I am so touched by the outpouring of love and support during our NICU experience with baby Siena. Social media can be a very negative place. People can use it to tear others down instead of lifting up. In this case so many people shared their experiences and offered encouragement. Many prayers and well wishes were being sent out. These messages warmed our heart during a difficult time. I realize there are so many great people out there who want to share. The best way I know how to share and comfort is through making food. I believe food inspires comfort and encourages people to gather. This is what we need in tough times. Sharing of stories usually happens over a coffee, dinner, cocktails, or a piece of cake!
DishItGirl has always been more than a recipe. It was the thought that getting family and friends together is an important tradition. Family dinner is important time to reconnect even, if its 15 minutes before soccer practice. Family recipes equal family memories and evoke feelings of happiness in all of us. I decided to take this opportunity to help others share their recipes and stories. Who know it may inspire or encourage someone else! The recipe and story below is from Adua Ring author of the blog Mrs. Hungry .
Before I give you my recipe for my “apple cider dumplings”, I’d like to explain why I came up with this recipe and why it’s important to me. Several years ago I went back to school for my Masters degree in elementary education. I completed my classes in a year and a half, however it still took me three years to get my teaching certification due to test anxiety that I’ve struggled with since I was a child. In the state of Illinois, teachers have to take a series of three state tests in order to get certified in addition to the classes taken.
It was difficult seeing everyone I graduated with move on, student teach and eventually get teaching jobs while I stayed stagnant, unable to pass the state tests. As I said, its only three tests, however, I took 15 TESTS! I’m not one to give up on a passion or settle. I was determined to get there somehow. Finally, after taking my 15th test, right at the very end of my student teaching, I DID IT! Not only did I finally pass the last test, but I immediately got a job at the school I was student teaching at as a first grade teacher.
My first year teaching is my most memorable because of a student I helped overcome HIS anxieties. This student had “selective mutism”, which is a type of social anxiety that left him too anxious to speak in certain situations (like school). After learning of this and his year in Kindergarten with this issue, I felt that he was placed in my class for a reason. I wanted to get him out of this. I spoke with his parents and they agreed to let me keep him after school a few times a week. My goal was to get him comfortable with me first, so we played games together! He loved Connect Four, so we played that most often. He slowly started opening up to me by whispering words during our games. Whispering became soft speaking, soft speaking became louder speaking, and by Spring he was reading books to me out loud! Every test I took and the years that had passed in order to become a teacher was completely worth it!
He continued to thrive over the years and is doing so great!! Then, my third year teaching, I lost my job due to budget cuts. I was devastated to say the least. Especially after all the hard work I put into getting there, but also because I loved my job so much. It’s very difficult to get a teaching job in this state and tried mercilessly to find another one. I learned to accept that this was God’s plan for me. I got to teach and help students for 3 wonderful years, and so I moved on. Fast forward to present day, and I am a stay at home mom to my little girl and have come to a place where I am once again doing something I love! Not only is being a mommy the most rewarding job, but I found my niche in cooking! I’ve always loved to cook and bake, but I’ve now honed in on my abilities to cook, bake and teach, and combined them all together! I decided to start a food blog last October to inspire kids and families to cook together, and am now writing a cookbook just for kids!
The reason I am including my recipe for apple cider dumplings is because every year as a teacher, all of first grade would have an apple unit where we learned all about apples, visited an apple orchard and made applesauce! The smell was heavenly and wafted through the hallways. I can’t smell an apple dish without thinking of this wonderful time in my life. My message is to never give up on your dreams. You can persevere and make a difference in some way!