COSTA MESA — A carrot, stalk of celery, onion, potato, tomato, cabbage and sprinkle of barley were dropped into a large metal cooking pot, along with one other special ingredient.
Holding a gray stone high above the pot, Geoffry Ianniello dropped it in with a clang.
"Is that enough stones?" asked Ianniello, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District's nutrition services operations manager for Network for a Healthy California.
The first-grade class, all wearing green crowns with large shamrocks on the front, shouted "no" until Ianniello added two more stones.
Robyn Reese's class at Adams Elementary School celebrated St. Patrick's Day on Thursday morning by stepping into the Irish folktale "Stone Soup" by reading and then tasting some of its soup.
"Again, we're stepping into the literature," Reese said, dressed in black tights with green shamrocks.
Steaming bowls were set on each student's desk, filling the room with the rich smell as district nutritionalist Pam Williams read the folktale.