Family traditions founded on food: Kid-friendly sushi and glow-in-the-dark Jello

PBJ sushi

So they’re not the prettiest things you’ve ever seen, but I made these PB&J sushi rolls last month for The Little Boys Club in an effort to uphold what has become a new tradition in our house. Pizza Fridays are a custom that Mr. W started with his twins a few years ago, and I thought it might be fun to incorporate a post-pizza movie night that includes a nod to some kind of snack featured in the flick itself. On a recent night, we chose “The (original) Karate Kid” accompanied by these easy “sushi” roll-ups made with flattened wheat bread and smothered with PB&J. The little dudes tried to convince us they’d already seen the movie — and we had to inform them that the Jaden Smith version does not actually count. Same goes for the Hilary Swank adaptation — although I do appreciate the female athlete in a leading role. Nice work, Hollywood.

The whole movie idea started on a whim last December with “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” — the Jim Carrey version. I whipped up a bright green batch of Grinch Punch. It was a hit. (The request for seconds tipped me off.) Then, when “Frozen” was released on DVD, we opted for a few snowman snacks: Olaf noses (baby carrots), Olaf arms (pretzel sticks) and a melty Olaf himself: vanilla ice cream dotted with a couple of Raisinets for eyes. It was a home run. They don’t say much, but the awkward attempt to actually “build” a snowman inside the glass says something, right?

grinch punchfrozen snacks

After the presumed success of the first few movie nights, Mr. W and I decided to introduce The Littles to some of our own childhood favorites, so we started with E.T. I was prepared with Reese’s Pieces, which would have been plenty. Simple enough. But we got a little carried away. I decided to make glow-in-the-dark Jello. (Lime jello + tonic water = voila!) We needed something to stick our index fingers in for the “E.T. phone home” scene. Obviously. But we didn’t stop there. Just as The Littles were attaching plastic glow-in-the dark stars to our living room walls, Mr. W. revealed the black lights and blinking LED alien balloons he’d picked up just for the occasion. Have I mentioned how much I love this man? He not only humors me, but actually participates in my movie-themed madness. It’s a match.

We don’t do this every Friday, y’all. Let’s be real. But it sure is entertaining to re-watch some of our favorite flicks from childhood — and exchange sudden glances with Mr. W upon realization that the movie you chose has just introduced your children to fun language like “penis breath.” Heaven help us.

Recently, I overheard the boys tell their uncle all about our E.T. movie night and it made me smile. A moment of validation! So they DO dig it! They DO enjoy our cheesy little tradition! (I take every little victory to heart, guys.) And maybe they’re just in it for the snacks — but hey, I would be, too.


2 thoughts on “Family traditions founded on food: Kid-friendly sushi and glow-in-the-dark Jello

  1. How fun! I Loved reading this!! You are making some sweet memories that’ they’ll carry throughout their lives and they can one day share and continue with their future families. I’m glad you’re in their AND our lives!! Xo!!


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