Monday, June 08, 2015

Pasta with Spinach Pesto -- author's day at School

Yesterday was Author's Day at Little Sis's school. At first I thought it would be one of those days when an author comes to school to read his/her books. Turned out it was a day to celebrate all the little authors in LS's first grade class.

The class had a writer's workshop program in first grade where the little guys had learned all about the writing process from mind map,to story web, first drafts, edits and even illustrating a story. Honestly they knew much more about the formal process of writing than I ever did. The teacher also took great pains to publish their story with a proper cover, index and even a dedication page! In addition to this the kids also did journal entries throughout the year. The journals were free writing where the teacher let the kids write anything and everything without any edits. As she said, she knew stuff about us we couldn't even imagine via the journals. To celebrate all the little authors' work, the parents were invited to join in last Tuesday morning and I am so glad I went.

It was such a fun morning hearing about the stories that the kids wrote. I was also very impressed with the teacher who made the whole thing more interesting for the kids, by giving each child an award for their book declaring it to be best in the genre she thought fit. So there were best crime fiction, best magic story, best once-upon-a-time tales and best historical fiction. All the kids had written such interesting books that I really wanted to read all of them. LS had written three books, one of which was about two kids who go to a museum and then get on a time machine to go back to the time of dinosaurs. I am sure she wrote it as an adventure tale but the teacher declared it to be the "best historical fiction". LS was elated with this accolade and is now very proud of her "historical fiction"!

Some kids also read from their journal entries and LS read a piece she wrote about "the rickshaw". On our India trip last year, she would pester my Dad to take her on a rickshaw ride almost every day and looks like that was the best thing about our India trip for her. No prizes for guessing why. She had written that the rickshaw was like a car without a door or windows and the thing she liked most about the rickshaw was that it didn't have a seat belt. She did not get on the kind of rickshaws shown in the pic though, she was on the ones that are pedaled like a bike.

I recorded most of the author's day event and I know I will be watching the recording with much fondness for years to come. It was really an extremely sweet morning where every kid got a chance to be proud of whatever they wrote.

Now to this spinach pesto Pasta which I have been making lately as my basil plant is still very very tiny and I have run out of my store bought basil pesto. I usually buy a big box of organic baby spinach from Costco. I saute them in Olive oil and add it to Pasta but last week I decided to make a spinach sauce instead. It is a bit different from the usual spinach pesto recipes.This is how you do it.

Cook Pasta according to package directions. Drain the Pasta. After draining the pasta I drizzle some olive oil on the Pasta so that they don't get sticky.

Now heat some olive oil in a pot big enough where you can also toss the pasta later.

Add about 2 tsp of minces garlic

When the garlic sizzles, add about 1 or 1&1/2 cup of baby spinach. I used baby spinach but you can use regular chopped spinach

Saute until the spinach wilts.

Cool and make a smooth paste with
2 tbsp of blanched almond(I didn't have pine nuts but you are welcome to use what you have)
generous olive oil
salt to taste
Note: You can add some black pepper to kick up the taste but i didn't as LS wouldn't eat it.

After the paste is made I also add a little milk to it to make it more creamy.

Now in the same pot add some more olive oil and warm.

Add the spinach pesto that you made and saute for a minute

Add the pasta and toss.

Add a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese. This is very important and gives an awesome creamy taste.

Toss everything and adjust for salt. Serve. It is yum.

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  1. LS er ekta story pabo ki publish korar jonnay. This summer I am planning to do at least story by a kid every week. Just to encourage them to write.

    The "green pasta" or the "red pasta" are loved at my home with tons of veggies. I think this is the only way I get them to really enjoy the veggies and eat it too.

  2. What a lovely account of the author's day! The teacher and school are doing a wonderful job. At such a young age this kind of learning will definitely make them think clearly about what it is actually to be an author and not romanticize just the idea. The pasta too looks easy to put together.

  3. this author's day is such an unique and beautiful concept...I wish my son's school also had something similar... my son is also very fond of writing stories but there is no platform to showcase...these are the memories to cherish..

  4. Sounds absolutely wonderful!
    I'd have given anything to have classes like these when I was a child.
    I'm sure LS will treasure the memory of her first historical fiction for years to come, as will you :)


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