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'Crayons'-giving Placemats

 

Today's Snack: Cut veggie strips to look like crayons for a colorful snack dipped in sour cream with a few shakes of onion and parsley flakes. You can cut carrot strips to represent "orange crayons," celery sticks for "green," yellow squash strips for "yellow," eggplant strips for "purple," and red pepper strips for "red." What other crayon colors can you dream up as fresh vegetables . . . and then turn in a work of art that you eat?

 

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Leaves

Other nearly-flat natural items, including grass

Old and broken crayons

Kitchen mallet, hammer or building block

Zip-close plastic bag

Plain white paper

Waxed paper

Newspaper

Iron & ironing board

 

First, go for a nature walk and collect colorful leaves and other autumn treasures that will lie flat. Don't pick up pine cones, seed pods or sticks that are much thicker than a toothpick; you need flat items. Pine needles, ferns and other plants with interesting shapes will work.

 

Now peel the wrappers off broken crayons that you don't want any more. Save the wrappers; you'll need them later.

 

Put the crayons into a zip-close plastic bag, go onto a surface that can't be damaged such as a patio or garage floor, and crush the crayons into bits, using the mallet, hammer or building block.

 

Scoop out one teaspoon or less of crayon bits onto a sheet of plain paper.

 

Decide what size you want your placemat to be, and cut out two sheets of waxed paper to that size. Put one piece, shiny side UP, on a newspaper-covered surface. Now arrange the leaves, grass, crayon wrappers, and crayon bits on the shiny side of the waxed paper.

 

Put a few pieces of plain white paper on your ironing board to protect it from possible spread of newsprint or crayons. Preheat your iron on "warm." Carefully move the decorated wax paper, with the newspaper beneath it, to the ironing board.

 

Place the second piece of waxed paper, shiny side DOWN, on top of the first piece that you've decorated. Put a sheet of newspaper on top of this. Then put a sheet or two of white paper on top of that, to protect your iron's surface from the possible spread of newsprint or crayons.

 

Using a warm iron, gently iron the plain white paper that is on top of your "stack" for two or three minutes. It might be best to ask an adult to do this part! Press down fairly firmly, but don't "squash."

 

The heat from the iron will melt the crayons, and the wax paper will laminate itself together. That means the top and bottom will stick together as if they are one piece. And since they're clear, you'll be able to see your collage of autumn beauty . . . but it's not too pretty to eat off of! And you can wipe it clean to use again next year.

 

If you have time, make one of these special placemats for everyone you're going to share Thanksgiving dinner with, and everyone can take one home as your gift. They'll all be THANKFUL for nature's bounty, and your love and friendship!

 

Happy "Crayons-giving"!!!

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Holidays & Seasons 29 2008

 

 

 

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