The Good, The Bad, And …

It has been an interesting couple of days. I’ve gone into work a bit more and have a few new projects to occupy my time before I go back full time in August. The one that frustrates me most is having to administer the retakes for an End of Course exam. For those unfamiliar with Florida testing requirements, we test kids until everyone – teachers, students, administrators and parents – are all ready to snap, and then we test a little more. This past year we spent eight weeks testing. Yes, eight weeks of the school year. I fully admit that not every student spent eight weeks testing, but for a smart 8th grader with two high school courses, that student would have tested in 8th grade Reading, 8th grade Math, Science, Writing, Algebra or Geometry and potentially Biology. I had one student (a junior) who ended up testing in Reading, Math, Geometry, Biology, US History and the College Placement Test. I am all for solid data, ensuring students have mastered material, and improving educational opportunities and outcomes; I just think we need a new approach – one that does not require multiple choice questions and tests designed by people who do not teach.

That is my rant for the year. I will make every attempt to not bring it up again and move on to happier topics.

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On a good and not so good note, I tried salmon for the first time this week. I picked some up at the store the other day, and grilled it that evening with my veggie cake experiment. (I’ll come back to the salmon in a minute). The veggie cake was based off a Sarah Molton recipe for corn cakes, but as corn is not on Bob’s new eating plan, I completely changed the recipe. Instead of corn, I used two cups of grated carrots and zucchini. To that I added one large egg, some almond flour and coconut flour (no wheat) some chili pepper paste, cilantro paste (it keeps longer than fresh cilantro until I can get it to grow in the garden) a touch of baking soda and a splash of buttermilk. Yes, I know I should measure and report quantities, but I don’t measure when I cook most of the time, so I honestly have no idea how much I used. I mixed all that up, and then fried them in a little bit of olive oil until both sides were nicely crusted. I moved them to a cookie sheet, added a slice of tomato and some cheese (I used the Corra Linn from Scotland – a sheep’s milk cheese that has a great flavor) and popped me in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes. The results were fabulous. Lots of flavor, some nice texture and a grain free, meat free option that could become a meal unto themselves.

The salmon, on the other hand …. Well, I grilled it and had a hard time telling when it was done. Part of the cut was very thin, and part was very thick. Thanks to Bobby Flay’s grilling cookbook, I was able to figure out when they were done, but … I did not care for the taste, and hated the texture of the fish. It vaguely reminded me (the texture that is) of foi gras which I cannot stand. So I had three bites of the fish and decided it was not for me. Unfortunately before I totally finished dinner, my stomach rebelled and it appears that while I am not technically allergic to fish (according to the allergy test) my system cannot handle it. On the up side, Gracie and Jessie seemed to like the fish just fine.

John is in town for the weekend so hopefully we will have some good outings with lots of pictures. I’m thinking the Edison and Ford Winter Estates tomorrow if the weather holds.

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