Saturday, October 25, 2008


Do you have a surplus of green tomatoes in your garden?If you like fried green tomatoes, you'll like this casserole!

This is what you need:

3 cups of coarse bread crumbs (I make my own out of leftover ends of various breads)

1 tablespoon sugar (either white or brown)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4-5 medium green tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons butter, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 6-cup casserole. Combine sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices in the bottom of dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar mixture, 1/3 of the breadcrumbs and 1/3 of the cheese over the tomatoes in a layer.

Repeat with a second layer of tomatoes, sugar mixture, bread crumbs, and cheese.

For a third layer, add remaining tomatoes, sugar mixture and bread crumbs.

Dot with butter.

Cover casserole and bake 1 hour. Uncover and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Makes a good side dish to enjoy with meat.

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That's the recipe, now for some "Words from my Soapbox!!"

Please refer to my previous post about learning to read with Dick and Jane.

I am so amazed when I go into a first grade classroom today. It is as different as night and day from my experiences as a first grader. Even the physical aspect of the room is different. It seems so dark, the ceilings are low, and the room appears so crowded. Some kids are seated at round tables in a social enclave with their backs to the teacher, and some are lounging on the carpeted floors. The room is filled with interest centers where you can feed the fish, pet the gerbil, play house, finger paint, play on the computer, etc. etc. There are educational toys and games, lots of books, art projects hanging from the ceiling, bulletin boards loaded with calendars, pictures, and learning aids. There are jars of reward candy; sometimes even breakfast is being served. There are literacy aides helping kids, with other children going in and out of the classroom to other special classes. I've seen coffee pots, microwaves, refrigerators plus CD players and lights that can be dimmed for atmosphere in the classroom.

Oh my!!!! Even though I am an adult, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and unable to focus in this situation. Do the kids feel that way, too, I wonder?

In spite of all of these resources and the fact that the majority have been to preschool and kindergarten; there are too many children who are unable to read and are lacking any self-discipline. I know all too well that the schools are not solely the problem or the solution. I'm well aware of what teachers are faced with today, as my son is a high school teacher and my husband substitute teaches in the elementary schools. Discussion at our dinner table is often about this subject and the huge numbers of emotionally-needy kids out there. My hope is that every child can experience a joyful thirst for knowledge followed by the inner reward of learning. But, it appears to me that this is becoming a rare thought process in the children of the 21st century.

I certainly don't have the answer; I'm not even sure of the question!! Any comments?

Thanks for stopping by,



Smilingsal said...

I'm raising my hand; I have an answer: the home. Education begins at home. For too long, we've given up our responsibilities to teach our children. So many people give birth and never raise them. nuff said!

nikkicrumpet said...

I too think it begins at home. No discipline or focus can we expect them to have it at school. There was a reason our desks were uncomfortable and we had to stare at the board...because THAT'S how you learn. We keep spoiling each generation more and more...they are getting more self indulgent and more lazy. GRRRRR maybe the answer is work camps lol

Sue said...

My husband loves fried green tomatoes...probably the only thing he likes about the South...The dish looks wonderfuland I will have to try it....I meant to ask you, when you were in Paris did you take the plunge and go down to see the catacombs?? It was the most fascinating thing I have ever daughter freaked out...but we did get some great pictures!!

Manuela said...

It all begins at home! Too many parents just send their kids to school and expect the teachers to do it all and they can't even if they wanted to. Maybe they're overwhelmed with life themselves, I don't know. When my daughter went to public school kindergarten and 1st grade I was a volunteer in the classroom and I was always amazed at the children who just could not sit down and focus on a task!


Marianna said...

I actually have a first grader so I know all to well of what you speak! The classroom isn't as busy as those you describe thank goodnes. But, oy, the way some of those children behave! I'll agree with what everyone else has starts at home. So many kids today have too few limits. They can eat what they want, when they want (and we know what kind of choices the average elementary age child will make), watch as much TV as they want, unlimited access to video games etc...Kids need limits. If they don't have them at home we can't expect them to be respectful of those the school attempts to establish.