Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I'm Thankful for Teachers....

I wish more people would say "I'm thankful for farmers....", but today I was reminded why I am thankful that there are people that spend their days surrounded by young children.  Today was my annual AITC (Ag in the Classroom) visit to DeKalb area schools.  I present the lesson, "From Cow to Ice Cream", that helps kids know where milk (& ice cream) come from, and that the answer is NOT the grocery store, but rather farms like ours.
I did 3 classrooms - back to back to back - and by the end my voice was giving out (anyone who knows me well, just had a good giggle at that comment!)  There is no good way to get kids to stand up & shake their bag of milk, cream, sugar & vanilla surrounded with ice to turn it into ice cream, AND get them to sit down quietly & listen to what I'm saying.  However, it is all in good fun, and I try to send them home without too much of a sugar high for their parents to deal with!

Some interesting tidbits that I brought up with the kids today:
A newborn calf weighs ~100 pounds
An adult cow can weigh up to 2000 pounds - this is equivalent to a full-size pick-up truck!
A cow gives ~70 pounds of milk each day (so, if a gallon weighs 8 pounds), that is ~9 gallons of milk
Chocolate milk does NOT come from Chocolate or Brown cows!  You laugh, but there were people in my freshmen class at the University of Illinois who asked this question, and they weren't joking.  Luckily, all the kids in the 2nd grade classes knew that you get chocolate milk by simply adding chocolate flavoring.

To get your "3 a day" of dairy - use the following recipe that Brent & I both enjoy:

Cheeseburger Mac n' Cheese (from Family Circle Magazine)
1 box (1 lb) elbow macaroni                     1 T.  butter
1 lb ground sirloin                                     1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt                                               1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper                               3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. ketchup                                          2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 T. yellow mustard                                  Bread crumbs, to top

Heat oven to 350.  Cook pasta.  Drain.  While pasta is cooking, cook beef.  When beef is done, add ketchup, mustard, & 1/4 tsp. of salt & pepper.  Remove beef from pan.  Add butter back to meat pan - melt.  Add flour.  Stir in flour & then add evaporated milk, slowly.  Bring to a simmer & cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat & add 1/4 tsp. salt & 2 cups of the cheese until smooth.  Stir in pasta, and pour pasta-cheese mixture into the bottom of a 2 qt. casserole pan (or 9 x 13 pan).  Spread meat mixture over the top of pasta & cheese.  Top with remaining cheese, tomatoes, and bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


1 comment:

  1. Saw your mom mention your blog on! Congrats for being out here & telling your story. I've been at it a little bit longer and would be glad to answer any questions you may have.


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