Friday, May 13, 2011

lemonade sandwiches

DSC_3335    when life hands you lemons, make lemonade sandwiches 

There's a good story here.  My daughter's entire grade school was given the opportunity to attend a special party with one catch.  Everyone in attendance must first memorize 'If the World Was Crazy', by Shel Silverstein.  Remember that guy?  I hadn’t thought of him since the second grade.

Last year, the kids tackled ‘Jabberwocky’, by Lewis Carroll, and it was no small feat.  I think all but two kindergarteners memorized that one, proving our children have officially outsmarted us.  Move over Mother Goose, nursery rhymes are a thing of the past.

When the school librarian first approached me about baking 40-60 treats for the party, I reluctantly gamely obliged.  And here’s where it gets interesting.  It wasn’t ordinary treats I’d be making, but taking a line from the poem, I was asked to interpret lemonade sandwiches in treat form.   

I first considered baking sandwich cookies with lemon filling, but eventually switched to vanilla cake with lemon buttercream sandwiched between two layers.  The straws were a last-minute epiphany of the midnight oil variety. 

Just two days before the party, the final headcount soared to 86.  Nothing like bait and switch to reel me in.  I mean, go kids!  In all seriousness, how cool is it that 86 kids, including many kindergarteners and 1st graders, like my daughter, memorized this:

if the world was crazy

by Shel Silverstein

If the world was crazy, you know what I'd eat?
A big slice of soup and a whole quart of meat,
A lemonade sandwich, and then I might try
Some roasted ice cream or a bicycle pie,
A nice notebook salad, an underwear roast,
An omelet of hats and some crisp cardboard toast,
A thick malted milk made from pencils and daisies,
And that's what I'd eat if the world was crazy.

If the world was crazy, you know what I'd wear?
A chocolate suit and a tie of eclair,
Some marshmallow earmuffs, some licorice shoes,
And I'd read a paper of peppermint news.
I'd call the boys "Suzy" and I'd call the girls "Harry,"
I'd talk through my ears, and I always would carry
A paper umbrella for when it grew hazy
To keep in the rain, if the world was crazy.

If the world was crazy, you know what I'd do?
I'd walk on the ocean and swim in my shoe,
I'd fly through the ground and I'd skip through the air,
I'd run down the bathtub and bathe on the stair.
When I met somebody I'd say "G'bye, Joe,"
And when I was leaving--then I'd say "Hello."
And the greatest of men would be silly and lazy
So I would be king...if the world was crazy.

DSC_3342    90 lemonade sandwiches later… who’s crazy now?!


  1. Crazy, indeed--but the recipe sounds kinda crazy delicious.

    Is it weird that I'm wishing you were my mom right now? I want a lemonade sandwich with a straw for my afternoon snack!

    I better get started memorizing...:-)

  2. Tea,

    You're so funny. I love that you wish I was your mama. If I had extras, I would personally deliver one to you. Even if you didn't memorize the crazy poem.


  3. u are incredible! we're all fortunate to enjoy your treats, lady! xoxo.

  4. thank you, yen! looking forward to our date, next week... xoxo

  5. can you send some to Austin?! they look and sound AMAZING!!! ;) miss you!