“I always love being in the company of women. It’s all about good conversation and great wine.” ~ Naomi Watts
“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.” ~ Gloria Steinem
Sometimes we call ourselves “The Goddesses.” Other times we’re “The Divas.” Either way, it’s clear what we think of of ourselves. We are women who met 10 years ago at work. We are all teachers or principals and while we have all moved on to different schools, we continue to get together a few times a year.
Whatever we have gone through individually, The Goddesses have been there to support. We are all passionate about living life vibrantly with integrity. We all love travel and adventure. We are intellectuals and insist on delving into issues rigorously, especially when it comes to education, and most important of all we laugh loud and we laugh long.
We have seen each other through the inevitable ups and downs of life. Some of us are married, some of us are divorced, some of us are single. We raised a glass of bubbly when when one of us got married, we poured lots of red wine when one of us faced a break-up and we championed the virtues of being single when one of us struggled with the idea. We anguished together when one of us faced daunting parenting challenges and we were consoling when one of us faced a hysterectomy that came too early in life.
A few months back, we had a dinner at Pat’s house and she found a bottle of wine called “Girl’s’ Night Out.” Not only did we enjoy the bottle, but we enjoyed the wine too. She brought another bottle to the dinner at my house.
Among The Goddesses, I have been the most prodigal, so I invited everyone to my house for a “Sin Supper” and the jokes ensued. “Can we get tipsy on pork tenderloin?” “I’m bringing a dish called ‘Potted Cheese’ with Riesling, not pot.” “We may need to make it a sleep-over.”
The dinner was pot-luck and we had an absolutely wonderful time tasting each other’s dishes and ranting about the need for more Arts in education. There was Pat’s Potted Cheese, Laurie’s Chicken au Champagne and Trish’s Pork Tenderloin with Brandied Mushrooms & Shallot Sauce. Gillian brought Pasta Amatriciana and a bottle of Passion-Fruit Jamaican rum. I made George’s Sherry Potatoes and Melissa made Sex In The Pan (What a great idea!) for dessert.
Here are all the recipes from our “Goddess Supper” one course at a time. Enjoy!
The appetizer of Potted Cheese http://cookingwithsin.com/2010/03/28/goddess-supper-i-potted-cheese/ and all the entrees of our dinner have been posted. I cooked some green beans to bring some colour and vegetables to the meal. On the plate you can see our entire dinner:Chicken au Champagne: Sherry Potatoes: Pork Tenderloin and Brandied Mushroom Shallot Sauce: Pasta de la Coeur: All that’s left to share is the dessert below.
Melissa Reist made Sex In The Pan. Melissa is a true artist. She has a background in the Fine Arts and now specializes in working with gifted learners. She understands how they truly need a unique classroom to keep them engaged in school. When I first met Melissa, I must admit she intimidated me. Her 6′ 1” height came close to trumping my 6 feet & 2 inches, but she has truly been a good friend. She walks and talks with fabulous beauty and flare.
Because we are teachers, for the book we renamed this recipe…
Better Than Recess
But you probably best know it as “Sex In A Pan” 😉
You will need a large pyrex pan (one that doesn’t shatter!)
Layer 1:Mixed together to form the crust base and bake 20 minutes at 350ºF: 1 cup flour ½ cup soft butter ½ cup chopped pecans
Layer 2:Mix: 8 oz. cream cheese ( 1 package ) 1 cup icing sugar Spread on top of base after cooled
Layer 3:Spread ½ of a large container of Cool Whip over cheese mix.
Layer 4:Mix: 1 large instant chocolate pudding 1 large instant vanilla pudding 2 ½ cups homo milk ½ cup (125 ml) Kahlua Stir until startting to thicken. Pour over cream cheese and Cool Whip
Layer 5:Spread rest of Cool Whip on top. Grate a large Jersey Milk chocolate bar on top.
A liqueur can be added in each layer, if you wish. You can also make it without any liqueur, just substitute it with milk in Layer 4.
Sadly, on the night of our supper, the glass pan shattered and the dessert along with thousands of shards of glass ended up inside Melissa’s car and on her driveway, so we didn’t get to taste it. We would have truly enjoyed eating it and we could have made many jokes about it!
Turns out “Sex In A Pan” goes by many names. If you have more of a *family crowd* you might want to adopt one of them: “Fluff Cake,” “Better Than Opera Cake,” Better than Robert Redford,” “Mississippi Mud Cake,” “Four Layer Dessert” and if you have a crowd of kids, it has been called “Better Than Recess.”
Here is a letter that one of Melissa’s students wrote about her. Every teacher has made an impact on some child’s life. I am blessed to have a brilliant and creative friends who have made an impact on many, many children’s lives. One of Melissa’s students submitted this piece to a writing contest and won.
“Ms. Reist has made, and is continuing to make, a huge impact on my life in Grades 5 & 6. She currently teaches Grade 5/6 enrichment at Elizabeth Ziegler PS, a class which I am a part of. Every day, she comes into class full of energy, totally ready, and excited to teach us. It’s just so fun to have her as my teacher; she’s so vibrant, and always very expressive. I am always as excited as she is to come to class, she really makes it fun! Yes, learning can be fun; I learnt that very quickly with Ms. Reist! She has a certain way of teaching that not only gets across the what, but also the how and the why as well; learning this is so important. She also emphasizes to us the great importance of good research skills. The research skills that we learn from Ms. Reist are life skills. I am quite sure that other classes don’t spend an hour learning how to take good notes and then take notes on taking good notes! The things that we learn, they are important. It’s important to learn how to take good notes before you hit high school; it’s important to learn how to organize notes by subtopic, to learn to make different stages of brainstorming webs, not just one at the beginning that doesn’t really describe your topic. She teaches the importance of an outline and also how to do a proper bibliography. Without these skills, how can a person really be a skilled researcher? All of these help make you not only a good researcher, but a legitimate researcher. She always emphasizes those really important points, and I have changed from being bored in school and breezing through everything, to being actively engaged and really leaving my comfort zone. Another thing that is super cool about having Ms. Reist as a teacher is the field trips that we go on, and the guest speakers that come in to talk to us. Early this year, we went to Stratford to see a Shakespearean play. And we always have the coolest speakers about things like philosophy and math. Recently, Ms. Reist took a group of students, including myself, to meet Greg Mortensen, the founder of a charity that our class supports. She even got us backstage to meet him! If I didn’t have Ms. Reist in my life, I would likely be much less successful than I am. The exposure that I would be missing would be extreme. For example, I would be missing out on the experience of seeing a great Shakespearean play. Every student should have such a chance! Ms. Reist gave that, and many other amazing experiences to me, as a mentor. In conclusion, Ms. Reist is the coolest teacher ever, and I believe that she is totally deserving of this Loving to Learn award. Think, how many teachers are like a family friend to you? Mine is.” ~ L. C. Grade 6.
Carla’s note: Greg Mortensen has written the book “Three Cups of Tea.” His mission is to build schools in Afghanistan. The proceeds from his books goes to his mission. http://www.threecupsoftea.com/Chocolate, Goddess Supper, Vegetarian