Friday, March 29, 2013

Newspaper kites & edible Easter grass

Las Cruces Style — S. Derrickson Moore Newspaper kites & edible Easter grass By S. Derrickson Moore dmoore@lcsun-news.com LAS CRUCES — By the time you read this, you may already have been to Easter morning church services, enjoyed a festive holiday breakfast or brunch, consumed several jelly beans and munched an ear or two off your chocolate bunny. But have you polished off the grass in your Easter basket? While checking out interesting style trends for spring and Easter, I couldn’t resist picking up some of the new edible Easter grass at a local superstore. I got two packs, because I planned to get some reviews from our Sun-News staffers and I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough left for a desk-top display. I needn’t have worried. I promoted it heavily, stressing all three bright pastel flavors: strawberry, blueberry and green apple. But despite my enthusiasm, the adventurous spirit of our features department, and our usual willingness to eat just about anything at our late afternoon weekly staff meeting, edible Easter grass turned out to be a hard sell. Despite a lot of coaxing, I think I was the only one to try strands of all three colors (to claim that there were three clearly discernible flavors would be kind of a stretch). They all tasted pretty much the same to me: a cross between stale Pringles and vintage tutti-frutti gum. A couple of reporters commented that it tasted basically like paper. We decided the best review came from cop shop reporter James Staley. “It’s one of those things that seem like it wasn’t meant to be eaten, but if you do, it won’t kill you,” James opined. So … I may have a lifetime supply of edible Easter grass. Maybe, if I ever decide to get really creative and ambitious, I could incorporate it as a garnish in an elegant nouveau cuisine dinner. Or an avant-garde art project. Or maybe I’ll contribute it to the backyard compost heap. It will be interesting to see if regional birds will decide to incorporate it in their nests. If neon blue, pink and lime-green nests show up in your neighborhood trees and cactus stands, you’ll know who to thank or blame. • • • A reminder that the old ways are still often the best came this week from Richard Miller, who had read a story of mine about the joys of kite flying that appeared in our weekly My Las Cruces publication and will show up again in the April issue of our Healthy U magazine. Miller told me he’s 92 now and doesn’t do as much kite-flying as he might like, but he still has fond, and detailed, memories of successfully launching some do-it-yourself, low-budget aircraft projects when he was growing up in Ohio. “I remember making kites out of newspapers. They were kind of flimsy, but they worked. We also made parachutes out of handkerchiefs. You tied a string to each corner and they caught the wind pretty well,” Miller recalled. You gather the equal-length strings together and tie them on something light-weight, like a cork, or maybe a small toy or action figure from your Easter basket. Drop it off a balcony or try to catch a breeze on a windy day (pretty easy this time of year). If you’d like to try a do-it-yourself kite project, you can do a little high-tech research to find out how to make some low-tech retro flying machines. I was amazed at how many results I got when I did an online search for “build a newspaper kite” and “handkerchief parachutes.” Unless you’re reading this online, you’re holding most of what you need right in your hands. I recommend the Sunday funnies or pages with lots of color pictures. I guarantee it’ll be more fun than edible Easter grass … though maybe you could use the grass for the kite’s tail. Happy Easter, everyone. May the day inspire a joyous season of rejuvenation and creativity. S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at 575-541-5450. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore

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