Saturday, October 28, 2006


I would have given up on blogging for this month too if I did not have such wonderful blog land friends who leave me nice comments making me feel truly valued. As I have briefly mentioned before I have been working towards my master's degree with a secondary teaching license in family and consumer science. I have been student teaching for the past six weeks and have six more weeks to go, I have been working well over 60 hours a week doing all that has been required of me (4 credit hours of classwork) as well as handling a full time teaching load (6 credit hour state requirement). December 13 I will have completed the work for a teaching license. Because I have so much paperwork to complete in order to prove that I understand and can demonstrate my state teaching standards in addition to the laws pertaining to the national no child left behind legislation and several more things in addition to teaching all day and planning for the next day classes with a written lesson plan that demonstrates my understanding of research based teaching methods......whew. I am lucky to catch a few winks!
But I grin and bear it. I can endure for six weeks more, I want the license.

I teach two sections of foods classes as well as three other classes. The junior/senior foods class is in the middle of the grains unit. I had them cook up a variety of grain dishes on Friday to assess their understanding of differing grain cooking methods learned throughout the week. Here is a picture of the few leftovers. Carrie, I read your request for more bread.... next week my class will be making big mall style yeast bread pretzels. I love this time of year with Thanksgiving coming up, although I won't be able to do as much as I would like this November, come Christmas (I'll have four wonderful weeks off) and I am looking forward to sharing I will share more bakehouse goodies.

All of my lab recipes came from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Fiber for Life Cookbook. I cannot say they were ALL loved by ALL students, but the majority said they liked these dishes. All students tried them and had the opportunity to evaluate to think about how they might change the recipe to suit their personal tastes. These recipes were also all vegan, my classes know this about me. Sure I have to tell them about non-vegan foods, but according to research based teaching method results they remember 10% of what I tell them and 50% of what I show them and 75-85% of what I have them discover for themself. I did say I only TELL them about some food products and others I have them discover for themself others.

Grains used:
CORN - Quick Chili "Beef" Pie. I pre-made some vegetarian "beef" crunbles to be added to this dish. My students all know I am vegan, which is cool with them. This dish was second favorite. This dish is basically a medium thick chili in a pan with dallops of cornbread muffin mix dropped in the top. The pan is covered for 12 minutes while the muffin mix expands and cooks. Spoon up like a casserole.

RYE - Oriental Noodle Salad made with 100% rye rotini pasta. They said this tasted like a stir fry but with noodles. The dark color of the rye noodles was judges as unappealing by half the class, but they liked the flavor. Suggestions included using a lighter color rotini noodle and leaviong out the brocooli to improve.

BROWN BASMATI RICE (long grain) - Fruited Brown Basmati Rice Salad. Many said yum, but this sweet and savory salad that I have taken to many potlucks was evaluated as more pretty than delish. Several students said they were a bit freaked out by the peas and raisins in the same dish together. Instant brown rice could be used to speed the prep time, but a rice maker can make this just as easy when you have the extra time.

ROLLED OATS - Oatmeal Vegetable Soup. This one surprised many students, they liked it and the rolled oats puffed up making it seem like a soup with little alphabet pasta noodles in it (not pictured, because it was eaten up).

SHORT GRAIN BROWN RICE - Dreena's Evan-illa Rice Pudding... except we used Arrowhead Mills organic short brown rice that I cooked one hour the night before. This dish was not liked, but loved by every student.

In class this week as we learned about grains I taught the students how easy making fresh pasta is as we made Bryanna's Homemade vegan Pasta recipe from the cookbook, Nonna's Italian Kitchen. I have an ATLAS hand crank pasta maker that I picked up from a consignment shop for $8 which I took in to crank out their homemade noodles. The students made white rice (time constraints for brown rice) on the stove to demonstrate their understanding of the process of making rice, while I made brown rice in my rice maker for them to sample the difference between brown basmati and regular long grain brown rice. They ate this sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and loved it.... cheap and easy eating. In an intro class we made fresh apple crisp in the microwave to orient them to the kitchen and allow them the opportunity to demonstrate their cutting skills.

I really enjoy what I am doing with the students and I have heard many students say that they made what we made in class at home and they really liked it from several students... these comments are SO gratifying!
She sticks out like a sore thumb, but is on the mend. Poor thing shut her thumb in the car door before 7 am jazz band practice (half a sleep I guess) and broke the bone in between the joint and her knuckle.

And the other patient... gosh darn it. His was not an accident, but an ingrown toenail on both sides of his big toe that had been clipped twice in the past six months. The ingrown portion causing infection was deep within his toe, unreachable except by an experienced podiatrist. He is on the mend also and said even though what was done hurts, it is nothing like the pain he had before the treatment.

On the mend, but doing well. Life is busy for all of us and I miss the opportunity of eating together regularly... thank god for the weekends and that we make Sunday a family day in addition to the knowing that my kids still like to have watch at home movies with mom and dad on a Friday night.

Want to check on our life as a feline foster family... click on the link below!



Anonymous said...

So glad to hear you're doing well. I love what you're teaching in your classes. It's so refreshing to have the students learning how to prepare wholesome, vegan foods. One of the ladies I work with has eaten a Fast Frank (which is a microwaveable hot dog and bun combo) with potato chips and a cola every day for the past 4 weeks. Then she complains about her acid reflux. I think the earlier people learn about nutrition and healthy eating, the more likely they are to continue those trends into adulthood. You are a great role model!

Carrie™ said...

Crystal's co-worker's lunch sounds absolutely revolting. "Microwavable hot dog and bun combo"? I like veggie dogs and buns as well as the next veg*n, but not everyday. (I assume these are frozen to begin with).
Dori! If post the pretzels, I'm sure my husband will leave me for you. He goes nuts for them. The night we were out with Kleo, he had to hunt down a pretzel before we could go home. If you were nice enough to post the recipe, then I could make them and he'd stay. You'd be doing a wonderful thing by saving a marriage.
Ouch! Fingers and Toes. I hope the family is feeling fine before too long. Sending healing vibes their way!
Also, I'm intrigued by the Oatmeal Soup. What else is in it?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you're doing well too, even though you've been so busy. I think you're bringing an interesting perspective to the classes you're teaching and I'm sure they'll remember it because it's different.

I'm with Carrie - - Oatmeal Soup??

Emmy said...

I wish you the best of luck in completing the remaining six weeks so you can get your license. You're doing a great job so far. Sounds like you've been swamped time-wise.

Oh cool, you'll be making pretzels next week. I love making those. I'll have to make some soon. You've made me hungry for them.

That's cool you have a hand crank pasta maker. What a deal you got on it too :)

I hope your daughter's thumb and your son's toe heal quickly. Rob had problems with an ingrown toenail before. His didn't get infected but he did have a podiatrist clip it.

bazu said...

Wow, Dori, you are *so* busy, but you are right- there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I'd had a teacher like you in high school so I could have discovered grains and health food that much earlier. And I just read your cat blog, and want to say thank you for being a lifesaver to them. All in all, everything looks really hectic in your household, but this too shall pass, and you will be licensed, and all will be good. Best of luck!

Urban Vegan said...

Hang in there, Dori--only 6 more weeks.

Your students are lucky to have such a well-informed teacher. They are lucky to be experiencing an alternative-to-the-mainstream perspective. It will help them so much as they transition to college--and to real life.

Hope your kids' digits are all heeled.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's good to see you. I bet you stay busy with the kids and school and everything. The kitten looks adorable!

erica said...

Hi Dori-
I'm glad you decided to keep blogging! You are one of the ladies I look up to (like I've said before, you kinda remind me of my own mother - with the canning and baking), though I don't know when I will even can my own soup and grains. Well, Rome wasn't built in a day, right?

JAM*tacular said...

Yowzah, lady... You are one busy momma :) I'm sure you'll be taking full advantage of that four-week break!

:) Mikaela

Jackie said...

Great to have you back.

It's wonderful Dori how much you manage to do and you do everything so well.

It's wonderful that you have so little time left before qualifying and it's wonderful to know that there will be students out there who might learn to enjoy something else but junk food.

Gaia said...

Dori, I would have so loved having you as a teacher ! I'm sure I would have become a vegan sooner :)

Tanya Kristine said...

the kitty is so cute...and so are the broken toes & fingers!

You are amazing doing all that you are doing. how do you do it?

The Bovine Revolutionary said...

hey Dori!!! its been a while I've visited the bakehouse.. finally I'm in mumbai and enjoying the vegan meals at home.. anyways how are you doing? seems u r super busy.. best luc with all your work..

laura jesser said...

It sounds like your classes are going really well. I wish I could be one of your students--it all sounds so interesting. I'm glad everyone is on the mend around your house. Take care!

KleoPatra said...

Ouch on those owies. Hope everyone's healing nicely. I have been missing you... glad to have gotten a couple of e-mails from you, THANKS DORI!

Wishing you an easy time of it over the next month and a half. YOU CAN DO IT!! Go YOU!

May your Sunday family day tradition keep on keepin' on and as well that you have Friday nights to spend together. Love family... family love.


Vanessa (of vanesscipes) said...

Love hearing about what the students liked about the wholegrain dishes. And thanks for the oatmeal soup trick - sounds tasty and interesting!

Kate said...

Hello Dori, I have not commented your blog in a while. I am sorry you are so busy but its cool to see you so motivated towards your goal. I would love to take a class on cooking grains.

funwithyourfood said...

aww both of the kids owies!

I think it's admirable that you teach. good job!


cindy said...

You definitely sound busy. I know what that is like. But it sounds like there is an end to this tunnel soon. That is awesome. I'd say a little early congratulations is in order because you are almost there.