A (Activities) and E (Eats):
Did someone say Pot of Gold? That’s what my 8 year-old son, Calvin, heard. We might not be more than 15% Irish, but for a chance at this said gold carried by a leprechaun, we attempted to make a trap to ensnare one of these little mischievous devils.
First, we baked a 6-layer Rainbow Cake. Inspired by Martha Stewart, but short-cutted like crazy thanks to Betty Crocker Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix and Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting. One box mix divided into three equal parts made three 9 inch round cakes. The element of fun here was food coloring. My 10 year-old, Ava, was in charge of the color mixology and first up was purple, blue and green (see the video here (originally on Vine @jengilhoi)). Then we washed the cake pans, mixed again, divided and baked round two for yellow, orange and red layers. I usually spend a decent amount of time frosting the sides, but we had a different vision for this tower of cakes: high and messy. We skipped frosting the sides. To get cakes to layer correctly, I cut off the slightly rounded cake tops.
Second, we made white chocolate covered pretzel ladders using pretzel rods for the sides and thin pretzels for the ladder rungs. Super messy, but fun and kid-friendly. With one package of microwave-melted Candiquik white chocolate in a tray, Ava coated the pretzels, assembled them and hung them out to dry on parchment paper. These ladders would be the only way in which a 2-3 inch full-grown Leprechaun could access the cake.
Third, we broke into teams to design the traps using our cake bait. Neither kid wanted to be with me, rather they wanted to team with their Dad, the engineer. My feelings weren’t too hurt. He is highly experienced in shenanigans from his college days and has skill in weighted pulley systems and the like. To Ava’s dismay, we were once again a team. The criterion was that the leprechaun had to trigger something that set the course for events that would eventually end in his entrapment.
Calvin and Dad’s trap was indeed elaborate and weighted. One sliding trophy on dental floss nearly took Calvin out in the testing process. I heard him cry out in pain. When their plan was presented, it include a wire trip that pulled a coat rack which then released a trophy that slid down the floss, knocked over a book that fell and slammed the trap shut. Ava was blown away.
Then it was our turn. We got points for style. Ours included a welcome sign, enticing Monster High ghouls, all sorts of mischievous items like tacks, granulated sugar, glue and ladders to climb up the multi-level tower. Once the top of the tower was reached, the leprechaun was to dismount the pretzel swing and land in a swampy sea of hot, green bubbles and drown. See the video overview here.
Neither trap caught a leprechaun. The leprechaun maneuvered through Ava and Mom’s trap, taking out the MonsterHigh Ghouls with tacks and out swimming Frogger to escape. Fooled again (see: Unlucky Strikes March 2011 blog post)! And now we have a ton of cake to eat too. Maybe next year we’ll get the gold!
For more images, see my Pinterest board (@jengilhoi) here.