May 29, 2014

An Ancient Roman in Pre-K

This is the last week of school for the kiddos in Pensacola.  My daughter Cecilia's pre-Kindergarten class put on a little show last night for their end-of-year International Day, complete with parade, songs, and a potluck for the families.  When the announcement was circulated last month, we were asked to pick a country, make a flag, and help our kids dress up as someone from that place.  Rather than selecting one of the many ethnicities that make up our family (primarily Russian on my side, and Greek/English on my husband's), I convinced her to be from my adopted culture -- Ancient Rome. Besides, we already had a little gladiator-esque costume that I picked up from Caesar's Palace (of course) in Las Vegas a couple years back (I got the "boy" costume because the "girl" costume was a really boring white sheath), and my kid already has Latin-inspired praenomina (Caecilia Livia) and cognomen ("Chickpea," which is where the name Cicero comes from and is also based on the Italian nickname Cece).  We even printed out the SPQR standard for her flag.

Eat like the Romans eat!
The potluck snuck up on me, though, and I realized that I was supposed to bring a culturally-appropriate food item.  So, how to make the Mediterranean triad appropriate and appealing to kids who are probably not as adventurous about food as Cecilia?  Here's what I came up with:
  • Homemade focaccia
  • Olives (I only had Spanish olives in the pantry)
  • Simple chickpea salad (toss with diced onions, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste)
  • Grapes
  • Provolone (figured the kids wouldn't eat parmigiano reggiano, which is probably the closest to ancient Roman cheese we have today  
A hearty enough meal for even the most exhausted miles or gladiator! Other than the grapes, I had all the ingredients as staples in my kitchen.  Clearly, my tastes are influenced by Mediterranean cooking.

The kiddos had a great time showing off for their parents and siblings, and we all got to try delicious food inspired by other countries and cultures.  And the Mediterranean triad?  Almost all of it was gone by the end of the evening.


Bastia said...

That sounds both delicious and fun. Was yours the only historical contribution?

Great exposure for preschoolers. Food is the great unifying force!

Kristina Killgrove said...

It was the only historical "country," unless you count the girl who dressed up like she was from Hawaii, which I suppose used to be a nation unto itself.

My daughter is in a Montessori preschool, and they're big on international stuff -- learning foreign words and songs, learning about kids' lives in different places, learning geography.

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