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School Lunch Memories
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  • School Lunch Memories

    Post #1 - January 19th, 2005, 9:17 am
    Post #1 - January 19th, 2005, 9:17 am Post #1 - January 19th, 2005, 9:17 am
    At a small religious school, we were able to order something hot three times a month. We had hot dog day, pizza day and McDonald's day.

    No matter how much I begged, my mama would not put cheese on my daily ham or bologna sammie. She saved the cost of cheese for Lent, I think. There were two options on Fridays during Lent: cheese sandwich or peanut butter and jelly. All that protein from the peanuts!

    When my Gramps came to visit from Florida, it was the best! He cut off the fluffy white bread crusts and put cheese and mayo on my sandwich.
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #2 - January 19th, 2005, 9:40 am
    Post #2 - January 19th, 2005, 9:40 am Post #2 - January 19th, 2005, 9:40 am
    My most vivid memories are the stares I got from teachers and classmates when my dad packed my lunch. He'd pack for me what he thought he'd like for lunch, so I got a lot of canned fish, cheeses, and veggies.

    Most common items that drew stares and remarks:

    1) Kipper snacks, farmer's cheese, and onion on pumpernickel. My favorite.
    2) A baggie of thinly sliced radishes.
    3) A small tupperware container containing a few smoked oysters or sardines. (I think I earned some nicknames for that one).
    4) All sorts of pickled vegetables.

    There was one teacher from another room who would stop by from time-to-time just to see what I was eating. I think I usually guarded my lunch with my arm and let out a menacing growl when she came near.

    Best,
    Michael / EC
  • Post #3 - January 19th, 2005, 10:48 am
    Post #3 - January 19th, 2005, 10:48 am Post #3 - January 19th, 2005, 10:48 am
    There were two odd Depression Era standbys that came down on my mom's side (the Mennonite side for those of you who recall that discussion, though only one seems German-peasanty) and would occasionally turn up in my lunch, to the shock and horror of my classmates:

    One was a sandwich of butter, with sugar on it. As kids we called this a "no good" sandwich because it was, clearly, the best possible thing one could eat.

    The other was peanut butter and sweet pickle slices, which actually still sounds kind of good.

    That said, proportionately bologna sandwiches must dwarf all other choices combined.
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  • Post #4 - January 19th, 2005, 10:52 am
    Post #4 - January 19th, 2005, 10:52 am Post #4 - January 19th, 2005, 10:52 am
    My school lunch mostly consisted of either a hero sandwich from Hero's on Addison & Western or a pizza or Italian Beef from Enzo's (late of Western Avenue and Roscoe) or sometimes a hot dog and pinball from Al's (also no longer in existance, but also formerly located on Western).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - January 19th, 2005, 10:57 am
    Post #5 - January 19th, 2005, 10:57 am Post #5 - January 19th, 2005, 10:57 am
    Mike G wrote:One was a sandwich of butter, with sugar on it. As kids we called this a "no good" sandwich because it was, clearly, the best possible thing one could eat.


    We do that in my family, which originates from the paternal German side. It really isn't a great departure from cinnamon sugar on buttered toast.

    My Oma liked open faced sour cream sandwiches from her youth: sour cream on German sour rye bread. She 'Americanized' it later with California onion dip spread on the bread and dehydrated onions on top. I like it either way.

    On return from school, my Mother ate open faced mustard sandwiches. She also liked Chef Boyardee (sp?) spaghetti sandwiches.

    My best friend Cathy throughout high school brought two pieces of bread with the barest smear of margarine on it; which she ate. She could honestly reply to her Mother she brought a sandwich, though effectively there was nothing inside.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #6 - January 19th, 2005, 11:20 am
    Post #6 - January 19th, 2005, 11:20 am Post #6 - January 19th, 2005, 11:20 am
    Cathy2 wrote:My best friend Cathy throughout high school brought two pieces of bread with the barest smear of margarine on it; which she ate. She could honestly reply to her Mother she brought a sandwich, though effectively there was nothing inside.


    Is that not called a wish sandwich?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - January 19th, 2005, 12:06 pm
    Post #7 - January 19th, 2005, 12:06 pm Post #7 - January 19th, 2005, 12:06 pm
    I always had the "stinky" lunchbags. I liked (and still do) hardboiled egg sandwiches sliced and arranged on bread spread with mayo or miracle whip. I also liked liverwurst spread on dry bread with sliced onions. In recalling this I'm reminded of how much love my mother put in all of her children's lunches.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #8 - January 19th, 2005, 12:37 pm
    Post #8 - January 19th, 2005, 12:37 pm Post #8 - January 19th, 2005, 12:37 pm
    Picadillo, and lots of it -- the perfect Public School lunch, making use of Federal ground beef. And Cuban sandwiches, but made with bad Federal American cheese. (Hey, maybe the Marianao cheese falls off a truck headed to a PS lunchroom- I kid.) Sometimes, during the summer when the gardeners were trimming foliage, jugo de cana. That all sounds exotic and tasty, but it was mostly terrible.
  • Post #9 - January 19th, 2005, 1:27 pm
    Post #9 - January 19th, 2005, 1:27 pm Post #9 - January 19th, 2005, 1:27 pm
    On the other end of the spectrum, a friend was searching Google some time ago for clip art of school lunches, and came across the trove that I've uploaded here. The schools in Harrisburg, Va., apparently actually make their students try to choke this stuff down. (Note: There are about three dozen pics, 400px by 300px, so it will take a moment to download. This isn't clip art; it's actual pictures of actual lunches, unfortunately.)

    We were impressed that the Cheeseburger Macaroni seems to have an actual aorta on the pic's left, that the Cheese Filled Bread Sticks and the Cheese Filled Pizza Sticks are so similar, and -- well, I don't want to spoil all of them. But if any part of the next generation of Americans shows absolutely no interest in food, I'm going to wonder if it started in Harrisburg, Va.

    (My own school lunches, I don't remember -- in grade school outside Boston, most of the year, we brownbagged it, but they served hot food in a makeshift cafeteria in the basement during the winter.)
  • Post #10 - January 19th, 2005, 1:39 pm
    Post #10 - January 19th, 2005, 1:39 pm Post #10 - January 19th, 2005, 1:39 pm
    Bob S. wrote:On the other end of the spectrum, a friend was searching Google some time ago for clip art of school lunches, and came across the trove that I've uploaded here. The schools in Harrisburg, Va., apparently actually make their students try to choke this stuff down. (Note: There are about three dozen pics, 400px by 300px, so it will take a moment to download. This isn't clip art; it's actual pictures of actual lunches, unfortunately.).. But if any part of the next generation of Americans shows absolutely no interest in food, I'm going to wonder if it started in Harrisburg, Va.


    Bob:

    Thanks for sharing those enticing images!... :o :o :o

    Something that really strikes me is how many of the dishes from the Harrisburg kitchen have cheese in, on, around, under or all of the above them. As I remember the now historically remote period in which I grew up, cheese was not nearly so widely used as it is now. I think the dairy industry's ad campaigns were amazingly successful, infinitely more so than the American Heart Association's warnings about the dangers of animal fats.

    Cheeseburger macaroni... Boy, now I've lost my appetite... Maybe I'll go back and revisit Gary's pics of the bucatini...

    :)

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #11 - January 19th, 2005, 2:11 pm
    Post #11 - January 19th, 2005, 2:11 pm Post #11 - January 19th, 2005, 2:11 pm
    Great Pics. I can certainly attest to the use of teriyaki nuggets in Chicago schools. Funny how somethings never change. Their taco tub, was my high school's taco boat.

    Other crazy names for food:

    Pizza Freet (a pizza pocket)
    and Chicken on a bun (maybe they didn't have enough plastic letters to spell out sandwich)

    Also, loved the pizza burger. The burger was stuffed with the mozz and had a ladel of red sauce over the burger.
    Myself, I could never understand the appeal of a pizza slice with fries.
    I just don't need the fries.

    I also ate my share of Hostess Honey Buns and Oke Doke cheese popcorn, which sold for pretty cheap at school and together, made a pretty filling and a tasty sweet/salty meal. :)

    I see way too much starch on our schools menu: bread, rice, pasta, potato, corn, peas. Then, they can't understand the "food fight" protests.
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #12 - January 19th, 2005, 2:14 pm
    Post #12 - January 19th, 2005, 2:14 pm Post #12 - January 19th, 2005, 2:14 pm
    Holy Cow. That is dark, sinister, ugly stuff. If GWiv is the master of glossy, wholesome, food porn, then the Harrison VA lunchroom photographer is engaged in the sort of nefarious image peddling that should be illegal in a civilized nation.

    A, the American cheese you see everywhere (and the grey ground beef) is the same stuff I spoke of. There is lots of it, because the government graciously took it in surplus from the American Farmer, I mean AgriGiant. What you see here is the famed "government cheese."

    I especially enjoy the "Italian dunkers," no doubt aimed at the vegan kids-- stale while bread slices and a pill cup of tomato sauce. I'm also a fan of the culturally diverse taco patty and teriyaki bites--pictured adjacent to eachother to highlight their common, unidentified meat-like objects.

    But, for me, the sloppy joe is the height of lunchroom culinaria. The meat is so grey, so sad. I can smell it now, mixed with vague hues of chlorine bleach, Polo by Ralph Luren, spoiled chocolate milk and vomit.
  • Post #13 - January 19th, 2005, 2:17 pm
    Post #13 - January 19th, 2005, 2:17 pm Post #13 - January 19th, 2005, 2:17 pm
    In all fairness to the Harrisburg, VA school district, the district has a very limited budget and must use the garbage that is provided by the Department of Agriculture and the stuff that is purchased under a low bid contract by the state of Virginia.

    I spent six months (the worst six months) of my career running a $2M+ cafeteria in a state operated hospital in the state of Virginia. I will not name the facility or its location in order to protect the guilty. However, since we served the lower socioeconomic classes, we received USDA food.

    And it was terrible. We had little choice of what we received and we could not dispose of it legally. We had to use it. Nothing like a ton of butter and 200 cases of 24x2# cans of canned beef and canned pork to get rid of in a month.

    That stuff was bad. However, the low-bid contract was worse. I would have a lady dishing out canned fruit cocktail who would be pulling out stems, pits, etc. - real garbage that noone but a state institution would accept. My favorite was the bacon that was sliced so thin that it could not be panned without crumbling ... When we were lucky, we would get the meat produced by the state prison farm. At least that was reasonably edible.

    If you want to upgrade school lunches, set realistic food budgets for the districts. However, I think serving nutritious lunches is a pipe dream. Many schools did that in the Sixties when I was in school - good balanced meals - just to find that 70% of the food was trashed. My first year in public schools - 6th grade - I gained about 15# as I found that I could trade the lunch packed for me (and a few pieces of candy) for 2-3x more cafeteria food - which was pretty good.

    Most of the schools I attended were from the 19th century and did not have cafeterias.
  • Post #14 - January 19th, 2005, 2:44 pm
    Post #14 - January 19th, 2005, 2:44 pm Post #14 - January 19th, 2005, 2:44 pm
    My brown bag lunches, in my elementary school years, were invariably balogna sandwiches. Sides might be carrot sticks, an apple, some cookies. In those days (late 50s, early 60s) there weren't many of the single-serving, pre-packaged things available.

    The high school had a cafeteria so that was it from 9th grade on. This was at a small, independent Catholic school. They had two paid cooks and the rest of the workers were volunteers.

    The fare was all the usual stuff, most of which I don't remember. Two favorite items that I do remember were sub sandwiches and hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes. The subs were mini versions of the ones the popular local sub and pizza place served, which in the local style consisted of various cold cuts and cheeses with pizza sauce, on a sub roll (the school cafeteria used hot dog buns), wrapped in foil and oven-baked.

    The hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes pretty much describes itself.
  • Post #15 - January 19th, 2005, 5:34 pm
    Post #15 - January 19th, 2005, 5:34 pm Post #15 - January 19th, 2005, 5:34 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Mike G wrote:One was a sandwich of butter, with sugar on it. As kids we called this a "no good" sandwich because it was, clearly, the best possible thing one could eat.


    We do that in my family, which originates from the paternal German side. It really isn't a great departure from cinnamon sugar on buttered toast.

    My Oma liked open faced sour cream sandwiches from her youth: sour cream on German sour rye bread. She 'Americanized' it later with California onion dip spread on the bread and dehydrated onions on top. I like it either way.

    On return from school, my Mother ate open faced mustard sandwiches. She also liked Chef Boyardee (sp?) spaghetti sandwiches.

    My best friend Cathy throughout high school brought two pieces of bread with the barest smear of margarine on it; which she ate. She could honestly reply to her Mother she brought a sandwich, though effectively there was nothing inside.



    my friend cathy asked me to reply to her post regarding lunch at school in the Phillipines. I always had sandwiches, chicken salad, tuna salad, etc and felt that i was deprived when i saw my classmates bring white rice and meats for lunch packed in banana leaves and newspaper. When i requested the same lunch, the maid put it in plastic containers which i refused to take, insisting on the same banana leaves my classmates used. The steamed rice in the banana leaves had a special flavor and smell from it. It tasted much better sharing it with others; we treated it like a picnic.
  • Post #16 - January 19th, 2005, 6:24 pm
    Post #16 - January 19th, 2005, 6:24 pm Post #16 - January 19th, 2005, 6:24 pm
    Thanks Helen!

    Helen and I are best friends in this time and place of my life. My nieces and her children go to school together. For an occasional snack at home, she will fry the little dried anchovies, often part of the panchan in Korean restaurants, which they eat like popcorn. One of her twins brought the anchovies with the really disproportionately big eyes to school to eat in front of his friends and to gross-out one especially nervous-Nellie classmate. It worked beautifully.

    A few years ago, when those coconut-lychee jelly candies were available; before they left the market after a choking-death. Her kids would regularly bring them to school. In the lunchtime exchange of food, actively discouraged by our schools and practiced anyway, these were considered a prize.

    The other day, I was telling Helen long after she has moved from our community, she will be fondly remembered. She frequently makes homemade eggrolls and wontons for her children's birthdays at school(instead of cupcakes) and school functions. Whenever we're at a public event where snacks are served afterwards; people come up to check what she has brought. Once they are served, there is a vigorous feeding frenzy until they are gone. Only then do the other treats provided get some attention.

    Whenever we are on Argyle or Chinatown, she will buy a supply of BBQ buns for her kid's school lunches. If only I knew about those years ago.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #17 - January 19th, 2005, 6:48 pm
    Post #17 - January 19th, 2005, 6:48 pm Post #17 - January 19th, 2005, 6:48 pm
    Most of your school lunches sound edible. My grade school lunches were not; we were not allowed to bring in sandwiches because 'a hot lunch was better for you.'
    They were not cooked on the premises the way they came out I suspect they were cooked several days before then heated and served. Some of my most vivid memories are of sitting and staring at the stuff on my plate. We had to show the teacher on duty an empty plate before we could leave (reverse Oliver Twist?). I would spend the whole lunch hour stuck inside cause I would not eat the stuff.

    High school was a closed campus with prefect to ensure we did not escape. The lunches were equally nasty. On retrieving a ball out of the Kitchen dumpster I was horrified to find cans of cat food that were used on the days we were served Shephard's pie.
    On the days that we managed to slip past the prefects we would go to the bakery (UK bread is good). Buy some rolls then go to the fish and chip shop and get some chips (French fries) make a hole in the hard roll eat the inside then fill with the hot French fries. Then it was absolutely delicious.
  • Post #18 - January 19th, 2005, 7:00 pm
    Post #18 - January 19th, 2005, 7:00 pm Post #18 - January 19th, 2005, 7:00 pm
    Hope.

    I am so glad I alerted you to this link, I knew you could offer some humdinger examples from growing up in the UK.

    If Hope advises she stubbornly sat through a meal without eating, I can guarantee this indeed happened. I know her personality all-grown-up and she is solid to her word.

    Now stuffing a hardroll with chips is something to consider trying at least for the experience. Would you have splashed some vinegar on that?

    Best regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #19 - January 19th, 2005, 7:21 pm
    Post #19 - January 19th, 2005, 7:21 pm Post #19 - January 19th, 2005, 7:21 pm
    JeffB wrote:I especially enjoy the "Italian dunkers," no doubt aimed at the vegan kids-- stale while bread slices and a pill cup of tomato sauce. I'm also a fan of the culturally diverse taco patty and teriyaki bites--pictured adjacent to eachother to highlight their common, unidentified meat-like objects.

    Jeff, you spotted two of my own favorites, the dunkers and the taco patty (now there's truth in advertising -- a taco shell and a patty) -- but I also have to give notice to the Chili & Cheese Nachos, where no sign of either chili or cheese is at all evident. (Maybe mercifully.)
  • Post #20 - January 19th, 2005, 7:31 pm
    Post #20 - January 19th, 2005, 7:31 pm Post #20 - January 19th, 2005, 7:31 pm
    Bob S. wrote:Jeff, you spotted two of my own favorites, the dunkers and the taco patty (now there's truth in advertising -- a taco shell and a patty) -- but I also have to give notice to the Chili & Cheese Nachos, where no sign of either chili or cheese is at all evident. (Maybe mercifully.)


    I'm trying to figure out what the difference is between the cheese-filled pizza sticks and the cheese-filled breadsticks.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #21 - January 19th, 2005, 10:53 pm
    Post #21 - January 19th, 2005, 10:53 pm Post #21 - January 19th, 2005, 10:53 pm
    Hi,

    There are several phases to my school lunches:

    First half of first grade in Massachusetts: My Mother put milk in my Thermos, which was unpleasantly warm by lunchtime. Very quickly, for reasons I am not sure, she shifted her thinking to allow me to buy milk at school. I don't know if the lunch monitor said something or it was convenient; but I was glad not to drink warm milk.

    My Mom liked to put butter on bread. First thing in the morning, the butter was cold and didn't spread. No problem, she just left it in lumps and spread jelly across. I gagged on the lumps of butter. Again, the lunch fairies intervened when she shifted to no butter in my sandwiches. Since I didn't complain, I really do believe someone must have talked to her.

    First through Fourth grade in Maryland: We lived a mere 15 miles from Washington, D.C. and had a very fine lunch program at school. I loved our school cafeteria food. We had fish sticks, tartar sauce and cornbread on Fridays. Just before a major holiday, we had food to commemorate the event, ie Thanksgiving meant turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. I loved grilled cheese sandwiches, which always came with a sweet gherkin pickle. Always there was milk and a dessert.

    The cost was no more than 30-40 cents per day. My parents always felt it was cheaper and better than what they would offer (so true). My Dad reasoned with all the government bureaucrats in our area, someone had worked the system to subsidize lunches in a community which wasn't needy.

    First half of fifth grade in Chicago public schools: Total culture shock going from classrooms of 20 kids to 50. Yet, it was a golden era of my life. I was living with my Oma who made us lunch every day. Freshly made soup, sandwiches or reheated leftovers from the night before. Going home for lunch made the zoo at school tolerable.

    Second half of fifth grade in Highland Park: We had 1 hour and 10 minutes to walk home for lunch and return. Today at the same school it is 40 minutes with everyone expected to stay at school. We had one girl, who came back every afternoon in a different set of clothes.
    My best friend growing up Cathy came into my life during this time. She invited me to her house for lunch to show her cooking creation: a hot dog cooked dry in a skillet, then eaten as-is with barbeque sauce. After all these years, her Mother and I joke, "I came for lunch and I never left."

    Sixth Grade: We could eat at school or go home. We had considerably less time, though I still went home. I often brought my friend Judy with me. To tell you how times change, Judy's coming for lunch was a spur of the moment decision: she either came with me or ate her Mother's packed lunch. If she came home with me, often I ate her lunch walking to my house and she ate mine. Her Mother did exotic things by my family's standards: she packed factory sealed bags of chips, tiny tins of pudding or fruit cocktail and a sandwich. Nobody would get excited about this but me.

    Seventh and Eighth Grade: We now were expected to stay at school for lunch. It was our first introduction to vending machine lunches: Chef Boyardee "lasagna," ice cream sandwiches and sodapop. Yes, this made my grade school cafeteria memories seem so darn remarkable.

    High School: I never enjoyed lunch at high school. The cafeteria wasn't great and the two large lunch halls were zoos. I try to sneak my lunch into the school library and read the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor or a news magazine while very quietly eating.

    You may find this interesting, at least I do, the higher on the economic scale of the community I lived, the worse my lunches got. I'm not sure the Chamber of Commerce would welcome my opinion.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #22 - January 19th, 2005, 11:54 pm
    Post #22 - January 19th, 2005, 11:54 pm Post #22 - January 19th, 2005, 11:54 pm
    What I remember most about elementary school lunches were chop suey, sauerkraut and fish on Fridays (it was a public school in a Catholic neighborhood). I liked sauerkraut. High school cafeteria lunches had a choice of a hamburger or the daily special. The daily special was not memorable. I think once a week it was a grilled cheese sandwich. Teachers had their own line with different food served. I could get a bottle of pop and a sugar cookie for .25.

    A couple of years ago, I visited my nephew's classroom along with my sister-in-law and we sat at my nephew's table when it was lunchtime; they don't have a cafeteria and lunch is either brought from home or delivered to the classroom. One of my nephew's classmates has parents who own an Italian restaurant and he pulled out a huge container of salad and breadsticks. And, he ate it all!
  • Post #23 - January 20th, 2005, 10:43 am
    Post #23 - January 20th, 2005, 10:43 am Post #23 - January 20th, 2005, 10:43 am
    Most of my lunches were of the bagged variety. I remember having kitchen privileges thanks to having a science teacher as a home room for a few years. His science "lab" just happened to have a stove/fridge/microwave. Warm food was a great delight to us bused in folk and allowed us to set off the smoke alarm at least twice a year.

    Grade school consisted of a sandwich, fruit, juice boxes, and random bagged cookies and pretzels. None of this overpackaged lunchable jazz... I ate many a peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I was shocked to learn that kids can't bring peanut products to school anymore. There were also no cafeterias in grade schools and as far as I can tell, they still don't exist in my school district.

    High school was always dicey. I never knew if I wanted soup o' the until I saw it to confirm that it wasn't chunky or watered down. Standbys included fries (always with gravy, sometimes with mozzarella cheese. A cheap knockoff of poutine. All Canadian high schools have it if they have a cafeteria.), pizza, and giant cookies. This is why I continued to bring a bagged lunch enjoyed in the computer science lab over a rousing game of euchre.

    Also, a variant of the butter/sugar sandwich I had as a child was peanut butter with brown sugar... I doubt this was german... likely something my mom created to make sure I'd eat.
  • Post #24 - January 20th, 2005, 11:42 am
    Post #24 - January 20th, 2005, 11:42 am Post #24 - January 20th, 2005, 11:42 am
    Check out this link to see what these 5-year old kids in France are having for lunch.

    "She will have a salad of endives to start; then organic turkey escalopes, served in a sauce normande - that will be apples and cream - and accompanied by cauliflower with parsley.

    The cheeses will be Camembert and Brie, with walnut bread, and there is a choice of fresh fruit to finish."


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/3701362.stm
  • Post #25 - January 20th, 2005, 7:22 pm
    Post #25 - January 20th, 2005, 7:22 pm Post #25 - January 20th, 2005, 7:22 pm
    trixie-pea wrote:Check out this link to see what these 5-year old kids in France are having for lunch.

    "She will have a salad of endives to start; then organic turkey escalopes, served in a sauce normande - that will be apples and cream - and accompanied by cauliflower with parsley.

    The cheeses will be Camembert and Brie, with walnut bread, and there is a choice of fresh fruit to finish."


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/3701362.stm


    In my next life, I'm returning as a French child! I would even like the celeri remoulade and grated beets!
  • Post #26 - January 21st, 2005, 10:28 am
    Post #26 - January 21st, 2005, 10:28 am Post #26 - January 21st, 2005, 10:28 am
    Catholic grade school in the 70's, 1 head cook with volunteer moms to keep tuition costs down. Elbow macaroni with red meat gravy was a favorite as was hamburger gravy, mashed potatoes and rye bread with butter. I did not like alphabet soup day, salty broth, no meat, but that was the day we received a piece of sheet cake, assorted flavors, best cake I ever tasted, never duplicated :(
  • Post #27 - April 27th, 2005, 6:13 pm
    Post #27 - April 27th, 2005, 6:13 pm Post #27 - April 27th, 2005, 6:13 pm
    I'm the proud owner of The Preparation of Food: Cooking in the Elementary Schools published by the Education Division of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago dated 1922.

    What happened?.....actual "fresh" fruit in season? and butter?

    "Breakfast No. 1
    Uncooked Fruit
    Toast
    Milk

    1. Cut bread in one half-inch slices. 2. Place the toaster over a gas burner and arrange the slices of bread on it. 3. When one side of the bread is brown, turn the bread and brown the other side. 4. Toast may be buttered at the table, or it may be spread with butter before sending it to the table.

    NOTE--Toast may also be made in the oven, or below the flame in a broiling oven.

    Sliced bananas, half orange, half grapefruit or uncooked berries in season are uncooked fruits that may be used."

    It's a fascinating read and includes some table manners:

    "Sit as erect as possible and near to the table"
    "There is but one correct way to hold the knife and fork"

    I can tell you that neither of these exist in my school, most certainly not the knife and fork!

    Some other interesting tidbits:

    a recipe for plain paste, cornmeal mush, and oyster stew. Oh, and I shan't forget to mention breakfast #'s 2-7 and dinner #'s 1-8.

    I'm not actually sure if this is a textbook or an instruction manual for the kitchen. Either way, I like it.
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #28 - April 28th, 2005, 11:12 am
    Post #28 - April 28th, 2005, 11:12 am Post #28 - April 28th, 2005, 11:12 am
    For some reason, the grilled cheese at Bowen High School stands out in my memory as the best school lunch I ever ate. Others that went to school with me agree. I don't know what kind of cheese they used, or how they made it, but it was always crisp on the outside and especially gooey in the center. Just fabulous!!
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #29 - April 28th, 2005, 7:41 pm
    Post #29 - April 28th, 2005, 7:41 pm Post #29 - April 28th, 2005, 7:41 pm
    Hi,

    Just the other night, I made a toasted grilled cheese sandwich with Velveeta; which is very likely the cheese used at your high school.

    The how-to's of grilled cheese escaped me until I attended a church retreat in 8th grade. The Catholic church school provided cooked lunches for their students and for this occasion the kids who went to public schools. The highlight of the day was seeing grilled cheese sandwiches in process.

    When I made my grilled cheese sandwich the other day, I started by heating the pan on medium heat.
    -On the counter, I laid out one slice of bread and arranged the Velveeta (I buy the 2 pound blocks, which are shelf-stable until opened) cut in 1/4 or 1/3 inch slices, then I place the other slice of bread on top.
    - I melted maybe 2 or more teaspoons of butter in the pan making sure to spread it around. If the temperature is right, the butter is melting and sizzling but not browning.
    - Once melted, I transfer my sandwich into the pan. After a few minutes, I check if the bread is toasted on the first side and maybe peak inside to see softening of the cheese.
    - Once I am satisfied with the toasted goodness on the first side, I lift the cheese sandwich up with my spatula and melt more butter before flipping my cheese sandwich.
    - When the second side has reached toasted goodness, with cheese just oozing out, I quickly flip to rewarm the other side for a moment.
    Voila! Especially good with tomato soup in your cup!

    After JoelF's alert last week, I picked up the Stern's Roadfood book. On the cover is a double-decker grilled cheese sandwich. Not exactly Rocket Scientist level considerations, though I have been considering what the order of operation was in making that sandwich. Certainly they made the first layer as described above. Maybe a minute or two before they flip the sandwich, they begin grilling an open faced grilled cheese sandwich. Once the second side of the original sandwich is finished and they flip to rewarm the first side, then the open faced is placed on the warm side. Or something very close to this.

    Anyway, the cross section picture of the double-decker grilled cheese sandwich on the cover of that book is just memorable.

    Often a nice sweet pickle is presented with a grilled cheese sandwich; a nice counterbalance.

    I have made grilled cheese sandwiches from cheddar and other cheeses, but nothing flings me back to school days like a Velveeta grilled cheese sandwich.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #30 - April 28th, 2005, 7:48 pm
    Post #30 - April 28th, 2005, 7:48 pm Post #30 - April 28th, 2005, 7:48 pm
    sdritz wrote:For some reason, the grilled cheese at Bowen High School stands out in my memory as the best school lunch I ever ate. Others that went to school with me agree. I don't know what kind of cheese they used, or how they made it, but it was always crisp on the outside and especially gooey in the center. Just fabulous!!


    It was"The Gubment Cheese"
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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