Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What's in your lunch box?

Ok, I hope nobody's lunch is dangerous, and I wouldn't expect lunch to even be described as daring. But then I had a conversation with some friends over lunch at work.

It began when one of them said that she had eaten a tuna salad sandwich for lunch every day from first through eighth grade. I didn't believe her. Nobody can be that picky, I said.

Another friend had no problem accepting that the tuna-a-day habit was not an exaggeration, because she had eaten peanut butter and jelly every single day of grade school.

Well, what did you take for lunch? they asked me.

Ah, my school lunches. I had a plastic lunch box that looked like Snoopy's doghouse, and in it my mom often packed a sandwich, though certainly not the same thing every day. I liked ham, bologna, and I was a huge fan of pickle and pimento loaf. One of my favorites was corned beef and swiss cheese with mustard, on rye or pumpernickel bread.

You ate pumpernickel bread in grade school?

The only kind of bread we didn't eat was square white bread. I admit, I was embarrassed that my sandwiches didn't fit nicely into little baggies like my classmates' sandwiches did, but I appreciated the variety, like wheat, oatmeal, and Challah. And my mom used different cheeses, too. I particularly liked the one I called monster; I think I was ten before I found out it was muenster.

Half the time, though, I didn't even get a sandwich. I had a wide-mouth thermos, and mom gave me soup, stew, macaroni and cheese, or spaghetti. Sometimes I had leftovers from a previous night's dinner.

At this point, my friend started to laugh, and pointed to my lunch (leftovers). My lunches haven't changed much in over 30 years, though I no longer have a Snoopy lunch box.

So, now I have a question for all of you: What is your favorite lunch? (And do you eat it every single day?)


Nic's Sister said...

I hated the pickle and pimento loaf, and cursed the days when Mom accidentally gave me your sandwich. I wonder (no pun intended) if her refusal to give us the spongy white bread is why I can't digest it even now. The only school-time lunch I wasn't happy with (other than your P&P loaf) was the grilled cheese sandwiches- Mom would wrap it in foil, but it still couldn't keep the melty goodness intact.

Elisson said...

I'm sure I suffered through my share of tuna-fish sandwiches back in the day, but there were so many others - some "normal," that is, stuff you'd see other kids eat, while some were just plain weird.

Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. (The infamous Fluffernutter - not one of my faves.)
Peanut butter and jelly. (Yawn.)
Cream cheese and jelly. (Double yawn.)
Cream cheese and Spanish olives. (Weird but tasty.)
Cream cheese and sardines. (Really weird and really tasty.)
Salami. (Yummy.)
Bologna. (Feh.)

Ted said...

I've always liked bologna if it's dressed up nicely with mustard *or* mayo (not both *shudder*) and lettuce and pickles. Crushed potato chips works too in a pinch.

I still eat a PBJ at least once a week. Good stuff.

Whatever I have, it changes every day. Must have variety.

My wife has horror stories though of the exact same lunch every single day for her entire school career. Actually, I guess it's the same horror story told over and over and over...

Oddybobo said...

My favorite lunch is potato soup. Though I don't eat it every day.

When I was in school, we had a snack line and I ate - no lie, one little debbie brownie and a red slushie everyday - every single day - it had nuts for protein . . . If I was hungry I also got a pack of cheese crackers.

Strange lunch didn't change when I got to college. I didn't like the lunches there either, so I ate a bowl of mandarin oranges everyday and if they had good cereal, I'd eat a bowl of dry cereal - no milk - as well.