Ah, school menus! You either love ‘em or hate ‘em.

Since I’m the one who gets the lovely chore of typing them in for the Daily Sun, it’s a combination of love and hate on any given day. For some unfathomable reason I always seem to type them in when it’s about lunch time. Oh, does my stomach growl! So, for those particular moments, I almost hate those dratted school menus! They, and they alone, are to blame for the ever-increasing sound effects erupting from my mid-section. It’s really not funny — even though it is a laughing matter.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Blooming Grove’s fish scroddles must be similar to chicken nuggets — only in the seafood category instead. The school’s ribbettes make me think of a McRib from McDonald’s (yum!) and its choppettes remind me that Corsicana Independent School District’s Director of Athletics Sam Thompson keeps promising to invite me over when he’s going to cook some pork chops on the grill for him and Paulette.

Collins Catholic School has King Ranch chicken or quesadillas frequently. I’d have no problem at all scarfing down those edibles.

I can envision Rice Elementary’s Tuesday meal with Salisbury steak, lima beans, macaroni and cheese, and served with a hot roll. Yum! It’s making me hungry as I’m typing this column and it’s not anywhere close to lunch time now.

But my particular favorite school menu is chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, roll, etc. Growing up, Mother always prepared cream gravy (brown gravy was a big no-no in my household) from scratch. Many the time, I watched Mother make it, but I still can’t create good looking or tasting gravy. If anyone wants to give me a lesson in cream gravy making, I’m willing.

When I attended elementary school, I liked to buy my lunch from the cafeteria. It seems that if mashed potatoes were on the menu so were English peas. Fortunately, I’ve always liked both. I can remember several kids would always mix their peas into the potatoes. I never really had the desire to try that myself and still haven’t to this day. Of course, some people say since the food is all going to the same place, this just gets it there quicker. But, I much prefer to savor the taste of one mouthful of food before trying something else for the next taste.

And there are some people who have to eat all of one food before eating another. Or those (I work with one) who can’t let their foods touch each other. Heaven forbid if the green bean juice accidentally mixed with the carrot juice. Obsessive compulsive be thy name!

And can anyone tell me why turkey (or chicken) and dressing and the “fixings” only seem to appear on school menus during November and December? If you ask me, I’d settle for that menu at any point throughout the year! What about at Easter? Fourth of July? It’s good anytime!

I had planned to put the dressing recipe I use in the paper a few weeks ago, but due to my father’s death (and then later my mother’s death) I have not gotten around to putting it in my column.

Since Vicki Gray gave me this recipe several years ago, it has worked out so well that I’ve shared it before with you readers. But maybe if you didn’t get your fill of dressing at Thanksgiving (I know I certainly didn’t), there’s still time to make some for Christmas. It’s never failed me yet! Enjoy!

Dressing

Mix together 6 cups prepared cornbread (crumbled), 4 cups lightly toasted white bread (crumbled), with 4 cups chicken broth. Sauté 1 1/2 to 2 cups diced onion and 1 cup celery. After done, stir in with bread/broth mixture. Add 4 eggs (beaten), 2 to 3 cups chicken broth, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 to 3 tablespoons sage. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, then check to see if nearly done. Keep cooking until done.

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Camille McClanahan may be contacted via e-mail at cmcclanahan@corsicanadailysun.com

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