edamomie

An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

Layering it on to Land a Leprechaun March 17, 2014

A (Activities) and E (Eats):

6-Layer Rainbow Cake with Ladder to Access

6-Layer Rainbow Cake with Ladder to Access

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.

 

Rainbow Cake Testing

Rainbow Cake Testing

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.

 

Ava and Mom's trap: Swing into Green Sea

Ava and Mom’s trap: Swing into Green Sea

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.

 

Leprechaun Outsmarted MonsterHigh Ghouls and Frogger

Leprechaun Outsmarted MonsterHigh Ghouls and Frogger

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. 

 

Unlucky Strikes March 17, 2011

U: The Unknown

As luck might have it and much to my daughter’s dismay, we did not catch a Leprechaun on St. Patty’s Day Eve. On the eve of green, while I was out, my kids and their Dad put together an elaborate trap to catch even the most clever leprechaun off-guard. The scene was set with research and care. In the dark of the dining room, only poorly illuminated by the kitchen light, I arrived late to the scene. I did not see the note.

 

“Leprechaun Trap. Do not Destroy.” This might have warranted a text from my husband to call it to my attention. Or had I not been so focused on tidying up the kitchen and environs at breakneck speed, the green glitter, gold coins and large plastic container pitched up on one side, might have cued me into the trap.

 

Instead, I swept up the green shimmery glitter, sprung the trap by moving the box and vaguely recall seeing some shiny coins. It should have struck me as a bit odd perhaps, but having walked into many a fort, built-work or crazy messy scene when Dad and kids have creative time, it seemed the norm to me.

 

Bowlers and Bagels

Bowlers and Bagels

The next morning: Ava, my 7-yr-old, had big tears rolling into her cereal milk (which I meant to taint with a bit of green dye for fun). She wondered why I had to go and ruin it. When my son awoke 10 minutes later, I expected a similar lecture from him: “Did you not SEE the note?” However, he took in the scene and noted that the coins where gone. He suggested that maybe the Leprechaun had come during the night, got the coins and smartly avoided the trap. I went with this and oh they liked this idea. We might get rich yet!

 

I suggested we reset it for the day. Ava was not keen on this, figuring we had missed all chances of catching one until next year (note: instead of shamrock face paintings, her school opted to make her a werewolf of sorts that day?). Bad morning to be on such a tight time line. I had to leave the house at 7:00am for green bagels and a meeting, no time for such shenanigans. I said goodbye to Calvin suited up in his 3 layers of green shirts and delivered Ava to her bus stop.

 

Temptation for the Trap

Temptation for the Trap

When we arrived home after school, Calvin with his friend, Churchill — I toasted up some doughy Brueggers Bagels that were a bit too green and they donned their Irish bowler hats. Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal was on the playlist. Impressive that they made the connection between their hats and MJ’s bowler hat worn in the video of the same name.

 

We talked about all green and all enticing items to the mischievous leprechaun and reset the trap as seen here.  We are talking some strategic photographer effort here, getting down to the perspective of a two-inch tall little person’s view to capture what this array of temptations might look like.

 

The trap includes scissors, tooth flossers, foam spray candy, tape, Club crackers made by Keebler Elves (elves being akin to leprechauns and all), glitter, a tiny green speedy car and a screw to hold the entire thing up. The screw is rigged to the car so when the leprechaun tries to speed away, their fate is sealed.

Shenanigans for the Irish at Heart

Shenanigans for the Irish at Heart

 

Obviously we are not going to catch one. What should I tell the kids on the morning of March 18, when there is no gold?

 

Note: During this day of March Madness, Grownups Robyn, Lisa and Jen enjoyed some shenanigans of our own at Coopers – – indulging in the Cougar Burger and Ginger Irish Whiskey.

 

 
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