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Tribute to My Mother-Part Two, The Interview

In honor of my mother’s birthday, I interviewed her about life while growing up, in college, and through the Civil Rights era. We also discussed her favorite restaurant, The Busy Bee Cafe, life after having kids, retirement plans, the joy of grandkids, and the future.

Hey students! It’s your favorite teacher, Adriena, from @FoodIsMyClassroom here with a tribute to my mother on this day, December 3rd. It’s her birthday!🎂

This tribute was a interview I had with my mother about her life while growing up, in college, and through the Civil Rights era. We also discuss her favorite restaurant The Busy Bee Cafe, life after having kids, retirement plans, enjoying grandkids, and the future.

1. The beginning
Born in 1951 in Taliaferro County, GA.

Eastern face of the 1902 courthouse and clock tower in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Photo Credit: TampAGS, for AGS Media
Eastern face of the 1902 courthouse and clock tower in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Photo Credit: TampAGS, for AGS Media

2. Birth and Adoptive parents
l lived with my birth mother until I was 18 months old.  Then, I was adopted by Mary and Wade Long. We lived in Crawfordville, GA.

3. Sold at courthouse
None of us were for sale or sold!  However, my birth mother had us standing on the courthouse square letting people know we could be adopted.

Friendship Baptist Church, Crawfordville, GA.  Photo Credit: Friendship Baptist Church Facebook Page
Friendship Baptist Church, Crawfordville, GA. Photo Credit: Friendship Baptist Church Facebook Page

4. Growing up (only child/Elizabeth best friend/givinglife to Christ)
My adopted mother had 3 birth children.  However, I was raised up by myself due to their age.  My adopted parents were old enough to be my grandparents. My closest friend during my childhood was Elizabeth.  I met her when she came to live with her great aunt.  After her aunt died, she spent her senior year in our home. We both attended and joined Friendship Baptist Church.  I joined when I was 12 years old.

5. Siblings (biological/adoptive family)
My biological mother had 7 children (six girls and one boy) including me, my biological father had 4 biological children (2 boys and 2 girls, including me and 4 step children), and my adoptive parents raised 2 boys and 2 girls, including me and a grandson.

6. Basketball/Track
I played 4 years of first string Varsity basketball, as a power forward, in high school and ran track, where I injured my knee jumping hurdles. 

Morris Brown College Fountain Hall, Atlanta, GA. Photo Credit: David Kaminsky, Photography
Morris Brown College Fountain Hall, Atlanta, GA. Photo Credit: David Kaminsky, Photography

7. Upward Bound
I attended the Upward Bound Program at Morris Brown College for 4 years.  The students attend classes taught by college professors on Saturdays during high school and lived on campus during the summer.  Most of the kids lived in metro Atlanta, but my classmates and I were bused to and from Morris Brown College.  We took the usual core classes taken in high schools and were taking many interesting trips around Atlanta and out of the state of Georgia.

SCLC/SCOPE orientation at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. Photo Credit:

8. Civil Rights/Going to jail
I was very active in the civil rights demonstration in 1960’s in Taliaferro County.  I was arrested for trying to go in the front of the only restaurant in Crawfordville, GA.  Black people had to eat in the back of the restaurant in booths in the kitchen.  My mother could sign me out if I admitted that I broke the law.  I refused!  Thus, the judge gave me and an adult lady 10 years in jail in Crawfordville, but more people were in jail in surrounding counties. I was 13 years old. 

During this time, my family would house civil rights activist.  Two White Civil Rights Workers were living in our home named – Judy & Candi. In retaliation, the KKK (Klu Klux Klan) burned our home to the ground!  Thankfully the was no one home.

The public school system was using county, state and federal funds to bus white children out of the county to prevent them from having to attend school with black children.  We protested against this by laying on the ground in front of the buses.  The Georgia State Troopers were there to keep us from stopping the buses. They were hitting us and twisting our arms behind our back.  In the end, the court ruled that black kids must be allowed to attend school with the surrounding kids too.  I went to school in Warren County.  It was the second worse experience of my childhood.  The white children and teachers treated us like we were the scum of the earth. The white kids were destroying my classwork and homework, but the teachers refused to let me give her my work directly.  Thus, I repeated 9th grade back in the all black school in Crawfordville the next school term. 

Marching to the courthouse, Crawfordsville GA. 1965. Photo Credit:
Marching to the courthouse, Crawfordsville GA. 1965. Photo Credit:

9. Morris Brown /Magnum Cum Laude and the AU Center
I attended Morris Brown College from August 1969 to December 1973.  I majored in Social studies with a minor in education and graduated magnum cume laude in May 1974.

10. Busy Bee Cafe
I ate in the Canopy Castle Restaurant on Hunter Street (now Martin Luther King Drive) regularly while attending college.  Busy Bee Café was next door and basically served the same food but cost more.  Thus, I seldom ate Busy Bee Café until I graduated from college.  When I bought my home in 1978, I started having Busy Bee Café cater my Thanksgiving and/or Christmas meals if not going out of town.  The décor and menu have basically remained the same until now, but the prices have gone up drastically. We still use them to cater many holiday meals and special events.

Tribute to my mother’s birthday. Photos taken at Busy Bee Atlanta.

11. Teaching temporarily 
I was substitute teacher for high schools for Atlanta Public Schools for one year.

12. Federal government years 
I worked as a Program Specialist for the Federal Government from 1974 until retirement. 

13. Having kids
The greatest experiences of my life were the birth my two children.  Sheldon was born in 1980 and Adriena was born in 1983.  I was not lonely any more.  My children brought great joy to my life. Sheldon is a police officer and Adriena is an elementary school teacher and entrepreneur.  I am very proud of them. 

14. Having grandkids
My son gave me four grandchildren; three girls and one boy.  My children are wonderful, but my grandchildren are special.

15. Retirement
I enjoyed my life as a child through high school.  Now that I am I retired, I have peace in my life again.  I enjoy being retired. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

16. What’s next for you?
I do not have any plans for the future.  I live one day at a time.  No more schedules, deadlines or stress!  Now, I just want to get my house in order and live my life so my soul will be saved. However, I am still praying that I live long enough to see more grandchildren before I die.  God’s will be done!

Happy Birthday Mom 🥳😘

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning about my wonderful mother 🥰

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#foodismyclassroom #atlfoodie #atlblogger #FIMC #foodnews #tribute #happybirthday
📸 and 📽 by Adriena Long


Too Much for Too Little?

Today’s question from explores a shared mystery among patrons of high-end luxury restaurants. Why do expensive restaurants serve tiny portions? There are many reasons why restaurants serve small portions and we’re going to explore a few of those reasons.

Why Expensive Restaurants Serve Tiny Portions

Today’s question from explores a shared mystery among patrons of high-end luxury restaurants. Why do expensive restaurants serve tiny portions? There are many reasons why restaurants serve small portions and we’re going to explore a few of those reasons with you.

1 | Limited Portion = Unlimited Expectations

I’m sure we have all run low on an item and product. Our natural instinct is to conserve and not be wasteful. The same concept is applied to fine dining. Restaurants attempt to recreate this conservation by giving smaller portions that diners will be excited to try and savor the richness of the dishes. Chefs and restauranteurs hope this makes the meal more memorable.

Photo by Julien Sarazin on Unsplash

2 | High Ingredient Costs

Luxury restaurants often source their ingredients from the obscure international markets and farms. This practice increases the production costs of the dish which affects the menu price. In an effort to keep the price from being astronomical, restaurants serve smaller portions.

Photo by Marta Markes on Unsplash

3 | Minimalism to the Maximum

Take a stroll on Rodeo Drive or to any high-end boutique and you will see that less is more. Expansive tables house one purse or a pair of shoes. Expensive restaurants also embody this practice through the belief that minimalism is elegant or avant garde. Guests at these establishments seek unique tastes and experiences rather than coming to fill their stomachs.

Photo by Julien Pianetti on Unsplash

4 | The Plate is a Canvas

Have you been to an art museum lately? Some expensive works of art feature a tiny image painted on an over-sized canvas. For expensive restaurants, plating techniques have evolved into a blend of aesthetics, art, and design. As a work of art, smaller portions allow enough space on the plate for the chef to display their artistry.

Photo by Aigars Peda on Unsplash

5 | Avoid Boredom

For Thanksgiving, we tend to pile our plates with food only to waste most of it. Why? Our taste buds will get used to a flavor after 4-5 bites. Smaller portions eliminates the boredom of a dish and helps your mind register the taste for a longer period.

Photo by Tae In Kim on Unsplash

Thanks so much for tuning in! Hope you all enjoyed this review! Don’t forget to FOLLOW to keep up with our weekly blog posts!

What is the Paleo Diet?

Perhaps you’ve been to Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, or the local grocery and seen products on the aisle promoting the Paleo diet. But what is the Paleo diet? The Paleo diet reflects the food groups of our Stone Age hunter-gatherer ancestors. The diet boasts numerous benefits that can help optimize one’s health, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and even promote weight loss.

Protein accounts for only 15 percent of the average person’s daily calories. This number pales in comparison to our hunter-gatherer ancestor diet, which was comprised of 19 to 35 percent protein. Higher protein and fresh vegetable intake have a significant benefit, blood sugar stabilization. The Paleo diet consists mostly of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating these foods won’t spike blood sugar levels since they have low glycemic indices that slow digestion and absorption of sugar in the body.

Photo by Natalia Fogarty on Unsplash

Dietary fiber is a necessary component to maintaining a healthy weight. That’s why having a diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to higher fiber intakes. Non-starchy vegetables and fruits can contain a more than twice the value of fiber than refined or whole grains.

Where’s all the fat? The Paleo diet attempts to replace unhealthier saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that have a better balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. It’s not that all fat is bad, but it’s the type of fat that is eaten that should concern you. This diet will also reduce the number of trans fats that raises blood cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease and cancer.

Eating all those fresh fruits and vegetables gives your body a super shot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals.

Vitamins are complex organic compounds that regulate certain metabolic processes in the body. They are distinctly different from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Minerals are a group of elements in Earth’s rocks, soils, and natural water sources. About 15 mineral elements have known functions in the body and are necessary for human health.

Antioxidents protect DNA from free radical damage, thus preventing potentially cancer-causing mutations from occurring.

Phytochemicals are compounds made by plants that are not nutrients. Plants made hundreds of these non-nutients. Caffiene is a popular example of a phytochemical.

Schiff, W. (2019). Nutrition for healthy living. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Photo by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables also improves your consumption of potassium, which is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work correctly. The Paleo can help lower excessive sodium intake by substituting foods with more potassium.

Many foods we commonly eat yields either a net acid or alkaline load to our kidneys. Excessive dietary acids can result in bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure, an increased risk for kidney stones, and aggravates asthma. Paleo-approved fruits and vegetables produce alkalines can reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The Paleo Diet is based on seven fundamental characteristics of hunter-gatherer diets that help to optimize your health, minimize your risk of chronic disease, and lose weight.
Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

Here’s a quick list of the seven fundamentals we’ve covered!

  • Higher protein intake
  • Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index
  • Higher fiber intake
  • Moderate to higher fat intake dominated by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats
  • Higher potassium and lower sodium intake
  • Net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid
  • Higher intake of, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plat phytochemicals

For more information on the Paleo diet, visit

FIMC: How it All Began

Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash

I am often asked about my inspiration for starting the Food is My Classroom brand. I would say that starting this new journey in my life is a culmination of activities over the past few years.

The groundwork for Food is My Classroom began years ago when I would hang out with friends at local restaurants. Loving to explore the city, I preferred to visit newly opened or independent restaurants. Luckily, many of those restaurants were on popular discount websites. To my friend’s chagrin, I would take pictures of everyone’s food and write a blurb to post on Facebook. Instantly, I would get tons of questions from friends requesting menu recommendations and asking me about my overall experience.

Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

As a classroom teacher, I write comprehensive lesson plans each week. So composing reviews detailing my experience from start to finish wasn’t that much different. Eventually, I began posting my restaurant reviews and photos on Google Reviews. I even received inquiries from people asking for restaurant recommendations in various locales. Afterward, I started receiving emails from Google announcing that over 100,000 people saw my reviews and pictures! I even received invitations to attend conferences hosted by Google.

With posts on Facebook, Yelp, Google Reviews, and some still on my phone, I always wanted a centralized place to host all the pictures, reviews, and recommendations I’ve made. Many friends kept telling me to start a blog or website. Unfortunately, I knew very little about blogging or running a website. Nevertheless, I brainstormed ideas for a name just in case I did start something. Staying true to my profession, the name Food is My Classroom stuck out. I loved the name as a classroom is a place of learning, and exploring food and restaurants is a learning experience for me and others.

Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

Food is My Classroom was launched on July 4th, 2019, to celebrate independence from my fears of starting this new journey. It hasn’t been a month yet, and Food is My Classroom is already exceeding expectations. Not only did I start a blog, but the brand has expanded to Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Each like, comment, and share on the posts are a confirmation to my dream of starting this brand. I appreciate every one of you for sharing in this process with me. Without your support over the years, I would not have the strength and stamina to do this awesome work.

Greater works are coming! Stay tuned for the next chapter in this adventure…