It’s no question that Mr. Fred Rogers was an icon for children. For that matter, he was probably an icon for many adults, too. And it’s a strange wonder to think about what Mr. Rogers would post if he were a part of today’s technology addicted world. Would Mr. Rogers “like” things? Would he “retweet?” What would be Mr. Roger’s answer to cyber bullying? If only we could ask him.
Despite the fact that I used to do web design for a Fortune 500 company (this was many moons ago, folks; we’re talking Front Page fun), I am what many would call, “Old School” when it comes to modern day technology. Facebook was purposefully not on my radar. Twitter, Instagram? Hardly! Once, I had a Bluetooth. That lasted about 5 ½ days. My husband, on the other hand, is very technologically sound and has been able to hook up our HDish-something television to Netflicks, and connect Pandora through our internal and external house speakers, all through his phone. It’s a quiet house when he deploys, for sure.
When I was little, my mom would let me watch certain shows on TV, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood being one of them. She recalls how I would giggle and shy-up when Mr. Rogers asked, “Would you like to be my neighbor?” like he was talking to only me through that electronic box. I was infatuated with the guy; his quiet nature, slow talking cadence, and always-caring demeanor naturally drew me in, as it still does today. Now, after teaching for 10 years, and seeing such a drastic change – not only in education, but generally in kids these days – there’s a need for Mr. Rogers and his wisdom.
Last Friday, it was rainy, cold, and all around dreary. The kids were, what teachers would say, “Done.” Being one that does not normally turn on the tube in class, I surprised my students with a streaming episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. With just the first few jingly notes of his intro, the kids were hooked. When he asked, “Will you be my neighbor?” Almost every student in the class responded in a quiet, genuine, “Yes.” When he slowly yet deliberately asked, “Are you growing up?” Again the class, mesmerized, responded. Just like when I was young, my 5-year old students thought Mr. Rogers was talking to them personally.
To top the cake, at the end of the program, one little girl breathed a huge sigh, and telling no one in particular commented, “Wow. He is such a helpful guy.”
Yes, he is.
So that got me wondering. Stepping out of the wonderfully simple, old, syndicated television world into a comparatively loud and crazy one, what would Mr. Rogers do with today’s technology? What would Mr. Rogers tweet? Which of his Instagram pictures would get “likes?” How many Facebook “friends” would he have? I know I would certainly “follow” Mr. Rogers, but would he “follow” me?
This is all too much! But, for better or worse, it’s a reality that won’t go away. So rather than fight it, I am slowly deciding to join the social media world with a Mr. Rogers-esque viewpoint:
Share with care, like what’s nice, and always tweet upbeat.
With that being said (and with its arguably too-long prologue), here’s the point: A friend asked me to publicize my public domains and hashtags, so here they are:
- Pinterest: 42 Potatoes Entertains @42potatoestable
- Twitter: 42potatoes @TweetsTheTable
- Instagram: @42potatoesblog
- Popular Hashtags: #eatgoodfood, #yum, #vegetarian, #healthyfood, #eatingacrossAmerica #42potatoes
On these sites, you’ll find all cheerful, cheeky, fun, inspiring (if you like to cook), *mostly* healthy pictures, recipes, and personal anecdotes of, and related to, food. Please visit, please comment, and I hope you, as always, enjoy.
Not knowing if Mr. Rogers cooked, or enjoyed cooking, or dabbled in any culinary arts, I’m sure he would have appreciated any valiant, positive effort. So here’s my latest, just in time for Valentine’s Day:
Chocolate Strawberry Muffins! These were a hit at our latest work potluck. They are super simple (and quick) to make, have all the comfort of a muffin, and the indulgence of a chocolate dipped strawberry. Disclaimer: Strawberries are currently in season here in Florida (weird, I know), so I completely understand that this recipe would be better suited for May-July in most parts of the U.S. But, hey – something to look forward to!
For the dry ingredients, whisk 1¾ c all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp cinnamon, and ¼ salt until combined. For the wet ingredients, cream 6 tbsp room temp butter with ¾ c brown sugar, and then add 1 room temp egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Also add 1 pint of hulled strawberries that have been smushed, smashed, crushed, and almost liquefied – but not liquified – by a fork. When mixed, add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 batches. Fold in ½ c mini bittersweet chocolate chips until combined. Then scoop into a cupcake-lined muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with raw sugar and a tiny pinch of sea salt. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
These muffins are what baking is all about– simple, sweet, comforting, and hitting that special place that brings about a smile. Kind of like what Mr. Rogers does. In fact, if Mr. Rogers was still around, maybe just maybe, this would be his tweet: Chocolate Strawberry Muffins: enjoy and bring to a neighbor! #yum #BeNice #SnappyToday