Friday, August 30, 2013

Holly Hobbie and the Green Blob

My memories of school lunches go two ways. For the most part, I had lunches sent from home. I had a little metal Holly Hobbie lunch box with a thermos in it. The thermos most of the time contained soup for me, accompanied by a slightly soggy sandwich.

My mom would make a soup that was the opposite of my favorite, the spilt pea soup. Her version of spilt pea soup at the time was a bit on the THICK side. More of a scary green blob….think the green blob on Calvin’s plate from the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon. Other times, I remember having Campbell’s alphabet soup, which I enjoyed eating all of the individual letters and seeing if they tasted differently.

Other times my lunch had a sandwich and carrot/celery sticks. I do love sandwiches, but mine had lettuce, tomato and everything all together. That means it was soggy by the time I got to eat it. But I do remember enjoying the peanut butter and honey sandwiches. And since my parents where very healthy, my sandwiches were on the most hearty whole wheat bread possible. More than anything I craved a Wonder bread baloney sandwich with chips and a Twinkie. Thankfully, my parents never gave that to me.

When I was in first and second grade, we lived in Elgin, IL, and I went to a public school that had awesome lunches provided. We got to eat in our classroom and we received two trays each. One was a plastic lunch tray with cold foods, like a salad or carrot sticks with dip. I remember one cold dish that I detested, Ants on a log. My young culinary palate didn’t like the combo of celery, peanut butter and raisins. To this day, I do not like celery (weird, huh).
The other was an aluminum hot lunch tray. I fondly remember my favorite hot lunch, which I nicknamed the “Sea of cheese”. It was a large piece of pizza covered with lots of sauce and even more of gooey mozzarella cheese. It was delightful. Just part of my life long love affair with cheese.

School lunches really were for me the best part of the day. Maybe somewhere deep down I knew I was destined to become a chef.

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