GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Booksgiving

Last year, Jenny (The Bloggess) started this beautiful thing called Booksgiving. It started with her wanting to give away 30 copies of her book, Furiously Happy. All her loyal followers wanted to give away books too, so everyone started sharing Amazon wishlists.

I shared my class library wishlist, not expecting much.

Various strangers sent me 18 books for my library.

EIGHTEEN.

Booksgiving 2016 may have overwhelmed my USPS delivery guy. Sorry.

I was overwhelmed.

This year, I shared my wishlist again. This time, however, it took on a more political tone. I wanted to create a list that will help my students find their worth in our society.

As an English teacher in a district where we don’t always have the money for luxuries like books for a classroom library, I cannot tell you how excited my students were last year to receive new books that they had actual interest in. Booksgiving made a huge difference in my classroom, and it definitely helped my students in ways I didn’t know it could. They’d actually stay after school to look through my library and borrow books. I recently instated a rule where my students must either free-write stories to submit to the literary magazine I run for extra credit or read a book from my class library. The library has gotten a lot of action lately! I always tell my students to tell me what they’re into, or what sort of book they feel like reading. 9 times out of 10 I’m able to match my students with books that they actually enjoy, mostly due to the donations people have been kind enough to make.

Recently, students have been requesting me to find books that help them feel better about themselves, especially since the election. Politics aside, my students are lacking self-worth this year. It’s like they’ve been constantly told they’re not of value, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve been working on an Amazon Wishlist to expand my library with books that can help them find themselves, and see themselves as I see them– as really important, valuable members of not only our classroom, but of society as well.

I shared this on Jenny’s post on the second annual Booksgiving, and didn’t think much of it, hoping to maybe get another book or two to add to my library. My list was ridiculously long, with 65 books, because I’ve been making a huge list to upload to a DonorsChoose project I haven’t gotten around to posting yet.

I just looked at my Wishlist, and it only has 32 books left on it.

That means strangers have purchased 33 books for my class library.

THIRTY-THREE.

I was overwhelmed last year by 18. I can barely process 33. I’m glad we have a snow day today because I need to process this kindness of strangers.

So, if you’re one of those strangers, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I keep switching between crying and smiling. My dog thinks I’m crazy. Maybe I am, but jeez. It’s because I keep thinking of how much of a difference these books are going to make.

Thank you for making this teacher cry/smile, and thank you for giving my students a chance. I am eternally grateful.

THANK YOU.

All my gratitude,

Kailynn

PS To those of you who stumbled upon my site as a result of Booksgiving, if you want to keep in touch/ be internet friends, know that I’ve had writer’s block for about a year. I’m trying to write more on my blog, truly, I am. However, it’s more likely you’ll find me on instagram or Twitter. (I tweet sparingly these days, but that’s something I want to improve on too.)

Potachos

I’m a Jersey girl, through and through. While I initially refused to consider attending Rutgers when I was in high school, I ultimately completed both my undergrad and graduate degrees there. With the New Brunswick Campus came some of the most memorable meals a Rutgers grad could ever experience: fat sandwiches at the Scott Hall bus stop at 1:30am (RIP to both the Grease Trucks and the Scott Hall bus stop!), fishbowls, and, of course, potachos at Stuff Yer Face.

A few weeks ago, I was craving potachos. Yet, despite living only half an hour or so away from New Brunswick, the idea of going out on a Saturday night, finding parking, and dealing with the college crowd (some of which are now my former students–yikes!) really didn’t appeal to me.

So, I Googled “potacho recipe.”

I couldn’t find the right recipe so I made up my own, borrowing bits and pieces from Busy-at-Home and Food.com and tweaking them where I saw fit.

A few of my friends asked for the recipe so here it is. Enjoy! 🙂

Potachos

What you need:

6 russet potatoes, sliced thin (you can use more if you’d like)

a large bowl of salt water (sea salt really adds to it!)

olive oil

8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese

2-3 chopped scallions (or 3 teaspoons of freeze dried chives)

1 small can of sliced black olives

some diced tomato (1 small tomato should be enough)

4-6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled up

1/4-1/2 cup of sour cream, depending on your taste

ketchup, depending on your taste

salt & pepper for seasoning

You can also add onions, tomatoes, peppers, BBQ sauce, pulled pork, buffalo chicken, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Directions:

  1. After you have sliced the potatoes, put them in a large bowl of salt water to soak for at least 30 minutes. (The longer you soak them, the longer they absorb the salt taste and the crispier they get when you cook them. How much salt you put into the water is up to you.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Drain the slices and pat them dry.
  4. Toss the slices in olive oil. Then salt and pepper them to taste. (Don’t forget they’ve already been soaking in salt water!)
  5. Spread the slices evenly on a large baking sheet.
  6. Bake them for 10 minutes. Then flip them and bake another 10 minutes.
  7. Take them out of the oven. Top them with the cheese, scallions/ dried chives, tomatoes, black olives, and bacon. I find it turns out really well when you put about 2/3 of the cheese on the first layer, then put the rest of the cheese on top of everything else.
  8. Squeeze ketchup on top of all this. (Drizzling is better than glops of ketchup!)
  9. Put this back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
  10. Put the sour cream on top and serve.

This should be enough for 4-6 people if you are eating other things, but if you’re doing this in true Rutgers fashion, this will serve 2. 🙂

Here are some pics from a few weeks ago when I first made this. I’m making these again tonight so I’ll update with better pictures. (I didn’t have all the ingredients when I was craving them a few weeks back!)

If you make these, let me know how they turn out, and if you tweaked them at all!! 🙂