction piece about canopy trees in the rainforest. While discussing the comparison of tree trunk 'veins' with human veins, the former science teacher in me took hold of my speech and began a miniature diatribe on the difference between vascular and non-vascular plants. To further confuse the children, I said, "OK, so with vascular plants, it's like celery, you know...the way it has all of those tubes running up and down inside of it."
A girl in the group looks up and says questioningly, "Cele-what?"
I respond, "Celery," thinking she was just not paying attention*
*not paying attention [verb]: lost in one of my tangential speech patterns
"What's that?" she replied.
"Celery!" I exclaimed, "You know....celery!"
(Clearly my powers of description are fabulous at the end of the day.)
Meanwhile, the other kids are trying to explain to her what it is: "Green sticks...like with carrots, you know?" "You've never seen celery!" "It's that stuff that tastes good with peanut butter."^
^What doesn't, my child? What doesn't taste good with peanut butter?

Even a picture pulled up quickly on the computer did not strike any particular associative chord. There was only one thing left to do: call SMART KITCHEN 911 !
Oh, and bring them some celery.
Yesterday, I showed them what it looked like. I showed them how at eye level you can see the little tubes that are like veins running up and down. If you break it, you can see the indentations of those tubes even better. [When I used to teach science, every kid in the class would have a piece of celery that they would break in half at this point in the lesson.] I did not tell them, but I'll tell you, how I recently read that celery leaves are a good substitute for cilantro if you are one of the select (and unlucky, I'm afraid) people who taste soap and metal when you eat that otherwise delicious herb. [As this was a rather spontaneous lesson---and since I'm not actually teaching science, just how to read about science topics--we didn't do the whole "soak the ends of the celery in colored food coloring and watch the whole thing turn red" experiment. I knew you were thinking about it.]
I bought the celery on the way to school and didn't have a chance to wash it or anything, but I decided that I should really let them taste it (since they were freaking out about how good it smelled of all things). So today, I am bringing along a box of celery.
But not just any celery. Because when life gives you celery.... ...and you happen to have an excessive amount of peanut butter(s) available...
...you obviously make... ...ants on a log.^
^I have consciously chosen not to use an exclamation point here. It's so obvious as to not even be exciting.
[P.S. Golden raisins turn brown eventually.]
Or FIRE ants on a log. [Dried cranberries, if you can't tell. I realize they look a lot like raisins.]
While we are on the subject, I want to say that I've always had a bit of an issue with this whole "ants on a log concept." I mean, that's either the world's tiniest log, or the world's largest ants. Shouldn't it be called ants on a twig? Or beetles on a stick? Currants are much more to scale. As are goji berries, if you happen to be headed in the fire ant direction.
(And have goji berries hanging around...which I realize not all of us do.)
Those gojis are also much more color correct.
Of course, you could also just go ahead and mix 'em all together.
After, all, like Frog & Toad... ...all ants should be friends.
When packing your "ants on a log" (or whatever name you have chosen to give them), I suggest making one flat layer, and then stacking others upside-down on top* of the others. There will be a little stickage, but it is better than getting peanut butter all over the bottom of the top layer.
*That was a lot of directional prepositions all at once.
In other news, remember this Earth Balance Peanut Butter I yucked the other day ?
It's growing on me.
[But I was excited to have an excuse to use up a bunch of it...I still don't want to sit around eating from the jar-that's-plastic-so-we-must-call-it-a-tub-or-container with a spoon or anything. And for me and nut butter...that's weird.]
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