Wednesday, January 26, 2011
First of all, it's pronounced "po-pour-ree", not "pot-pour-rye" like a lot of my so-called redneck friends might like to pronounce the word. I believe it's French. It's a random mixture of things and that's what this blog is all about today. I listened with earnest interest last night (well, not really, but it sounded good) to the State of the Union address. A couple of things caught my attention: 1) there wasn't the yelling, screaming, massive numbers of standing ovations, loud clapping, and goings on as in the past. I think that's the way it should be. I have never understood why our legislators can't have common ground. We are all Americans and we are expected to push for a common cause, so why can't our legislators? If they would show more unity throughout the year and not just when a tragedy has occurred, perhaps more Americans would be inclined to get along; and 2) President Obama discussed our nation's education and how we need to be high achievers. I don't disagree with that at all. He singled out a Denver school that had gone from being one with low-achieving students and a high dropout rate, to one that is now graduating 97% of its senior class. That's wonderful. But here's my question--it has been proven that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many kids do not eat breakfast, heck, many families don't even take the time. But those kids who have had breakfast or are offered a breakfast at school are ready to hit the classroom by storm, they are more attentive, and they have higher test results. But our lovely state legislature has decided that no longer can the state afford to dole out money to school districts for free breakfasts. Yet, our schools are to educate the students, give them a world class education, reduce obesity, and prepare them for the future. All of this starts with breakfast. Many schools are finding ways within their own budgets to keep offering breakfast to their students. I served 14 years on the local school board and I was amazed to see how our students began really excelling when we began offering breakfast at school. This is a no-brainer, people!!! And, while we're on the subject of breakfast, I have now found out what steel cut oats are. You might remember that question was posed to me when I was working the Farm Bureau booth at the Stock Show. Well, being the thorough reporter (yeah, right) that I am and the dedicated agriculturalist (is that a word?--must be, it didn't get a red squiggly line under it) that I am, I decided to check this out. I bought groceries yesterday and there they were, right there on the bottom shelf of the hot cereal aisle, right next to the Quaker. They are imported from Ireland. The outside hull is removed and the kernel, rather than being steamed and rolled, is cut with a steel disc so the oatmeal takes on an appearance somewhat like a cross between cream of wheat and grits. However, I will tell you it is very tasty, even more so than the regular oatmeal we're used to eating. So there you have it. Now if they would just serve these steel cut oats to our students at the schools to get their day started right, we'd all be in a win-win situation! Happy trails!