Where Were You When…?

Where were you when….?

Once or twice in a generation there is an event so significant that it is seared into the culture’s collective memory so strongly that those alive at the time can easily recall the time and the place when they first learned of the event. This is often so cultural that what may be very important to one culture, it may be somewhat unremarkable in another. The examples below are for those in the United States.

For generations older than me several stand out.

  • The bombing of Pearl Harbor is a major event that stands out for two generations older than me.
  • The assassination of John F. Kennedy is for the generation older than me.

My generation has three that I see as the most significant:

3. The Fall of the Berlin Wall – I was in college at the time and even for students who may go weeks without watching a news program, everyone was captivated.

2. The Space Shuttle Challenger accident – I was in high school in southern California at the time. Our school had many individual buildings where every classroom door opened to the outside, so walking between classes often involved crossing our “quad” in the center of the school. I was crossing and the outside PA system was playing a radio broadcast. I could pick up some words about the shuttle but couldn’t figure out what was happening until I got to my next class and the teacher had a television set up and turned to the news.

1. The attack on 9/11/01 – Unfortunately like so many, I can recall too many events and emotions of the day. I was at work listening to NPR on the radio and heard a report that a “small plane” had crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately went out to cnn.com and saw a photograph of one of the towers smoking. I copied the picture and sent it via email to a bunch of co-workers. Just after I hit send, the second plane hit.

Slate has put together a “bracket” of events that might spark the “where were you when” discussion. Take a look and see what choices you make. It is interesting that many of the choices are from a negative event versus a positive one.

Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Photo Nov 08, 5 24 18 PM copy - Featured Size

While this dish wouldn’t make the bracket, it is awesome in its own right.

Photo Nov 08, 3 44 15 PM

I had some shredded Mexican cheese blend so I used that in place of the cheddar.

Photo Nov 08, 4 47 00 PM

Frying the ground beef.

Photo Nov 08, 4 50 40 PM

Cooking the noodles.

Photo Nov 08, 4 52 29 PM

Adding the veggies and tomato paste.

Photo Nov 08, 4 53 42 PM

And the tomatoes.

Photo Nov 08, 4 57 40 PM

Start withe the pasta then add the meat.

Photo Nov 08, 4 58 48 PM

Top with cheese and bake.

Photo Nov 08, 5 22 00 PM

I love when a cheese top is nice and browned.

Photo Nov 08, 5 23 57 PM

A hearty dish to love!

Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Prep Time: 5 M | Cook Time: 40 M | Makes: 4 to 6 servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups wide egg noodles (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and put in the prepared baking dish. Toss with the sour cream, Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Make a space in the pan, add the tomato paste and toast for a minute. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour the beef mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with the grated Cheddar. Bake on the middle rack until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/beef-and-cheddar-casserole-recipe/index.html

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking3, Beef, Cheese3, Main Dish 3, Pasta, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

5 Comments on “Where Were You When…?”

  1. July 4, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    I was four or five when the Berlin Wall fell, I was younger than that when the Challenger exploded (I was barely a year old and my sister was just about to be born), and I was 16 and in high school during the 9/11 attacks. So, of those three events, 9/11 is the only one that I was old enough to experience and actually have thoughts and feelings about what happened.

    And that beef and cheddar casserole looks better than the beef and cheese casseroles my mom or the school cafeteria has made.


  2. July 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Beef and cheddar casserole looks fantastic! On 9/11 I remember watching the news all day in school. As soon as the bell rang we just all went to our next classes hoping and praying no more plans would hit. It sure was an eye opener.. Always let your loved ones know how much you love and appreciate them!


  3. July 5, 2014 at 2:20 am #

    9/11 is etched in my memory as I was awaiting to receive a Visa to go to Saudi Arabia. I remember thinking “Please lord may I never have any trouble when I get there”. I was pretty scared but ended up there for two years. Ten days after I left I found out via my brother who text me while I was in Bangkok (Thailand) and said my city I had been living in had bombs going off and people that were killed at the place I would sometimes have coffee… A similar incident happened when I had the opportunity to fly into Denpasar (Bali) via my home land (New Zealand) and spend a night there before I arrived in Perth, Western Australia. Having spent a month in Bali before I decided not too this time and just fly direct to Perth. I had narrowly missed the Bali bombings and was relieved not to have taken that flight… In light of all this your dish looks great, and thank you for letting me share my memories. 🙂


  4. July 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Since I reflagged desert, I figure why not add a meal. This looks great and very easy.


  5. July 28, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    I was almost 4 when JFK was killed, but it is etched in my memory. I remember my Mom listening to it on the radio – maybe we didn’t have a tv? The death of Martin Luther King, 1968 – All of America was glued to the tv during the civil rights movement. The first moonwalk, 20 Jul 1969, too, was a huge thing.


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