Thursday, January 13, 2011

Origami starts young (and simply)

It's no crane (see instructions below), but this origami Christmas tree, which consists of one careful fold, is actually pretty tricky for these three years olds! I am impressed that Japanese preschools start kids doing origami this early in life!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Udon - yummy!

This month, I'm quite jealous. The preschoolers will be donning their aprons and cooking yummy Japanese udon at school. One goal for Japanese preschools is to help kids "learn to enjoy a variety of foods," so they cook about twice a month. Udon is popular in Japan in the winter because it is hot and "warms you to the core." It's made of fat wheat noodles and a fish stock soup, then you top it with things like fish cake (the pink swirly things), seaweed, and fried tofu. Or you can top it with tempura - my favorite! To eat it effectively with chopsticks, get your mouth close-ish to the bowl, grab some noodles with your chopsticks, and put them in your mouth, slurping as you go. You'll have the udon hanging from your mouth as you slurp, which is totally correct. My grandma would have my hide if I slurped and had stuff hanging out of my mouth during dinner, but if it's udon it's OK!! Yay!!