What’s The Matter With Kids Today?


Every fall since 1997 Beloit College, a small Midwestern college in Beloit, Wisconsin, releases what has over the years come to be known as the Mindset List. The list, created by Professors Tom McBride and Ron Nief, is simply a compilation of statements about what has ‘always’ or ‘never’ been true in the lives of incoming freshman students.

For educators it helps to put into perspective the mindset of their students. When I was still working and doing in-services and training of teachers I used to delight in reading the list at the beginning of an in-service. It was always a big hit.  And it always generated a few laughs. But it was an eye-opener too.

Well, this year’s list is out and I thought you might enjoy reading the mindsets of today’s college students.

Most college freshmen have never used a telephone with a cord attached.

DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

Czechoslovakia has never existed. 

Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.

American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.

They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S. 

The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.  

They were not yet born when the Persian Gulf War was waged.

They were not alive when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS. 

They never had a polio shot, and likely, do not know what polio is.

Most have never seen a record player; therefore, the expression “you sound like a broken record” means nothing to them.

Toyotas and Hondas have always been made in the United States.

They don’t know why the Berlin Wall fell, or why it was even up in the first place.

Drug testing of athletes has always been routine.

Stores have always had scanners at the checkout.

Directory assistance has never been free. 

Starbucks has always been around the corner.

“Google” has always been a verb.

Text messaging is their email.

Reality shows have always been on television.

They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.

They have never used a card catalog to find a book.

So now we know why there is a generation gap.

The creators of the Mindset List have their own website where you can access all of the Mindset lists, along with a Daily Quiz, Mindset Movies, a feature called Mindset Moments, and lots more. You can access their site by clicking here.

So what’s wrong with kids today? Nothing. No worse, no better than any other generation. Every generation it seems thinks the younger generation is disrespectful and lazy. Don’t believe me????

 From an Assyrian tablet written in 2800 BC:

“There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end: Bribery and corruption are common. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

So sit back and enjoy as the inimitable Paul Lynde singing, Kids. Because as long as time marches on, there will always be a generation gap.


Featured Recipe:   Bubble and Squeak 

Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish made from the vegetable leftovers of a pot roast dinner. The name comes from the bubbly squeaky sounds the dish makes as it cooks. Although any left over vegetables can be used, these days it is usually made with potatoes and cabbage, and as often as not it  is not made from leftovers.

I have tried a dozen or so Bubble and Squeak recipes. Most are dreadful. Avoid the ones using mashed potatoes. If you have leftover mashed potatoes just make potato cakes. Some Bubble and Squeak recipes are OK. A few are pretty good.

But one Bubble and Squeak recipe is FANTABULOUS!!!!

It is absolutely positively my favorite.  This recipe for Bubble and Squeak is from the old cooking show, Two Fat Ladies Cook. The two fat ladies are Jennifer Patterson (on the right, now deceased) and Clarissa Dickson. If you have never seen the show you really should have a look see. Reruns air on the new Cooking Channel (now owned by Food Network) formerly the Fine Living Network. I can see it on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. here in Columbus. But it may run at other times too. Check your local listings. Everyone who loves to cook and/or eat well should see at least one episode of  Two Fat Ladies Cook.

The two travelled the United Kingdom on a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle and sidecar cooking up a storm using local fresh foods, (Long before it was the politically correct thing to do.) cutting fresh produce straight from the garden,  cleaning and deboning fresh fish, and feeding everyone from monks to arts groups along the way.

They loved strong flavors like anchovies and garlic like I do. And. AND. They were not shy about cooking with lard. The food police were not as active then as they are today. The two had a lovely banter that peppered their show and they could burst into song or dance at the drop of a hat.

Both my maternal grandmother and my mother cooked with lard. They saved beef drippings and used it in their cooking. It really does impart great taste. And since this recipe calls for lard and since it makes the best Bubble and Squeak around  that is what I am using today. So the food police can just come and arrest me.

You can substitute butter or oil for the lard. But as Clarissa (on the right) said in her cookbook about her Bubble and Squeak recipe:

 “There is no substitute for lard or beef drippings – if you object, eat something else.”

There you have it. I just love these ladies!!!!

Lard can be purchased in most grocery stores.

This is Calrissa Dickson’s recipe from Cooking With the Two Fat Ladies, Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1996.

I did not make this from leftovers. So I had to cook the potatoes before hand. I probably should have parboiled the cabbage. But I did not. I just cooked it raw and it was fine.

This is what you need:

3 cups cold cooked potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes)

¼ cup drippings or lard

1 onion minced

1½ cups chopped cooked cabbage or Brussels sprouts

Salt and pepper

Here is what you do:

Peel and cook the potatoes in water that covers them. About 20-30 minutes should be fine, but use a knife to test the potatoes. Cooking time will vary by size and type. I had 1 small potato that I removed from the pan before the others.

Completely cool the potatoes. They should be cold before you make the Bubble and Squeak. You might want to cook the potatoes the night before and then you will have a quick and easy meal to fix the next day.

The directions in the cookbook says to finely chop the potatoes and crush slightly. But the show, which I saw again just a few weeks ago, showed a very rough large chop. The picture in the cookboook also shows large chunks of potatoes in the finished dish. So that is how I cut the potatoes. It is one of the key reasons I like this version of Bubble and Squeak – large chunks of potatoes.

After the potatoes are cooked and chopped, chop your onions.

Then melt half of the fat in a large frying pan, add the onions and lightly fry them.

While the onions fry chop the cabbage. I first cut the cabbage into fourths. It makes the rest of the cutting easier, because I can stand each piece on the botom flat edge to cut out the core.

Both the show and the picture in the cookbook show large chunks of cabbage. So that is how I cut mine. Again this is a reason this version of Bubble and Squeak is my favorite. I can actually see and taste the vegetables.

The recipe calls for cooked cabbage. As I said above,  I did not cook mine before hand. The only cooking was done in the skillet. It works just fine. In fact, cooking before hand just makes the cabbage too soft and limp for my taste.  Of course, if you are using leftovers this is a moot point.

By now the onions should be lightly browned………….

………………so mix in the potatos…………………

…………and  then the greens. Season with the salt and pepper.  Add half of the remaining lard.

Using a big spatula press the bubble into the hot fat and fry over moderate heat. Keep pressing the bubble into the hot fat periodically. You will really hear the dish squeaking when you press it into the oil. It is such a delicious sound.

Everyone should make Bubble and Squeak at least once in their life just to hear this lovely sound. It is just so much fun!!!!

 Cook until nicely browned underneath – about 15 minutes. I use the smell test. You will know when it is nicely browned and ready to be turned over because you can smell it. Turn the bubble over.  This will have to be done in sections, you will not be able to turn it all over like a pancake.  Add the last of the lard and fry until the other side is browned, another 15 minutes or so.

Then plate and serve.

As a side dish this can easily serve 4-6 people. This is a great side dish with any pork dish such as sausage or pork chops. Pork and cabbage are a perfect pairing. 

As a complete meal, as I chose to do, this can easily serve 3 people.

I served mine with a side of sliced Ohio grown and vine-ripened tomatoes. Just some salt and papper was all I used on the tomatoes. Also served with a whole-grain roll. A very filling meal.


3 cups potatoes                                $1.38

¼ cup drippings/lard                         $0.28

1 onion minced                                 $0.99

1½ cups chopped cabbage                $1.45

Salt and pepper

Total cost = $4.10
Per person cost as side dish = $0.68
Per person cost as a meal = $1.37

This is a very budget friendly dish no matter how you serve it.

Bon Appetit!!!!

Quote of the Day:     An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.    H.L. Mencken

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