When I was a kid, I loved school lunches. Especially by the time I hit high school, when, no joke, I not only ate my lunch with whatever dessert was served, but also my friend's dessert and sometimes, my friends', desserts.
Tangent: Not only was the food great, but the cafeteria ladies knew your name, or at least acted like they did. They seemed proud to serve up each day's choices and would occasionally share recipes if enough people asked.
I know this is a sweeping generalization, but I maintain that in today's public school cafeterias, much has changed. The workers do not seem "emotionally invested" at all in the lunches, at least in my experience as a middle and high school sub. I've heard it's because they have no choice in what they offer; it is all preplanned, some of it pre-cooked, and sent to the schools to re-heat. It's hard to get excited over re-heating food, I guess. Unless you're me. (Because to me, re-heating is better than cooking, and cereal is best of all.)
Back from tangent: One of the questions I ask my daughter and her friend when I pick them up after school every single day is "What did you have for lunch?" And then I smile to myself because I know entertainment is about to spew forth.
"Mom," she says emphatically, as if "Mom" is a statement, and not an introductory salutation. "Mom."
"You wouldn't believe what we had today."
"Oh yeah? Was it bad?" I ask, hoping she's about to drop the badness bomb I've come to know and love.
"Here's what we had: apple sauce, a regular apple, a salad, which was really shredded lettuce with half a boiled egg, stuffed bread sticks filled with something like cheese substitute, and spaghetti with water."
"You mean they didn't serve milk today?"
"No, we had milk."
"You said, 'spaghetti with water.'"
"The water was in the spaghetti. The spaghetti was in the water."
"EW. That's terrible!"
"Yeah," adds the friend. "It was like spaghetti soup."
"Ah" I'm thinking, "Now we're cookin' with ... water. This can only get better." I say aloud, "So you had apples and ... apples? What's up with that?"
"I don't know. Maybe kids with braces can only eat applesauce, but it's all runny. And I was still hungry because the fruit and salad didn't fill me up, so I used some change to get Chex Mix."
"Niiiice," I'm thinking. "Junk food on top of spaghetti soup." But I say, "So did that help?"
"No, because I couldn't get the bag open, so I pulled real hard and split the sack and the Chex Mix went everywhere, and I had to clean it up, and then lunch was over."
I'm hoping she didn't have a big test right after that because she was running on apple and lettuce fumes at that point.
That was yesterday. Today her friend said, "Did you see Ethan's spill down the front of him?"
Kristin replied, "Yeah, what happened?"
Friend: "He spilled his turkey tetrazzini."
Me: "How can you 'spill' turkey tetrazzini all down the front of you; I mean, doesn't it just plop?"
Them: "No. It was turkey tetrazzini in water. Water was all in the turkey tetrazzini."
And so it goes. On and on. Day after day. But I wouldn't miss the daily lunch report for anything because I know in two years, it'll all be water under the
Do you have any lunchtime memories? Do your kids have stories?