Thursday, December 5, 2013

School Lunch - Barb, 61

My mom worked, so we had to buy lunch.  She wasn’t going to pack lunches.  I was picky, and I always wanted to pack.  I had friends who packed, but we had to buy lunch.  They had chili con carne.  I’m not sure exactly what it was—probably tomato sauce, macaroni noodles, and hamburger.  I liked that.  I was hungry so I ate it.  After having it for all of those years, I ended up liking it.  We always had French bread with it—oblong and hard, even if it wasn’t crusty, and we put a slab of butter on it.  We paid about $0.35 for lunch.  It started at $0.30 in first grade and rose to $0.40 by the time I graduated.  There were a few times when we had a choice, but I can’t remember an example.  Once around Thanksgiving, they had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and they gave us just a teaspoon of cranberry sauce.  Once I asked if I could have more because I really liked cranberry sauce.  The lunch lady said, “Sure!  Most people don’t like it, so we only give a little.”  She gave me a big scoop—almost a quarter of a cup.  She asked if that was enough, but I didn’t want to be a big pig, so I said, “Just a little more.”  For me, buying was good because I got different kind of foods.  My mom worked, so she didn’t cook—and she didn’t like to cook!  So we didn’t have a big variety of foods at home.  Buying lunch expanded my food experiences, which was good because I was such a picky eater.  Lunch was a little bit looser in junior high.  We didn’t have to sit as a class.  We could sit anywhere we wanted.  In senior high, we would go through the line and you would often have a choice of the entrée or you could have a chef salad with a choice of fruit or dessert.  I often chose the chef salad.  You could have crackers with it or some olives.  I would often have an apple or something.  Then there was another choice.  We would go to the side where there was a kitchenette, and they would sell other things.  I would often get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple.  It didn’t cost as much as a full lunch, but it was enough.  Frequently, the boys would buy two full lunches and then two or three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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