Mon 7 May 2012
Sixth grade English was the year of the notebook. The assignment was 20 minutes of writing a day. It didn’t matter what: you could treat it like a diary (hopefully keeping in mind that your your teacher would eventually be reading said notebook), write a story, a poem, ideas, the requirement was that you did it for 20 minutes.
Normally, such an open ended set of expectations would have sent me into a whirlwind of worry. How do you know if you’re doing it right if there isn’t a specification of what you are supposed to be doing? How do you ensure doing well at something if there aren’t really guidelines?
From my now doubled age (gasp!), I understand that the point was to write, improve our writing skills, and learn new things about it. But at the time it seemed like a somewhat crazy assignment; do this action for 20 minutes every day and you’ll eventually get scored on it.
The thing was, after the initial worry fest, I really grew to enjoy writing and the freedom of getting to do so on topics of my own choice. Getting notes in the margins about having a “strong voice” made a person feel pretty awesome, but the gentle reminders that proper paragraphs do serve their purpose, though somewhat frustrating , did improve my writing a lot.
Sometimes I wonder if falling in love with writing via sixth grade notebooks helped to lead me here, writing about food and life to you guys in the internet ether. Either way, Mrs. Bollegraf, for making me fall in love with writing (and many other reasons), you are one of the teachers I hold in highest esteem through my illustrious educational career. I’m sorry my penmanship was so terrible back then.
Sundried Tomato, Snap Pea and Gouda Skewers
(recipe from Flavours: The Cookbook)
8 oz gouda
A package of snap peas
- Cut the gouda into pieces approximately 1″x1″x1/2″ in dimension.
- Trim the ends off of the snap peas and cut them into halves.
- Place the sundried tomatoes in a strainer and run under cool water to drain off the oil.
- Using a bamboo skewer or a tooth pick, pierce a sundried tomato, then 2 snap pea pieces, and then a cube of cheese. The cheese will be a steady base for these tasty morsels.
- Arrange on a platter and serve.
You can have a plate of these together for a party in about 8 minutes flat, which is great in and of itself. The thing that makes these really worth making, though, is that the flavors are sensational together. The creamy gouda and rich, deep tomato flavors from the sundried tomato are offset by the bright greenness and crunch of the snap peas.
Mr liked them better without the snap peas, so he took his apart and ate the peas on their own.
This time last year: Chicken Thighs with North African Spice Paste
And the year before: Cardamom Honey Chocolate Tart