July 31, 2009

I Had To Have Macaroni and Cheese Tonight, Or Else

I haven’t done much except read since we got home from Chicago on Sunday.

The sheets need to be changed. The laundry is piled so high in the hamper that it is now piled on top of the hamper. Disaster was imminent, when last I saw it, and I predict it will be falling off sometime today.

My Favorite Husband has done some dishes. It’s what he does when I do the cooking. I was doing my part to help out though. I wasn’t cooking, so he didn’t have a lot of dishes to “do.” Coffee cups, mostly.

He couldn’t eat breakfast, because the milk had passed its prime. And we were out of bananas. Down to a few Cheerios. No V-8 juice.

Then we ran out of Oikos yogurt. My yogurt. Now I was affected by my own sloth. And yet, I continued to bury my head in the computer and read, read, read.

So this morning, he appeared in his Illinois Lawn Bubba outfit (think Harrison Ford, without the hat) and announced he would be taking me to an early lunch and then to Kroger. Lunch was the carrot, and I was cast in the role of donkey in his little lunchtime scenario. I bit.

Changed my shirt to one that coordinated with my tank top and shorts and climbed in the car.

We didn’t get more than a mile down the road when it began. In the right turn lane, the lane with the green light, the guy in front of us let the opposing traffic turn left in front of him. Nice guy. Apparently he had not gone for the rear view mirror option on that big ol' pick-up truck, and therefore could not see that there was anyone behind him. The very same drivers who would have been just as grateful to make the right turn on green.

MFH, alternately known as Mild Mannered Man, was provoked and actually gave a very tiny HONK at Mr. Nice Guy.

After the opposing lane of cars made it through the intersection, there was just enough time for Mr. Nice Guy to execute his own turn, on yellow, of course. We sat through the red light waiting for our turn – again.

Another mile down the road, and closer to town, we prepared to turn right at the green light, onto the road leading to the fast food/strip center maze. Our intention was to then take the immediate left at McDonald’s and book it over to Subway. Except the guy making the turn just before us decided to make the three-way stop a four-way stop. He actually stopped before making his right-of-way-no-stop-sign-left-turn to – you guessed it! – let the opposing traffic stop at their sign and then proceed straight ahead. Invasion of the mind snatchers.

There we sat, again. Scratching our cocked heads, mouths agape. Along with the two cars at the cross-traffic stop signs. This guy was throwing off the whole traffic pattern for the entire east side of town. Cars observing the green light behind us were stacking up on our bumper. Expletive!

I realized at that moment it was Friday! We live in a college town and for some reason Friday is drive crazy day, all day.

When I was in college, we didn’t drive around like crazy people just because it was Friday. We were all safely tucked away in the bars by noon, drinking like crazy, and hiking or hitching home by sundown. Whatever happened to collegiate tradition?

Lunch was without incident, for the most part. No soap or paper towels in the bathroom. All the tables taken, except the one with the broken potato chip mosaic covering the floor around it and wet spots on the table. Oh, and there is no need to eat chicken salad at Subway. And, I almost forgot, no lemon for tea – not even lemonade in the machine to fake it. See, sometimes I eat just to stay alive.

Next stop – Kroger. It is always Crazy Ville in Kroger on Friday. I must ask, why is everyone in Kroger on Friday? Do they not serve popcorn in bars on Friday anymore? Are there not pizza places that deliver to dorm rooms when you’re too . . . well, you know . . . inebriated . . . to walk over and pick one up for yourself?

Asked and answered – YES! So here’s an idea! Go to the bars on Friday afternoon, like a good college student. Then hike home and call for delivery pizza. Stay out of Kroger and give the old people a chance to shop in peace.

And, no, they are not all buying beer at Kroger. Our grocery stores don’t sell beer. Except Wal-Mart, on the other side of town. And we’re still trying to figure out how that happened.

The Kroger run was mostly uneventful. We limited ourselves to the breakfast items on our list. It's Friday and we’ll probably be ordering pizza.

Then I remembered,
I was making Mac & Cheese to take to DR next door. She had “a procedure” yesterday and won’t be lifting any heavy pots and pans for a few days. So I picked up some elbow macaroni.

Groceries in tow, we wheeled the cart out to the car. We use the “door less traveled,” where the parking lot is usually more civilized. Yeah right. As we come to the first car parked in our row, we see this.

I couldn’t resist taking this picture to prove my point about Friday drivers. Notice how I obscured the license plate to protect the poor soul who hung up the right rear tire on the curb, as he/she pulled into the well marked “no parking” zone, right next to the “handicapped” spot. In fact, I walked back to take this picture with my cell phone, and I even mastered a new skill, emailing pics from my phone to my computer. (Photoshop AND new cell phone tricks - I didn’t even know I could do that!)

So - whatta ya gonna do? We jumped into our car and drove home.

Illinois Lawn Bubba is out playing with chainsaws in the yard. I’m playing with fire in the kitchen.

We should be a lot safer at home for the rest of Friday.

And we’re staying in for dinner. The number for pizza delivery is on my speed dial. It’s the button with the number rubbed off.

I learned it in college.

And, yes, it is perfectly acceptable to eat pizza AND macaroni and cheese together – but only if it’s Friday and you’ve had a surgical procedure or a hair-raising ride to town and back.

Because I said so!

MACARONI AND CHEESE

1 box elbow macaroni
8 tbsp. butter (1/2 cup)
8 tbsp. flour (1/2 cup)
dry mustard
garlic powder
onion powder
freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
kosher salt
4 cups milk
lots of sharp cheddar cheese – 6 to 8 cups – or use a combination of whatever you have available, along with sharp cheddar
Breadcrumbs

While preparing Cheese Sauce, cook elbow macaroni according to package directions.

For Cheese Sauce: In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir with a whisk until blended. Sprinkle in the dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground nutmeg, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt. Continue to stir over medium heat for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk and continue to stir until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese, or cheeses, and stir until melted.

Drain cooked macaroni and place back into pot. Pour cheese sauce over drained macaroni and stir to blend thoroughly. Spray inside of two casserole dishes with cooking spray. Pour macaroni and cheese into casserole dishes and cover top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until breadcrumbs brown and macaroni is bubbly – 30 to 45 minutes. May be prepared ahead and refrigerated before baking.

Note: I don’t butter the breadcrumbs; there is a lot of fat in the butter and cheese in the sauce, so the crumbs will soak up enough to be moist and crispy.

And this one isn't even baked yet, but it's smelling really good in the oven right now. Ummmmmmm . . .

July 29, 2009

BlogHer '09 - The Gift That Keeps On Giving

My trip to BlogHer '09 was a birthday gift -- from me, to me!

As I headed back home on Sunday, my actual birthday, after two full days attending a conference with bloggers from all over the country, and the world, I thanked myself. What better gift to give me, I thought, than something that will keep on giving, with the potential to make me better at what I do. That's because the best thing I took away from BlogHer ’09 was a challenge. Well, several challenges, actually -- plus a few mini USB flash drives.

First was the challenge to put myself out there. I am too easily overwhelmed by crowds and my instinct is to retreat into a safe and quiet corner to observe, rather than participate. I know from my first BlogHer mini-conference last fall that bloggers are warm and generous people -- my kind of people. However, just the thought of spending two days with 1400 other bloggers tends to kick my corner-seeking instincts into high gear. But just showing up to sit and observe is not enough, so my food blogger friends became my safe haven, allowing me the necessary comfort level to move into the crowd and join the conversation at the conference. Now to carry that through to my blog.

Second was the challenge from the Keynote Community Speakers, who were all bloggers, selected to read one of their posts for the hundreds of us seated in that enormous ballroom. Their words stunned me and compelled me to become a better writer – a much better writer. I was also challenged to look into my own world more objectively, more passionately, more tenderly and more openly. I was moved beyond my own lexicon -- just when I wanted perfect words to describe the feeling their words stirred inside me. This was the highlight of BlogHer '09 for me!

Third was the challenge facing my own blog – to find my focus, my niche and my readers. I’ll admit, there is a tendency to think I must be doing something wrong if I don’t have the legions of readers of, say, Ree at The Pioneer Woman. Or the depth and breadth of recipes of Elise at Simply Recipes. Or the discipline and devotion of Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen. Or the curious mind and generous spirit of Lydia of The Perfect Pantry. Or the multi-tasking skills and kindness of Kristen at Dine and Dish. Or the youthful exuberance of Maris at In Good Taste. Or the travel and cultural intrigue of Sara in MsAdventuresInItaly. Or the energy and business sense of Jaden at Steamy Kitchen. But spending time with these women, and so many others like them, is exciting and encouraging. And the food blogging panel discussion led by Elise from Simply Recipes generated a brainstorm of much-needed ideas for my own food blog.

And, finally . . . the technology challenge! I’ve recently shared my personal failures, and now limited successes, in the world of technology. Daily challenges continue to bombard me from all sides in a world full of computers, iPhones, Twitter, Facebook and others evolving in the blogosphere. I was delighted to be able to identify all the mini USB flash drives in my swag bag, but somewhat intimated by all the social media terminology that zoomed past me like, well, foreign languages. My MacBook Pro is my faithful companion. I’m waiting for ATT service in my area before I get an iPhone. I’ve dipped my big toe into the social media pool. And now I want to concentrate on my camera skills, or lack thereof. I love taking pictures! And, with the help of Kristen Doyle’s new Culinary Snapshot blog (and maybe a photography class or two), I see improved skills in my future.

So that’s why I went to BlogHer ’09 – to go face to face with my personal blogging challenges.

Attending BlogHer ’09 was my birthday gift to myself. And I came away with new friends, a few ideas, renewed energy and more confidence in myself and my blogging future.

Wow! I give really great gifts!





P.S. – Behind this successful blogger is a man who chauffeurs me to conferences, buys me cute hats (in my absolute best color!) for my birthday and hands out my cards to curious onlookers at the Navy Pier embroidery shop (and any co-pilot who happens to land in the seat next to him in the cockpit) -- just a few of the many reasons why he is My Favorite Husband!

July 18, 2009

Easy Living Summertime Dinner Menu

We are having the most unusual and welcome weather this week. Lots and lots of rain earlier in the week, meaning no need to drag the hoses around to water the plants, which is such a pain when it's hot. And now it is so clear and cool and dry that I feel like I'm in New Hampshire instead of Southern Illinois in July!

And to add to the nice weather, My Favorite Husband came home from running errands yesterday with a big bag of shrimp from the seafood guy who makes regular visits to the parking lot where our dry cleaner is located. Of course, I'm talking about frozen seafood. This is still land-locked Illinois, even if the weather says otherwise. If you don't live on the coast, or catch your own seafood and take it home, wherever you live, the fish and shellfish you eat have all been previously frozen. That's a very good thing for those of us who do live "in the middle states", where it is easily a day's drive to catch our own saltwater fish. And in our usual summer heat, they wouldn't be fresh by the time we drove them back to Illinois. So the parking lot seafood guy is a good deal for us!


So what did we do with a big bag of frozen-in-the-shell, tail-on shrimp? The quick and easy peel and eat shrimp cocktail. Shrimp rinsed under cold running water for about five minutes. Big pot of boiling water with a bottle of beer and a cheesecloth bag of Old Bay Seasoning. Drop shrimp in for just a couple of minutes until they turn bright pink-coral. Remove from heat and plunge into ice water for a minute or so. Drain and place in the fridge until time to serve.

Cocktail sauce is the best and easiest accompaniment to boiled shrimp and it's so easy to make. I put ketchup in a bowl, squeeze in some lemon juice and add a big spoonful of horseradish. That's it!

And, as it happens, I had a couple of ears of fresh corn that I also boiled. Served with lots of butter and salt, they were perfect to go with the shrimp.

Even though the shrimp and corn would have been plenty, I also had some new potatoes begging to be roasted in olive oil mixed with a little butter and salt. After about 20 minutes on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees, they were crispy, brown and delicious. I tossed in a nice mix of fresh herbs from my garden -- chives, thyme and spicy globe basil -- to the potatoes just before serving. That spicy globe basil is my new favorite fresh herb. I don't have a clue how an herb can be sweet, spicy and subtle all at the same time, but it is! Next time I may chop up a bigger bunch of herbs and add them to some sour cream for a dipping the potatoes, just to make it an all-finger-food meal.


My kind of easy living dinner for the most surprisingly delightful weather of the year! Ahhhh . . . Now if I could just wash the peel-and-eat-shrimp smell off my fingers!

July 9, 2009

Get Ready To Pick A Fresh Crop Of Summer Recipes

SEASON TO TASTE(my monthly food column for Heartland Women)
July 2009

I think seasonal fresh vegetables are the big reward for enduring the oppressive heat of summer. They are so valuable, in fact, that it is difficult not to buy them with eyes bigger than tummies. Who doesn’t feel rich with a big basket of homegrown vegetables or a tote bag full of colorful treasures from the farmers’ market? Thank goodness it is summer again and vegetables and fruits can take center stage at mealtime.

I’ve never really met a vegetable I didn’t like. Turnips and bamboo shoots are not high on my list, but I respect their place in certain cuisines. The feast of fresh vegetables in the supermarkets, farmers’ markets and roadside stands this time of year is almost overwhelming; but I love to collect them, arrange them artfully in baskets around the kitchen, and eat them in thousands of different ways.

I still remember the day in North Carolina when I became acquainted with a classic Southern specialty and the answer to what to do with all that stuff from the garden. When you hit the garden mother lode, just skip the meat and enjoy a vegetable plate for dinner. Four or five of your favorites and I guarantee you won’t even miss the meat!

Much of my time, as you may have guessed, is spent researching recipes. Between writing this column and keeping up CoraCooks.com, I am always searching for something different and interesting and delicious. My exhaustive research has created a towering stack of vegetable recipes that I am not so patiently waiting to try this summer. And now the time has come to see which ones will make the cut this year and join the golden goodies from seasons past.

Many of my favorites have already been published here over the past four and a half years and won’t be reprinted, even though I can’t wait to prepare them this summer. But I will indulge in a bit of shameless self-promotion and encourage you to visit CoraCooks.com to see all those recipes, discover some you may have missed and learn what’s new every week of every season, all year long. There are also some features to inspire your cooking and great links for your own recipe research.

My original website grew out of cooking classes I began conducting for friends, based on recipes I learned at classes I took in New Hampshire and California. When my classes became popular, we designed a logo to go along with the seasonal fresh foods that were at the heart of the recipes and I named my cooking "school” Season To Taste.

Just as a seed begins a process of growth, so did Season To Taste. Not long after I began teaching my classes, I also began writing this column, and it seemed only natural to call it Season To Taste also. Before long, I was up to my eyes in columns and recipes and it seemed like I was always printing or emailing them to someone who didn’t live in the circulation area of Heartland Women.

A website seemed the perfect way for readers to keep up with my work and to print recipes for themselves. That’s when my husband purchased the domain name SeasonToTaste.net, designed that first website and set everything up for me. All I had to do was write the columns and he would make my words magically appear on the Internet on my very own website!

Season To Taste, the website, continued for a couple of years and worked quite well; but, just as we were considering plans to expand the site, both of our computers were stolen! Without the computer we used to publish the website, it came to a screeching halt. I carried on my column, of course, but without the huge recipe collection I stored on my computer. Rebuilding the website went on the back burner while we contemplated the possibilities for improvement and growth, and I began the huge project to recreate my recipe file.

The task of reinventing the wheel that would become my new website was almost overwhelming, and by then we were well into last summer’s wedding-on-our-lawn project. If I wanted to preserve my place in cyberspace, I was going to have to take the matter into my own hands. I needed to be able to do the writing and the website publishing myself. A full-time flying job and work on the lawn were enough for my webmaster/husband. But with computer knowledge that began with e-mail and ended with Google, I had absolutely no idea how to create a whole website!

Blogs and Blogspot!

When frustration turned to inspiration one day, I created my very own website/blog on Blogspot—all by myself! It was easy to do with their templates and simple-to-add widget features. In just a couple of hours, I was back online. The name Season To Taste was already taken, so I quickly decided on Cora Cooks! Two years later, Cora Cooks is still my website—I write, design, publish and maintain it, all with the help of Blogspot.

I mention all of this for those of you who have read about my website at the bottom of this column every month but may not have been there yet. My Heartland Women columns and recipes from January 2005 through July 2007 are all still available at the old website, www.SeasonToTaste.net. But all columns and recipes from August 2007 to the present are now at this new address— www.CoraCooks.com. They haven’t moved from Blogspot’s sponsorship, but I now own the domain name and new address, CoraCooks.com. How about that! I am a dot com!

So now that you know all about growing a website from a passion for cooking, teaching and writing, you are ready to see how SeasonToTaste.net and CoraCooks.com can work for you. First, I’ve spent hours reviewing my stack of up-and-coming recipes to try and chose some tempting ones for your summer vegetables. There’s only room for a few of them here, but there will be new recipes added every week throughout the summer, and forever, at CoraCooks.com.

Next, take a look at the list of some of my favorite summertime recipes. These are some “Best of’s” from previous columns at SeasonToTaste.net and CoraCooks.com. And, of course, there are also a couple of new recipes below from my stack of researched “Must Try’s.” Cooking and food are about community; so let me know what you like by leaving a comment at CoraCooks.com! And just as sharing comments is the lifeblood of blogs, sharing recipes is fundamental to the traditions of family, community and regional and national cuisines. We are what we eat!

This column has grown into something I never imagined could come from my love for cooking and good food. Later this month, I’ll be attending a conference in Chicago, sponsored by the BlogHer network for women bloggers. I’ll miss the deadline for my August column, but you will be able to read all about the conference and the food bloggers I meet at CoraCooks.com!

SeasonToTaste.net
Eggplant Torta
Grilled Vegetable Packets
Sally's End-of-the-Summer Vegetable Torte

CoraCooks.com
Denise’s Zucchini Pancakes
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Panzanella

Asian Coleslaw
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 ½ tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger root
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.
In a large bowl, mix the green cabbage, red cabbage, Napa cabbage, red bell peppers, carrots, green onions, and cilantro. Toss with the peanut butter mixture just before serving. Serves 4-6.

Gnocchi and Tomato Bake
Adapted from Good Food magazine
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes + juice, chopped
1 16-oz. box gnocchi
salt and pepper to taste
½ c. torn basil leaves, loosely packed
1 8-oz. ball fresh mozzarella, diced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and red pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to heat for 1 minute (do not brown garlic!). Add chopped tomatoes with juice and gnocchi; simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens. (Add a small amount of water if not enough tomatoes and juice to make sauce with gnocchi.) Season with salt and pepper. Add basil and half of diced mozzarella and stir to blend. Pour into a large ovenproof dish. Scatter remaining mozzarella over top and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve as a side dish with chicken, pork or veal, or as a vegetarian dish. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Oven-Roasted Beets with Orange Gremolata
Adapted from Fresh & Fast, by Marie Simmons
4-6 medium-size beets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim the beets, leaving about 1 inch of the leaf stem on the top. Wash and dry the beets. Place a large sheet of foil on a sheet pan, lay beets on foil and fold to enclose the beets. Place pan in oven and roast for 1 - 1 ½ hours. Remove pan from oven and allow beets to cool. Unwrap the beets and rub them to remove the skins. Cut them into ¼-inch slices and set aside.

Gremolata:
1/3 cup packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
zest from ½ an orange
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the parsley, orange zest, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the oil and pulse food processor quickly to blend.

Arrange the beet slices by overlapping them on a large plate. Top with the Gremolata and serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

Oven-Roasted Carrots with Lemon and Olives
Adapted from Fresh and Fast, by Marie Simmons
1 lb. fresh baby carrots, rinsed
4 garlic cloves
4 thin slices of lemon, cut in half
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gently smash garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and remove skins. Combine carrots, garlic, lemon slices and olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Stir to blend. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and add olives. Return to oven to bake for 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 4.

Corn and Lima Beans with Cream, Tomatoes and Basil
Adapted from Fresh and Fast, by Marie Simmons
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups fresh (or frozen) lima beans
2 cups fresh raw corn kernels (4-6 ears)
½ cup heavy cream
1 fresh, ripe tomato, cut into ½-inch pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the lima beans and corn; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Add the cream and heat just to boiling. Stir in the tomato, salt and pepper and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with basil, just before serving. Serves 4.

July 7, 2009

By George, I Think I've Got It!

How about that new header at the top of the page?

I had to get a little help from My Favorite Husband to make it all come together, since I'm not exactly Photoshop savvy yet, but I like it. And I hope you do too.

And guess what else? I finally took the time to figure out how to add captions to my amazing photos. True confession - it's not difficult. But like so many technical things, I make it much, much more complicated in my mind that it really is.

I suffer from technical anxiety. The very same anxiety that earned me a big fat F in my Instructional Materials class in college. I went to all the classes, wrote all the papers and took all the exams, but I never took the 10 minute test to demonstrate my knowledge of operating projectors or filmstrip machines or tape recorders. For real!

They let me graduate anyway, because I had way more credits than I needed and IM was an elective. And I even got my teaching certificate. Still, I always scheduled films for my students when MFH was in town, so he could come to my class to run the projector. For real!

But time marches on and even I have come to terms -- my own terms! -- with some functional bits and pieces of technology.

I can call and text on my cell phone and, in fact, I was one of the first of my friends to even have a cell phone, back when they were in bags on the floor of the car! I know, I don't look that old in my profile photo!

Sometimes I can work the phones in our house, but not always. Unless I want to order a pizza, and then I always manage to make that connection.

I can play tunes on my iTouch and iPod, but not always the ones I want to hear.

I can work my new washer and dryer that look and sound like something Rosie would use to do the laundry on the Jetsons.

I can't always work the DVD player on the TV, but I am the Queen of the remote and DVR!

There's a lot I don't know about my computer. It's a MacBook Pro and it goes fast and is always ready when I need it! Anything else and I have to call MFH, whether he's upstairs in his office and I can shout my question, or he's out of the country and I pound on one of the many phones until I get a connection and usually wake him up. You know what though, he always answers my questions and has complete and total recall of every key and procedure, even when he's asleep. Amazing! I'm not sure how he does that, but I try to remember this valuable skill when he is standing in front of the open refrigerator looking for something that is in plain sight.

So now, with my user friendly MacBook Pro, I've set up my own blog and made so many changes to my pages every day, until my dear readers never know what they'll find when they sign on here. And I've learned a little bit about taking pictures with my new camera too. I saw that smirk! I said "a little bit."

But you know, I still can't run the Flintstone's movie projector. Oh well, I guess I missed my chance! Not to worry though. I'll bet most of those "technologically advanced" instructional machines have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

So what did we learn from all this? No, I'm not taking grades on this quiz.
  1. If you live long enough, you can get past an F on your college transcript.
  2. Teachers don't know everything, just how to find the person who does.
  3. Just when you think you've mastered a new "machine" another one comes along to confound you.
  4. Learning is a lifelong pursuit.
  5. I watched too many cartoon shows as a child.