Sunday, January 17, 2010

What's In Your Lunch Box?

When I was a kid, I came home from primary school for lunch every day. The school I recall most was St. Patrick of the Island, in Montreal, which was around the corner and down the road a bit. I ate something [do not recall what] -- mostly in front of the TV in the basement. Warm, comforting, not school. The Flinstones and Rupert the Bear come to mind. At home with mum, even if she was a floor away but better than school.

School raised my hackles. I was not the person I am today back then.

In highschool, I was bussed in and took lunch. Not the cool brown bagged version, but the entirely practical Tupperware lunchbox combo - sandwich box, smaller box for say veggies, drink cup, and small round cup [Del Monte fruit salad] with lid. Green before our time. God bless you, Mama. A product of a society that wasted nothing. I wish it had been cool. Alas.

When I finally made friends, it was late in the game, since I was serially "from away" throughout my entire childhood. Here and there, enjoying the world and other places, like say Kabul, Afghanistan, or Thunder Bay. The same folks sort of knew me, but not enough to "hitch your wagon" to. But by highschool, Paul R and JLV had turned to girls, drugs and Pink Floyd, Darren T was closeted so deep as to be impenetrable, so I turned to Jackie W - outcasts for different reasons, but fast friends. In turn we found Lisa D.

Lisa D's lunches made me drool with envy. Chicken salad with mayo and onions, on whole grain wrapped artfully in beautiful waxed paper. Military corners on those sandwich packages. Plus, homemade cookies. or some dessert not from a box. Do you remember Betty Crocker Snackin' Cake? This was mine to compare. Cheese butties with cucumber, and kool aid. I get it now, as a mum, the nasty business of "the packed lunch". It was my own personal responsibility to prepare, but had no tools. No concept of the muffaletta, the panini, the warmed soup with croutons.

Lunch in the cafeteria was a sort of torture. I hated those opportunities for socialization, which made me inwardly cringe. I was not the social animal I am now. I recall George L [the first boy I ever kissed] asking everyone to hork into a cup then drinking it for a mere $5. Fallen so far from my lips. Is it contagious in reverse? I hope to hell not.

So now, the concept of "lunch" makes me glad for the "working-through" concept. It means I strive to find things good to eat, while catching up on a good book, or the Globe, at my desk.

So this week - the options for my lunch box:

1. Roasted squash soup with chipotle sauce, croutons, pepitas, and Oka cheese

2. Udon noodle in hoisin sauce with beef, broccoi, spinach and peas

3. Steak and coleslaw sandwich - with a side of chips

4. Beet, walnut, apple and feta salad

plus an orange, and a can of green iced tea [again, thanks Mama for the tip on this one]

Hmmmm.............what to put into my tupperware? Some things never change. I long for that handy- self-contained -lunch box now.

And no one horks into a cup in my office. Thank the good Lord, wonder that She is. [Addendum, Naomi firmly believes God is a She. Allelujiah]


Andrea said...

Great post. I just wish I could the hork drinker outta my head. Gross.
Carrot sticks and celery. Sandwiches cut into neat little squares. The horror of watching others throw out their fruit. Ahh lunch memories. And of course I too loved the occasion of going home and watching the Flintstones!
Squash soup sounds amazing. Hope you have a great lunch!

Lisa said...

In elementary school I remember coming home to eat grilled cheese sandwiches and watch the Flintstones. I felt hard done by as my mom insisted on using real cheddar rather than Kraft cheese slices or Velveeta like the cool moms.