Tuesday, January 20, 2009

School Lunches

I mentioned the other day that I am reading Anne Lamott's "Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life". (In case you have never read it, I will say it again, this is a great book...go read it if you have not!) In the book she talks about her writing classes. She tells how inevitably after she's given a writing assignment to her class they come to her in a panic-unable to write. She tells them to take a minute, switch gears and start writing about the school lunches they ate as kids. She goes more in depth about what that exercise uncovers, things like where you went to school, when you were in school and what you ate. The point was that after the students took a break and started writing about lunches,(something so universal) it removed much of the stress and made it easier to go back to the writing assignment. But it made me think about school lunches when I was a kid.

When I think about school lunches, the first thing I remember is a girl in my second grade class, named Edie. One day during lunch she threw up on the table and the vomit ended up looking exactly like a pyramid. Why that's the first memory I have about school lunches after 30 years is beyond me. I am sure it probably has some sort of significance. Either that, or I am just weird. More than likely, it is the latter.

I loved school lunches. Macaroni and cheese and the Friday pizza with its mystery gray meat I am assuming was supposed to be sausage were my favorites. Oh yeah, and don't let us forget the chocolate milk, nothing quite like it.

Fast forward 20 years to my first year teaching 6th grade here in Texas. (we lived here for one year back in the late 90's then moved away and came back to Texas 3 years ago) Thursday was enchilida day at my school and it was just a known fact that our school had the best enchilidas. I kid you not, I looked forward each week to Enchilida Thursday partly because it was one day out of the week I didn't have to pack a lunch, but mostly because I couldn't wait to eat the school lunch. $1.35- can not be beat.

My favorite packed lunch used to be a scrambled egg sandwich with ketchup on white bread wrapped in foil so it would still be mildly warm at lunch. Wonder what that lunch says about me?! :)

What about you? Any memories of school lunch? What kind of lunch box did you carry? What did you pack in your lunch? I would love to hear.

Take care,


Emily said...

School lunches. Mmmm, it brings back memories. Back when I was in 3rd & 4th grade, we went to a 30 student k-12 school. And, whenever me or my sibs had a birthday, my mom would come with a huge pot of beef barbeque, and my gremom would bring an equally large pot of chicken corn noodle soup (both PA Dutch specialities), and they'd feed the entire school. On normal days, we were known to have Chunky soups in a thermos. The smell of Chunky sirloin burger STILL takes me back...

Debbie said...

I still have great memories of those cafeteria rolls and mashed potatoes. I was a carb gal.

Bubba's Sis said...

I used to love it when my mom would make me a cold meatloaf sandwich in my lunch - hooo boy that was good! In fact, I want one now!

I remember Pizza Friday's, too - the square pizzas! Loved those! I also liked the hamburgers, vegetable soup and grilled cheese, and my favorite was burritos!! I think in high school I ate a burrito and a 6-pack of powdered sugar donuts for lunch every day. Washed it all down with a Coke. Healthy!

D... said...

I very rarely bought my lunch. I do remember that I started the Capri Sun trend at my school. Hee!

I would also bring "air" sandwiches. I just liked bread, not meat. Weird of me!