A Story and a Recipe

By Dorothy Johnson

Great disasters cause great distress even when those that hear about them are not directly involved.  For example, people of my generation probably remember exactly where they were fifty years ago when they heard of the death of President John F. Kennedy.  I was on the second floor of Calais Memorial High School when the announcement came over the loud speakers.  That announcement was made by Principal Fred Burden, the grandfather of Matt Burden, the present pastor at the Calais Second Baptist Church.

My classmates and family members spent the rest of that week watching the event on television.  We saw that motorcade with Jackie holding the President, her bloody outfit, the swearing in of President Lyndon Johnson (on the airplane, I think), the eulogy by brother Bobby and the motorcade in Washington, D.C. when Little John saluted the hearse.  We saw it all and relived it many times.  Who could forget that terrible time?

Mrs. Moore told me she felt the same way about the December morning when she and Pop, her husband, heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  I can not remember what she said, but she told me where they were and what they were doing.

I believe every generation has a momentous event that stays with the people of that generation forever.  History book authors would serve students better if they used the insight that people have had from those experiences to explain them.  The historical facts are one thing, but the insights of the people might be quite different.  I have often tried to explain to my students that every story has two sides.  A history of the Civil War written by the Confederates would be quite different than the history written by the Union even though the outcome would be the same.

The students at Woodland High School will probably all remember when the Challenger exploded shortly after blasting off killing everyone on board.  I was in the junior high that day, and the students were in Mr. Sargent’s room watching the whole thing. It was very traumatic.

The other tragic event that I will never forget is the morning of 9-11.  That morning I was in the guidance office with my radio on WQDY.  When the first plane hit the tower, I thought, “How stupid can that pilot be to run into a building that big?”  It did not cross my mind that this was a terrorist attack. Even when the second plane hit, I did not get the picture.  That time I thought, “This is quite a coincidence.  Two stupid pilots hitting the tower does not make sense.”  I think the students will always remember that day too.

As far as my stupidity goes, I have no excuse.  I believed both President Nixon and President Clinton, too.

With those tragic moments solidified in our memories, let’s find a quick recipe for a good, hearty dinner.  This recipe is for Quick and Sneaky Lasagna.  It is called “sneaky” because it is a way to sneak vegetables into the youngsters.  This recipe came from an Italian cookbook from Taste of Home.  Janice Flood found it and gave it to me.



Two pounds ground beef

One package (16 ounces) frozen California-blend vegetables

Two eggs beaten

Three cups (24 ounces) 2% cottage cheese

Two jars (26 ounces each) spaghetti sauce  •  Twelve no-cook lasagna noodles

Two cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese



1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Meanwhile, cook vegetables according to package directions; drain.  Finely chop the vegetables; place in a bowl.  Stir in eggs and cottage cheese; set aside.

2. Drain beef; stir in spaghetti sauce.  Spread 2 cups meat mixture into a greased 13 inch by 9 inch baking dish.  Top with four noodles.  Spread half of the vegetable mixture to edges of noodles.  Layer with 2 cups meat mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.  Top with 4 noodles, 2 cups meat mixture.  Layer with 4 noodles, remaining vegetable mixture and 2 cups meat sauce. Layer with remaining noodles, meat mixture and mozzarella cheese.

3. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

This recipe makes 10 to 12 servings. Enjoy.