School lunchrooms bring back memories

Published 5:37 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Recently, a friend and Davie native shared a few food memories from his days in the school cafeteria at Mocksville Elementary. Back in the 70s, the lunch ladies served a pizza that was so tasty – he still remembers and talks about it today. His memories include the delicious homemade rolls that many kids would buy with cartons of milk for lunch – instead of a meal.

Ms. Louise Boger was in charge of the cafeteria at the school back then, and her sister, Maudie Dyson, worked there. Another sister, Deo Kimmer, ran the Davie High School cafeteria, and Maggie Harpe, the Davie Hospital cafeteria. Between the sisters – they had the food scene wrapped up.

When it comes to food, it’s hard to find foods kids will eat – especially vegetables. We all remember being told, “Eat your peas.” Anytime parents can sneak in a few healthy greens – they’re likely to do it. A variety of vegetables should be introduced early. Growing up, I didn’t like vegetables – I’d already been introduced to sugar – too much, too soon. Some veggies contain natural sugars – but they no longer taste sweet. Our taste buds have been saturated with sugar in processed foods.

I applaud you for trying to cook and eat with reduced sugar. I’m thankful I’ve learned to enjoy a simple prep of veggies – without adding sweet stuff or smothering them in cream sauce. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll always have a love affair with my culinary heritage – the southern casserole. And my sweet spot has been and always will be dessert.

For today’s recipes, I took the liberty to have fun with them – like a kid. But you’ll discover they’re not just good for kids but for big people, as well. Delicious, in fact.

Do you remember how we felt as kids when summer was over, and we had to return to school? Sometimes when we’ve been away from something for a while – it’s not easy to go back. We take breaks, wander away, or leave something for a season – only to return later.

At times,  we wander away from God. Maybe everything seemed to be going our way – so we didn’t give God our full attention. Then trouble invariably came along – God instructed us – but our hearts didn’t always respond. Can you imagine being told to leave your home for an unknown period? That would indeed be troublesome. In the Bible, the Lord speaks to Jeremiah and presents him with a basket of good and bad figs. The good ones represented exiles to Babylon – those who followed God’s instructions. God had preserved them and would bring them back to the land. Jeremiah 24:4-7 reads, “Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good and I will bring them back to this land…I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” (NIV)

When experiencing problems – remember, trouble is a blessing – and makes us stronger in our faith. On bad days, ask God to help you grow stronger. On good days, ask God to show you how to use your blessings for Him.

He calls us to return to Him.


1 stick salted butter

1 Tbsp. cornmeal


2 ¼ tsp. quick rise yeast

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup instant dry milk

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. Wesson oil

1 cup hot water


1/2 lb. ground beef

1/4 lb. ground pork

1 chopped onion

1 minced clove garlic

4 oz. tomato paste

½ cup water

1/2 Tbsp. each, brown sugar, basil, oregano

1/4 tsp. dried marjoram

Cheese Blend

4 oz. grated American cheese

2 oz. each, grated med. cheddar and mozzarella

Prepare an 11 x 9 metal sheet pan by lining with parchment paper. Coat evenly in melted butter. Evenly distribute cornmeal over butter. For the crust, in a bowl, combine yeast, flour, dry milk, sugar, and salt. Add warm water and oil to the flour mixture, and stir for 5 minutes. Mixture will be sticky, loose, and pourable. Pour onto prepared tray, and spread with spatula. Set aside, and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated 475-degree oven for 10 minutes or until crust is set. If using convection oven, bake in a 425-degree oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. For the topping, in a skillet, combine ground beef, pork, garlic, and chopped onion. Cook until meat is thoroughly browned and onion is translucent. Add tomato paste, water, brown sugar, and herbs. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until no longer runny. Allow to cool before spreading on pizza. For the cheese blend, in a bowl, combine three grated cheeses. To assemble pizza, evenly sprinkle about a 1/4 cup of cheese on pre-baked Pizza Crust. Then evenly spread pizza filling over the cheese. Evenly sprinkle remaining cheese blend over filling. Bake in a preheated 475-degree oven until cheese is melted and topping heated through. If using a convection oven, bake at 425° F for 5 minutes. (Adapted from USDA government cookbook, 1969) Submission by Tracie Chaffin Green.


½ lb. ground beef

½ cup sour cream

1/3 cup premium mayonnaise

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 cup Bisquick

¼ cup cold water

2 thinly sliced tomatoes

½ cup chopped green pepper


In a skillet, crumble and cook ground beef until done. Drain well, and set aside. In a bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, and onion. Set aside. In another bowl, combine Bisquick with water and mix until soft dough forms. Pat dough into bottom of a greased 8 x 8 pan – pressing dough up ½ -inch on sides. Layer the beef, tomatoes, and green pepper in order evenly over dough. Spoon sour cream mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until edges of dough are toasty brown.


3 cups Bisquick

¾ cups water

1 lb. ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

½ tsp. salt

2 crushed cloves garlic

15 oz. tomato/pizza sauce

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

4 ½ oz. drained, sliced mushrooms

½ cup chopped green pepper

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

In a bowl, combine Bisquick and water until soft dough forms. Gently smooth dough into a ball on a floured surface and knead. Pat dough into bottom and up sides of a greased 13 x 10 jelly roll pan using floured hands. You can also roll it out into rectangle and place on greased cookie sheet. Pinch edges of rectangle to form a ¾-inch rim. In a skillet, cook and crumble ground beef. Add onion, salt, and garlic and cook until beef is done and browned. Drain well. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce with Italian seasonings. Spread evenly over dough. Spoon beef mixture evenly over sauce. Top with mushrooms, green pepper, and cheese. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown.


2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 cup whole milk

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup chopped onion

2 beaten eggs

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. oregano

16 oz. pizza sauce

Sliced mushrooms

Green bell pepper strips

4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

In a bowl, combine ground beef, milk, Parmesan cheese, onion, eggs, salt, and oregano and mix well. In an 8 x 8 baking pan, spread evenly over bottom. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour until cooked through. Invert on an ovenproof platter-type dish. Spread top evenly with pizza sauce. Sprinkle top evenly with sliced mushrooms, green pepper strips, and mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 additional minutes.


16 oz. peeled, small, whole cooked carrots

6 Tbsp. salted butter

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp. light brown sugar

Cook small, whole carrots in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well. In a skillet, melt butter. Add lemon juice and brown sugar to the butter. Cook over medium heat until thickened, similar to syrup. Add small carrots to the syrup. Gently stir until all carrots are well coated.


1 beaten egg

8 oz. softened cream cheese

4 cups cooked, hot mashed potatoes

1/3 cup chopped onion

Salt and pepper to taste

In a mixer bowl, beat egg. To the egg, add softened cream cheese and potatoes, and mix well. Fold in onion and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a greased 2-quart casserole dish in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Can be made ahead and refrigerated, but bring to room temperature before baking.


4 beaten eggs

1 stick softened, salted butter

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 pint sour cream

3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

3 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. salt

8 oz. cooked, drained flat noodles


½ cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 oz. sliced almonds

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Beat in softened butter, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook noodles just until done according to pkg. instructions. Gently fold noodles into egg mixture. For the topping, in a bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and almonds. Evenly sprinkle over top of casserole. Mix well. Bake in a greased 1 ½-quart casserole in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Serve as a side in place of a potato dish – it’s a little sweet.


1/3 cup Wesson oil

1 chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

1 beaten egg

1 cup light cream

1 cup grated sharp cheese

2 cups cooked rice

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

In a skillet, saute onion and pepper in heated oil. In a mixer bowl, beat egg. Beat in cream. Fold in cheese, cooked rice, and chopped parsley. Mix well. Bake in a greased 9 x 9 baking dish for 45 minutes.


1 cup melted, salted butter

4 beaten eggs

1 cup cottage cheese

14 oz. cornbread mix

1 chopped onion

10 oz. frozen, thawed, drained chop broccoli

In a 9 x 12 baking pan, heat butter in a 400-degree oven until it melts. In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add cottage cheese, cornbread mix, and onion. Mix well. Gently stir in the well-drained, chopped broccoli. Spoon into prepared baking pan. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes.


2 beaten eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. soda

½ tsp. salt

20 oz. drained, liquid reserved, crushed pineapple


1 can evaporated milk

1 stick salted butter

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup flaked coconut

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar and mix well. Beat in flour, soda, and salt while alternating with reserved pineapple juice. Mix well. Fold in the remaining crushed pineapple. Mix well. Bake in a greased and floured 13 x 9 baking pan in a 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until done. Pour icing over cake while it’s still hot. This cake is best made the day before serving. For the icing, in a saucepan, combine milk, butter, and sugar. Over medium heat, bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and nuts. Punch holes in cake with fork, and pour icing over cake while still hot.


6 beaten egg whites

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ tsp. cream of tartar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 pint stiffly beaten heavy cream

1 pint sliced fresh fruit

Granulated sugar

In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add sugar and cream of tartar while beating until stiff. Add vanilla. Bake in a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish in a 425-degree oven for 3 minutes. Turn off oven and “forget” about it, and do not open door overnight. In the morning, after you “forgot” about it, remove the dish from oven. Beat the heavy cream until stiff. Evenly cover the tops of the baked meringues. Tightly cover with Saran Wrap and return to refrigerator for the day. To serve, cut in squares and then top with sliced strawberries or fruit of your choice. Sprinkle fruit with granulated sugar. Also good with a drizzle of a topping of your choice, such as caramel.


2 beaten eggs

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

1 stick melted, salted butter

1 cup peanut butter


15 oz. Coconut-Pecan frosting

2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 can condensed milk

1 cup chocolate chips.

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add cake mix while alternating with melted butter. Mix well. Beat in peanut butter and mix well. In bottom of a greased and floured 9 x 13 baking pan, place 2/3 of the cake mixture. For the filling, in a saucepan, combine store-bought coconut pecan frosting butter, condensed milk, and chocolate chips. Heat until all is melted together and mixed well. Pour filling evenly over the mixture in the pan. Cover the filling with remaining cake mixture evenly over the top. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 28 minutes or until tests done. Allow to cool before cutting.