My article today may not be a popular one. Today I am on my soap box. My article is strictly about some recent observations I have made. Not just at school, but by reading and researching and listening to people I come in contact with in my everyday life. I have always loved children of all ages and spending time with them. My chosen profession of teaching is the only one that I can imagine pursuing, and I enjoy it tremendously.

In today’s world, many parents don’t want their children to be disappointed or unhappy for even a minute. If children don’t want to do something, they just don’t do it and some parents say, “OK. Don’t do it if you don’t want to,” no matter how it affects others or the child for that matter — just as long as he or she is happy. Children are allowed to make major decisions that should be made by their parents, even if the parents don’t like what that decision is. Some children feel free to argue with adults and want explanations for everything. They need to understand that sometimes you do things because that is the way it is and that is what you are supposed to do. An adult or person in authority has told you to do something, and that is what you do.

We give our children everything too soon. They have absolutely nothing to look forward to. Their looking forward to things begins to wane when everything is given to them, much too soon. They bore easily and need constant entertainment. I don’t think 6-year-olds need cellphones. Even if they really want one and everybody else has one, they can wait. I don’t think elementary baseball and softball players need $400 bats, they can wait, perhaps when they are playing on a college scholarship.

My son and I were discussing this very topic. He laughed and said he was born too soon. He didn’t catch much slack by having a mama for a teacher and a daddy for a coach.

Young people who have been reared in their own “utopia” will have a very difficult time adjusting to the real world. There will be disappointments, and they might not get everything they want. They need to have the experiences and stamina to accept negative experiences. They will be better people for their life experiences. Appreciate the things you have, and enjoy waiting and anticipating the things that are to come.

It is OK for your children to be upset with you and other adults about decisions that are made. They will always love you and later in life will appreciate what you have done for them. Like my mama said, “You can get glad as quick as you got mad!”

Hope you enjoy this week’s pie recipes. My family loves pies! Thanks for reading.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie crust

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

½ cup dark corn syrup

¼ cup butter, melted

3 large eggs

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups pecan halves

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups flaked coconut

Bake pie crust at 350 degrees for eight minutes, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and corn syrups. Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla and salt. Whisk until well mixed. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over prepared pie crust. Sprinkle coconut on top of chocolate chips. Spoon pie mixture evenly on top of the coconut. Bake for an hour, or until middle is set. Cool completely before serving.

CREAM CHEESE BROWNIE PIE

1 (9-inch) pie crust

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1 box (15.1-ounce) fudge supreme hot fudge swirl premium brownie mix

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons water

½ cup chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and one of the eggs with a mixer until smooth. Set aside. Reserve hot fudge packet from brownie mix for topping. In a large bowl, beat brownie mix, oil, 1 tablespoon water and remaining two eggs until mixed.

Spread ½ cup brownie mix in bottom of pie shell. Spoon and carefully spread cream cheese mixture over brownie layer. Top with remaining brownie mixture. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is puffed and crust is golden brown. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave hot fudge packet on high for 30 seconds. Stir in remaining tablespoon of water, and drizzle fudge over the top of the pie. Cool completely before serving. Store in refrigerator.

CARAMEL APPLE PIE

1 (15-ounce) box refrigerated pie crust

¼ cup finely chopped pecans

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

6 cups sliced peeled cooking apples (about 6 medium)

¼ cup caramel ice cream topping

¼ cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 425 degree. Place one pie crust as directed on box in a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle pecans on top of bottom crust. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gently stir in lemon juice and apples. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust, seal edges and flute. Cut slits in several places on the top crust. Brush crust with water, and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake 45 minutes until crust is golden brown. Cool at least an hour before serving. Drizzle with caramel topping and pecans.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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