When I was little, parent-teacher conferences fell on the first week or second week of November. My mom and dad attended every year. The meetings started strong – my teachers complimented my eagerness to learn, polite behavior and strong relationships with classmates. They proceeded to say that my attention and focus were noticeably lacking in recent days. I was talking out of turn, distracting friends during class and turning in poor or incomplete homework assignments.
The same conversation happened year after year until I was in third grade. My parents decided to monitor my behaviors during the week of parent-teacher conferences that year. They had the same conversation with Mrs. Austin that they had Ms. Larson and Miss Kincaid but they had an answer that year: it was my birthday week. My parents learned that disruption and distraction replaced normal behaviors during my birthday week. I couldn’t control my excitement and I thought I could get away with anything. Truth be told, nothing much has changed.
Similar to my inability to focus during my birthday week, something else that happens every year on November 10 is my birthday dinner. My childhood dish of choice was lasagna. This traditional Italian dish is among my favorites not only because it is delicious but also because it reminds me of celebrating the best day of the year.
Picky Eater Approved Lasagna:
1 box lasagna
2 lbs beef
48 oz pasta sauce
24 oz cottage cheese
8 oz (1 cup) ricotta cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
Cook beef on stove top for about 15 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked. Drain fat. Combine pasta sauce and beef in large bowl and set aside. In small bowl, combine 3 eggs, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.
In large baking pan, place one layer of uncooked noodles. Add 1 cup cheese mixture then 2 cups meat sauce. Place another layer of uncooked noodles the opposite way and repeat.
Heat oven to 350F. Cover lasagna pan with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover lasagna, top with 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese and stick back into the oven (uncovered) for 10 minutes
Pickin’ Your Brain:
- What is your favorite birthday meal?