From time to time while traveling and being near food kitchens I think about Rats. 🐀
Did you just shutter? Most people do and I completely understand why they are known for having caused the Black Plague and are vermon. You can't get around that idea. But somehow a rat helped me come to understand what sharing was all about and why we do it.
I never had my own pet rat although being an animal lover I was definitely never opposed to the idea, but for whatever reason it came to my mind the other day that I had cared for a rat one time.
I was visiting a woman with a friend of mine in an apartment building and a young teen girl walked down the hall with her pet rat on her shoulder. It didn't scare me but I did take a second glance.
The girl asked if I wanted to pet her rat and I declined, but suddenly I had a flashback to my sixth grade class with Ms. Gatheral. She was what one would call an "artsy teacher". I remember her long flowing curly hair, dresses now would be popular I.e. hippy skirts and off the shoulder blouses. She was not my Art teacher but often I wondered if she was teaching the wrong field. Her attitude towards teaching was unique and different. She was calm and kind. And in the classroom we had a pet. You guessed it, a pet rat.
I remember the white rat (although not it's name) and it's tiny pink nose and long gray tail sitting on her shoulders and neck with it's tail sticking out from under her curly hair. It was there but not in an obtrusive or distracting way.
It was part of our sixth grade world.
It was part of her.
She would teach for hours and the rat sat calmly. Once in awhile you would see it move, it's tail switching back and forth. It lived in our classroom and it was a big deal to get to take home the pet rat for the weekend. You had to be in good standing in the classroom. You had to be responsible and You had to get your parent's permission.
The latter being the hard part for me.
When one parent loves animals and the other doesn't you have a pull of both worlds. I convinced them that it was only for the weekend and I wouldn't let it get away or bother them at all. Thank goodness it didn't escape.
I can't say I would want a pet rat now but at the time, it was amazing.
Caring for the small creature.
Letting him sit on my shoulder like he did with my teacher. I felt special.
Best Weekend Pet excursion ever.
I don't know if teachers still have pets in classrooms that you get to take home for the weekend, but if they do, I hope they get extra kudos.
Flashbacks are funny.
Sometimes they spur on sad moments in life but many times they can be the reasons for smiles. I have good memories from that teacher. I have good insights from keeping a pet rat for a weekend. I am haunted by good thoughts of that year in school, that weekend.
It brings a smile.😃
If you are a teacher you should know it wasn't about the rat, it was about YOU. You can make a difference in a child's life. You can bring years of hardship and family trouble and make someone forget and remember good times. Do you know a teacher? SEND THIS ARTICLE TO THEM NOW.
Sometimes it takes a village but sometimes it takes one person. YOU.
This strawberry rhubarb granita is meant to be shared and given to others to bring good memories to the forefront. Like the pet rat we shared in class it wasn't about the rat it was about the sharing.
Because you never know, maybe You, are the person who will makes someone's year. 😌
- 1 pound Strawberries hulled and diced
- 1 large Rhubarb diced
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2 Sugar
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Slice up strawberries and rhubarb and place in a pot. Add water and sugar and heat on stovetop at medium heat until sugar is dissolved and starts to thicken.
While cooking, use a potato masher and mash strawberries and rhubarb. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Keep cooking until thickened. Pour into a flat pan.
Allow mixture to come to room temp then place in freezer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove from freezer and using a fork scrape strawberry-rhubarb mixture until ice granules are seen. After scraping place back in freezer for 3-4 hours.
Serve Strawberry Rhubarb granita in a glass and top with fresh strawberries or whip cream.
- Keep Whole Strawberries fresh by washing with Vinegar and water and then placing in Fridge for storage
- Granitas make great, make-ahead Desserts so make it Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and have it Weekend Ready!
- Never eat Rhubarb leaves they are poisonous (Gardener's Alert)