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Thankful for Teaching

November 24, 2011

Teacher Musings:
I’m thankful for so many things during this Thanksgiving holiday, including my family and my friends.  Additionally, I’m very thankful to be a teacher.  I have had moments where I think “I need another line of work” or where I look longingly at the Starbucks barista and think “that might be a good career move.”  But, seriously, every day there is something about teaching, about the students and other educators I’m privileged to work with, that inspires me.  I’m thankful for the students who stay late to complete the difficult work I’ve assigned – even as their work and thinking inform my own.  I’m thankful for the kids who act up and remind me that they are human beings, not cogs in the educational machine.  I’m thankful for the students who make me laugh – and the ones that make me cry.  I’m thankful for the book recommendations my students and I pass along to each other.  I’m thankful that I get to watch teens transform into young adults.  I’m thankful for the fact that my job never bores me, and that I always have something that I can learn and improve on.  I’m thankful to work with some of the best educators in the country in a way where we can be vulnerable with each other.

I’m thankful to be a teacher.

Yummy Stuff:

Our Thanksgiving menu (and review after chowing down) is as follows:

  • Seitan Roast (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Stuffing (4 out of 5 stars)
  • Roasted Brussells Sprouts (3 out of 5 stars)
  • Mashed potatoes with garlic and kale (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Mushroom Gravy (5 out of 5 stars)
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake (haven’t gotten to it yet – gotta let dinner settle!)

Every year I try and replicate my mom’s stuffing, vegan style, and every year I get a bit closer.  She used to use packaged bread crumbs that came with a poultry spice mix which I have been trying replicate.  While I still miss Colombo bread crumbs here on the East Coast, this year I think I nailed the spice mix!

Spectacular Savory Stuffing:
Ingredients:

2 baguettes, cut into small (1/2 inch) cubes and lightly toasted
4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cans of whole pitted black olives
1 cube of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup of veggie broth.

Spice mix:
2 TB ground sage
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:
1) Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.  When the butter is melted, add in the onions and celery.  Cook on medium heat until the celery is limp (about 15 minutes – covering the pan can help speed this up)
2) Pour the bread cubes into a large baking dish.  Add in the onion/celery mix and olives.  Stir to combine.
3) Mix-up the spice mixture and mix it into the stuffing thoroughly.  Add in the broth and stir it up to get all the bread moist.
4) Cover the pan with foil and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Take off the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve it up!  It is even better the next day on your leftover seitan roast!

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