Homemade with Love | Darcy Kolander

Darcy Kolander | Staff writer

In this column I will be referring back to my grandma, Emma Kolander, as I wrote about her in my first column about molasses cookies. She kept notes of almost everything.
Emma was asked, “When you think of school days, what memory comes to mind?” She responded, “My mother-in-law taught school in the early ‘20s (that is the early 1920’s) in a one-room rural school with two dozen students, some of them nearly as old as she was. After school had been in session for some time she happened to be standing next to a little second-grade girl as they were repeating the Pledge of Allegiance. During that era the words were ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ She realized the little girl was saying, “… one nation, under God, in de fish bowl … still smile over that tale.
“To realize the humor of this tale you need to understand the geography of my area. I taught school in Siren, Wisconsin, which is 6 miles south of Webster, Wisconsin.
“Every time a student had difficulty with a word in reading class I would refer him/her to ‘Mr. Webster,’ my nickname for the Webster Dictionary. As I did this one particular day, an eighth-grade boy responded, ‘I never can understand how come we use Webster’s dictionary when we live in Siren!’
“Needless to say, we had an impromptu lesson at that moment!”
This reminds me of a similar story of my Grandpa Don, which would be my mother’s dad. His name was Donald Frederic Mack. I, being me, asked him one day, “Grandpa, what’s your middle name again? Is it Siren or Webster?” He got a kick out of that question. Both Don and Emma studied in the old Trade River one-room schoolhouse together, small world.
This is a fun and easy dish I make once in a while. This recipe can be changed a lot and you can use varying levels of spice in each ingredient to your liking.
Chicken surprise | Darcy Kolander
2 packages boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large can of cream of mushroom soup
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips (You can use any tortilla chips, Doritos, lime flavored, etc. I like the plain/original best.)
2 small cans Rotel (I use one can of hot diced tomatoes and green chilies and one mild.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Cut up and season chicken and fry in large skillet.
Spread half the crushed chips into the bottom of the baking dish.
In your large skillet, stir remaining ingredients into cooked chicken … cream of mushroom soup, Rotel and cheese.
Spread the mixture evenly over the chips in the baking pan and top with other half of crushed chips.
Bake for 20 minutes.
If you have any tried-and-true recipes you’d like to share, send them to me at [email protected]

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