Hi there. Sue here. I was one of the original lunch ladies back in the day, but stepped back when this blog rebooted. Given that Janet is off gallivanting this week, I'm taking the opportunity to fill her metaphorical thermos. And just what do I want to fill her thermos with? Conference food.
A conference I co-organized wrapped up late last week, and one great thing that came out of it was I discovered our campus food services mega-corp actually can make decent food when it wants to. Delegates were treated to a reception of oysters, fine cheeses, black olive tapenade, and vegetarian sushi. They dined on lobster rolls, roasted red pepper soup, and lamb lollipops. Breakfast comprised eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, AND french toast. Fresh fruit, cookies, and fancy squares were abundant at all the breaks. Burp.
On the final day of the conference everyone was sent off to the airport with a bagged lunch. 'What-ho,' I thought. 'A chance to get inspired for my return to the school-day routine.' It would seem, however, that the definition of bagged lunch comes with its own, time-honoured baggage. The contents, though abundant, were entirely predictable:
A turkey, ham or roasted veggie sandwich depending on dietary preference
A garden salad w/ French dressing
A fruit cup
A can of juice, and
A giant chocolate chip cookie (holy glucose spike, Batman)
Sure, it's a classic formula, but maybe it's classic for a reason. I may have been hoping for some clever twist on the everyday, but really, if a lunch can be nutritional, portable and have a bit of chocolate in it, isn't it hitting all the bases? The bread used for the sandwiches was a herb-foccacia inspired thing, only lighter, that appealed to my adult palate, although I am sure my 8-year-old daughter would reject it. A croissant sandwich would serve as a special treat to her instead, I'm sure.
The best part about the bagged lunch, though, was its size. I ate my fill on Friday and still managed to send my daughter to school with the apple and cookie today. She'll enjoy both more because they're "mommy's work food" than if they'd been kicking around the fridge in the first place. What's with that, eh? I brought home a raspberry coconut square on Thursday and you'd've thought I'd taken her out for High Tea at the Plaza. And that time I went to a conference in the States and brought home a snack-sized bag of mini-Oreos? She totally lost her shizz over that.
Ah, sigh. If only this Delegate could delegate the task of making lunch more often. Or better yet, if only someone would pack a lunch for me each day... Now that would indeed be lovely. I'd register for that in a heartbeat.