Teachers With a Reputation–for Cooking!

Nadine Druar, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors– it’s how you combine them that sets you apart,” said Wolfgang Puck, a well-known restaurant owner in Los Angeles.

At Notre Dame, Mrs. Carolyn Brown has a reputation for her brownies. Every week, the two freshman honors English classes await the results of the previous week’s vocabulary quizzes. Whichever class has the higher class average wins brownies on Monday. She also bakes brownies, as well as cookies, for her homeroom and says “those kids like my chocolate chip cookies more than the brownies.”

“I can’t claim to be a cook. The only thing ‘original’ about my brownies is the name on Betty Crocker’s box, but it is nice to have a reputation. . . and that, I think, makes the kids think they’re good. For the most part, it’s winning the brownies that matters. Kids in my two freshman classes keep a running tab of how many times their class has won the brownies… Over time the brownies have come to symbolize the completion of something important, like finishing up our research papers or our IOCs in IB English. They’re sort of a celebration of accomplishment,” said Brown.

Other than Mrs. Brown, two other teachers, Ms. Stefanie Jochman and Mrs. Anne Hollenback, also cook for their students. Ms. Jochman makes desserts like cookies and Rice Krispies, but is especially well-known for her chocolate eclair torte. Mrs. Hollenback mainly makes Scotch-a-Roos and Rice Krispies with chocolate and butterscotch chips for frosting for her students.

Mrs. Hollenback has been teaching for 54 years, having taught at Saint Norbert College, UW Green Bay, Saint Boniface, Saint Joseph Academy and here at NDA. She didn’t cook much as a child. It was in her teaching years that she really started to cook the most. Now she cooks desserts for her students and food for others, whether they be meals for new mothers, meals as  a housewarming gift, a prize at Triton Fest, or meals for people who are injured or temporarily disabled.

Ms. Jochman has been teaching for eight years. She bakes for yearbook meetings and for her IB class students after they have finished major assessments.

“One piece of advice for bakers is always read the directions–and the packaging! Once I tried to help my mom by baking some brownies that she needed to bring to an event. I followed the directions on the box but wondered why the batter was runny and the brownies kept rising in the oven. As it turns out, I had accidentally made a devil’s food cake!” Ms. Jochman said.

She cooked often as a child to help her family out. Now, outside of school, she makes cinnamon pumpkin baked goods in the fall, fudge during Christmas, and angel food cake in memory of her grandmother.

“Another piece of kitchen wisdom from Ms. Jochman: “Food is life”–my Italian great-grandmother used to say it, and she was right. Food brings people together, and that togetherness feeds the soul.”

Ms. Jochman’s Chocolate Eclair Torte

1-2 boxes of graham crackers

1 container of cool whip

2 bottles of Smucker’s chocolate fudge candy shell

2 packages of Jell-o instant French Vanilla pudding

3 cups milk

Beat pudding with 3 cups of milk; fold in the cool whip and set aside.    Line a 9X13 pan with graham crackers.  Spread a layer of the cool whip mixture over the graham crackers; then place another layer of graham crackers over the cool whip. Later cool whip and graham crackers until you run out. End with a layer of graham crackers.

Shake the chocolate topping well and then pour over the top layer of graham crackers.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours; serve cold and enjoy!

    Mrs. Brown’s Brownies

Three tablespoons of water

Two eggs

1/4 cup of oil

1 complete box plus one cup of a second box of Betty Crocker Original Brownie Mix

“I spread the brownie batter (just stir it by hand) in a 9 X 13 Pyrex glass pan sprayed with Pam, sprinkle chocolate chips on the top and bake them at 350 degrees for 31 minutes in my present oven.  The secret–as far as I’m concerned–is how long you bake them; every time I move I have to experiment and get the length of time figured out. They have to be a little dry on the edge for those who like the edges but very moist for those who like the middle.  In my previous oven the time was an exact 28 minutes and 10 seconds.  Unfortunately all 9 X 13 pans are not exactly alike.  I have my recipe just right for 2 of my Pyrex glass pans that are identical.”

On a final note, Mrs. Hollenback “outed” Doctora Diane Mulroney as the “cook with recipes published in magazines” on the NDA staff. . . but that sounds like another story for another issue.