Stephen F. Greb, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky
If you don't want to eat meat as your cephalopod, here's a quick way to make some veggie cephalopod appetizers. Cephalopods were squid-like animals that lived in shells. They were very common in Paleozoic-era seas. They would probably have tasted like calamari (a fancy name for squid to trick people into eating it), but what are your chances of getting a child to eat squid? My kids love peanut butter and ranch dressing on celery as a snack. Here's a way to add some science entertainment!
Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes
1. Break off celery from stalk. You want to use the wide, tapered bottom of each celery stalk to make the "tentacles" of the cephalopods.
2. Make several V-shaped cuts into the broad bottom of each stalk to shape the tentacles. You can make the cuts 2-2 ½ inches deep.
3. Cut the remainder of the celery stalk according to the size you want to make each appetizer. Generally, making each celery "cephalopod" 4 to5 inches in length is good.
4. Spread your filling inside the celery just behind the V-cuts to the end of the celery.
5. Clean off any filling from the edges of the celery after spreading.
6. Add an eye, such as an olive, and serve.