Monday, February 9, 2009

Thoughts on the nature of Lunch

I hate lunch. Lunch is the lame duck meal of the day; the awkward middle child of the meal family.

Look at Breakfast - Breakfast has defined cuisine. Waffles, french toast, cereal, oatmeal, fresh fruit, muffins, omelets, fritatas, sausage links, pancakes - I have no argument with any of it. And it's tough to ruin breakfast food. Shari's makes good breakfast food. That's saying something.

Then there's dinner. It's much more common to spend some time preparing dinner, so there are some wonderful entrees out there. I made this really wonderful pork chop recipe involving pork chops cooked on the stove with salt and pepper, with chopped hazelnuts at the end to toast, then a spash of cream mixed with lemon zest. Yummy, yummy stuff.

But lunch? Lunch is the sandwich meal - and it's not hard to screw up a sandwich. Airlines do it all the time. Forget a condiment and it's toast. And after any length of time, sandwiches become dull eating.

There's leftovers, but that means that your dinner leftovers will be lessened, if not obliterated (in some households, the obliteration occurs during breakfast). You can also go the traditional "soup and salad" route, but soup is tricky to move, as is salad unless artlessly wilted greens are your thing. And the soup is either fresh - making it a leftover - or canned - making it high in sodium.

Because we only get a short window for lunch, we'll often go with high-sodium convenience foods. And let's not forget that lunch brought us the invention of Lunchables (for people who want to call highly preserved deli cuts and crackers a meal) and the oddness of crinkle cut carrots.

Those well-meaning women employed by the public school systems, the heavyset, hairn-netted, intimidating women? They were not Breakfast or Dinner Ladies. They were Lunch Ladies.

Of course, without Lunch Ladies, we'd be left with a serious whole in Children's publishing.

P.S. I have known some lovely, trim ladies who prepared and served lunch is schools. They just never worked at my schools.

P.S.S. It's entirely possible this blog is the product of late-night lunch-related panic. I really do hate lunch. Unless, of course, it's from Café Yumm.


  1. Lovley blog! I like lunch when I can make a really good salad or sandwich, or if there's really good soup around. Big if's. :)

  2. When Springfield schools started serving "healthy" food like (horrors!) whole wheat bread and (eek!) fresh vegetables with every meal, kids complained, parents complained, and the Register-Guard put an article in the paper about this awful food to which the children were subjected. Then they got over it and ate things like broccoli and beets. I'm just grossed out by the waste because they require you to get certain things like milk and won't keep the sauces off to the side of entrees, so kids (at least my kids) end up wasting a lot of food because they can't pick. Lunch ladies!


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