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What did you brown bag to school?

How many people still eat the kinds of sandwiches your Mom sent along with you to school.Back in the 40's, I used to really like tuna salad, liverwurst w/ketchup, sliced hardboiled egg w/mayo, and of course BP&J. I still make these once in awhile, but I also remember cream cheese and jelly,and cream cheese and olive.

Anyone else have long remembered favorites from those brown bag days?

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  1. Bologna, cheese and mayo. I cannot believe that I used to be given this combo that would be left in the locker half the day. No fridges for students back then, Never got sick though...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sean

      There are fridges in schools now ?!?

      1. re: LotusRapper

        Don't hold your breath for an answer. You're responding to a 3-1/2 year old post and Sean has not posted since last February. You'll get the hang of it. I did the same thing when I first started posting here. I got the proverbial rolled up newspaper slapped on my nose more than once. I am not using a rolled up newspaper here. Just a little help along the way.

        Welcome to Chowhound.

        I wish I had taken the time to choose an interesting user name such as yours. I'm stuck with my name and initial I guess.

    2. sliced tomato and hard cooked egg on toast or a hard roll ,still one of my favorites
      tomato or potato soup with 1 strip of bacon in a wide mouth thermos,perhaps one of the spouses current favorites

      1. All the cool kids used to bring Lunchables and Mondo to school. These, however, were not halal so my father would pack sandwiches of the Middle Eastern interpretation of bologna. This zabihah meat attempted to re-create the American experience for Muslim children, though it seems every detail was meant to attract attention to how different we were: from the inedible red plastic that ringed every slice of bologna to the greasy margarine on untoasted cold white bread that held our plastic-ringed Muslim meat in place.

        Trading time was a time of special self-consciousness. My father had never heard of sandwiches with mayo. My friends had never heard of sandwiches with margarine (or inedible plastic casing). So the various permutations of string cheese and crackers and ham would slide across the table between friends making connections as my oleowich and occasional sabzi marked me as foreign as an ululating widow.

        6 Replies
        1. re: JungMann


          jungmann, i really feel for your younger self. but your recollections are awfully funny! i hope you are writing / will someday write a memoir full of these anecdotes.

          1. re: cimui

            Well, I made my daughter a Lunch Room Outcast by serving up the only "health food" in our tiny, rural Iowa town: I blithely sent her to school with sandwiches on home made whole wheat bread...organic blue corn chips...fruit leathers made without sulfites (and thus all brown, whatever the flavor)...cloudy, natural apple juice, etc.

            For Party Day, I happily and cluelessly baked dozens of from scratch apple spice muffins with whole wheat pastry flour and cream cheese frosting. When I came to pick up my little girl at the end of the Half Day (this was kindergarden), there sat nearly ALL my sad, brown muffins...amidst the battered remnants of Day Glo hydrogenated, bleached, artifically colored crap from the local grocery store. :-(

            I was a new mother. I did NOT understand. ;-) She forgives me, though.

            1. re: Beckyleach

              I don't know where you live, but in my locale (Shenandoah Valley), parents are forbidden to send any homebaked goods to the school (not for a personal lunch of course, but for "parties" for the class.) If a snack is to be provided it HAS to be wrapped in cellophane, thus...store bought.

              1. re: cuccubear

                Brother bear, that is so sad. My mom always made cupcakes back in the day.

                I do remember, and this is equally a bummer, someone's mom bought those hand-frosted/decorated fancy cookies--one for each kid in the class. And each cookie had a little ingredients label on it. Well, one of my brighter classmates in elementary school said, "Euuuw! Soda?!!!" when that was one of the ingredients...and we all had to write apology letters to Kelly's mom. That had to be maybe 3rd or 4th grade and I still remember it vividly. That and the fact my friend Shellane ate egg salad sammiches and Funyuns about EVERY DAY! HA HA HA!

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  My Mother always made cupcakes too. I don't know when this new rule started, I guess it because of some liability issue, I don't know. All I do know is that it's a shame!

                  Egg salad and Funyuns...bet no one wanted to be her study partner!

                  1. re: cuccubear

                    Good question--you may be right on liability. I was thinking 'cause so many kids are allergic to peanuts...who knows? Just makes me truly extra grateful we grew up when we did.

                    Yeah, no kidding re that lunch combo, can you just imagine?!!!! HA HA!

        2. Back then we didn't have luncheables or anything close. My favorite was peanut butter and raisins (they stick in the pb really well lol!!!) on white bread.

          1. I was in elementary school during the 1970's and have never enjoyed premade sandwiches. My standard lunch was four peanut butter (Jif Smoooth) crackers (saltines or Ritz), a bag of chips from the Lays variety pack, a hostess product, and fruit of some kind...usually apple or banana, grapes when Mom was feeling generous.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              My standard back in the elementary days was bologna, cheese, and miracle whip. Yes I said it, Miracle Whip. At lunch time, regular or barbecue lays were added to the sandwich.

              1. re: jacobp

                Me too - the EXACT same sandwich (less the chips)! Mine was made using Wonder Bread that had been "Slice-a-Sliced" in half...

                Miracle Whip and cheese, slice egg and Miracle Whip, cucumbers/onions/Miracle Whip, tuna salad (made with Miracle Whip)...sensing a trend here?

                Also, I have to confess, peanut butter/American cheese/Miracle Whip (what WAS my mother thinking?)

            2. My favorite was Sicilian salami on a sesame seeded roll, with a Pepsi and a bag of Dipsey Doodles.

              Boy those were the days!

              1. Ontario in the 60's and 70's:
                Peanut butter and banana.
                PB&J, usually raspberry.
                Egg salad with my mother's salad dressing (made from condensed milk, cider vinegar, and eggs).
                Canned salmon (always knew when salmon was in the offing since our dog got the tin with the oil, bones, and skin and chased it around the kitchen with his nose bang bang bang first thing in the am).
                Bologna 1 or maybe 2 slices.
                Sliced ham ditto.
                Sliced homecooked roast turkey or chicken when available.
                Absolute favorite: homecooked cold roast pork with lots of S&P.
                All with a smallish to moderate amount of filling (I still don't like the jawbreaker type of sandwich you get here).
                All on sandwich white or sometimes brown bread, all with butter, even the PB ones. I never heard of mayonnaise on sandwiches until I came to the States.
                No refrigeration and never got sick from any of these.

                1. Hmmm, I recall I started to bring my lunch around the 5th or 6th grade, usually a ham sandwich with mayo, sometimes an American cheese sandwich with mayo. My father loved olive loaf, so sometimes I would get that by default, but was never a fan.

                  1. i remember PB&J, to which I added potato chips when i could get them. We also got bologna and miracle whip. all sammies were on roman meal bread, mom rarely bought what we called the "good" white bread. ;-) I think we got soup sometimes, oh and zuchinni bread with cream cheese when she had some made. YUM.

                    1. i occasionally took a thermos of soup, but it was more typically a sandwich. the favorites:
                      - tuna salad
                      - cream cheese & jelly
                      - leftover roast chicken or turkey with mayo & tomato

                      this was only in elementary school - once we got to junior high (6th grade) we bought our lunch in the cafeteria...and in high school, we usually left campus to buy bagels or sandwiches somewhere in town. of course, there were days when i just grabbed a Yoo-Hoo along with a Chipwich or a bag of Linden's Chocolate Chip Cookies and called it a meal ;)

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Oh my Gosh - I forgot all about cream cheese and jelly!!

                        We didn't grow up with that particular combo at all, and I remember being shocked when my classmates would have CC & J sandwiches- it looked really disgusting to me!
                        I haven't seen or thought about it since.
                        Now that I'm older - and my palate has "matured" (ha ha!) - I would really like to try it!

                        1. re: NellyNel

                          it was always Temp Tee whipped cream cheese with Smucker's grape jelly, and it was particularly good on matzo during Passover :)

                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Yeah, in high school my lunches were the chocolate eclairs brought in from the local bakery, potato chips or little debbie swiss cake rolls.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            That's right...cream cheese & jelly was a big one. I also got pimento spread sandwiches sometimes. I can also remember getting fruit rolls for dessert - the old-fashioned kind...longer than the current ones, leatherier and the plastic was crinklier.

                          2. Hmmm good one...

                            My favorite was fried bologna sandwich ...Also had the "Leftover Lunch" what ever left over was in the fridge...mom's leftover meatloaf as a sandwhich was great.

                            Sometimes didn't have time to make lunch and it was just grab a few things out of the garden on the way to the bus stop and I always asked the lunch lady to cut them up for me...had a lot of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with a side of cantalope...there was always enough to share with her too...she knew if she cut them up for me she would get the leftovers.

                            1. I never brought food from home, but purchased a hot lunch in the H.S .cafeteria back in the early 60s. However, one of my classmates always brought her lunch from home and we made a deal: any time her Italian-born mother made her a sandwich of thick-sliced, homemade white bread and air-dried beef, spread with mayo, she got my lunch money and I got her brown bag. There were usually a couple of pieces of biscotti in there, too, which I saved for the trip home after school. At the time, I didn't know what it was called, but I knew I loved it. You can't imagine how exotic such food was to this 2nd generation Jewish American kid in a western PA hicktown.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Deenso

                                Which was your hicktown? Mine was Washington.

                              2. i got a lot of 'weird' food that i used to be so embarrassed of b/c no one wanted to trade me pudding cups or fruit roll ups for anything. nowadays, i'm really deeply fond of many of these and am so grateful to my mom for trying to feed us properly. typical lunch boxes might include:

                                1. omusubi rice ball wrapped in nori, sometimes with scary things poking out of it like leftover sauteed shrimp or pork sung
                                2. homemade bread with mayonnaise and pork sung sandwiches
                                3. "hamburger"... a patty made out of ground pork and chives, only sometimes served in a bun
                                4. "pizza"... bread + a slice of American cheese + sliced pepperoni. cold.
                                5. futomaki... that really freaked some of those Kentucky farm-raised kids out! =)
                                6. mom's homemade carrot 'cake' sweetened with about 1/2 a tsp. of honey
                                7. soup... which i loved, but mom made me take it to school in one of those ginormous, dorky high tech thermoses with that fragile glass bulb inside for insulation... i broke one every other week or so.
                                8. whole wheat crackers with cheddar cheese, my mom's interpretation of the Lunchable(TM)
                                9. roasted pork buns... mom made amazing ones. but in elementary school, i just wanted a bologna sandwich like everyone else. ;)

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: cimui

                                  Your update brought a smile to my face. I was also subjected to fobby pizza, except my father made ours on pita bread with tomato paste, a slice of American cheese and chopped hot dogs. Cold (both he and his pizza). Try trading that for a Lunchable. Try trading that for ANYTHING else!

                                  In high school my mother started making our lunches; by then I was old enough to appreciate homecooking, but not yet mature enough to be immune to teasing. So when I pulled out containers of pasta made with ketchup-spiked Prego, American cheese and sliced hot dogs, a concoction my lunchtable mocked in less PC terms as "Sons of the Soil" Spaghetti, I would still turn red. Red as ketchup on Prego.

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    Ooh, that pita was so close. If only it'd been subject to a little bit of toasting... He actually added tomato substance, too, and no can! Impressive attention to detail. ;)

                                    So funny how the kids I grew up with never used that term "sons of the soil" -- I actually had to look it up since I had no idea what it meant. I think we all kind of just were (well, sons and daughters), and were so thoroughly that we didn't even think about it. Pass the corn pone, please!


                                    Oh, I should mention: Hong Kong style cafes serve ketchup and hotdog enhanced spaghetti to some very appreciative audiences in Shanghai, HK and NYC (with or without American cheese). So Mom was definitely onto something, there! You should take her to one if she ever visits you in NYC, for old time's sake. =)

                                    1. re: cimui

                                      My friends were never tactful enough to opt for "Sons of the Soil;" they always opted for the more offensive term I didn't want to type out here. Plus I am loathe to turn up an opportunity to use alliteration or reference "The Simpsons."

                                      I have seen some interesting pastas in HK style cafes now that you mentioned it! But if you want the real deal in Son of the Soil Spaghetti, you need to get out to Queens because Jollibee serves a close approximation of my mother's favorite way to embarrass her son.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        "The spaghettiest!"

                                        Gotta love it. =P

                                  2. re: cimui

                                    My parents also made me "pizza" for lunch sometimes after watching some Chinese cooking show...baguette sliced in half lengthwise and topped with shredded cheese and meat. I was embarressed to pull it out of my lunch bag!! I was so mortified that sometimes, I would go without eating it, telling friends that I only packed fruit for lunch. What I would give now for my parents to pack me that lunch again!

                                    Other things I had:
                                    -a thermos of rice with last night's leftovers (my favourite was black bean short ribs, sweet and sour pork and steamed egg omelette)
                                    -chicken nuggets
                                    -sandwiches (mostly Vietnamese pork with two dashes of soy sauce and lettuce or fried egg but if I got a bologna sandwich, I would squish down the bread as flat as possible- it seemed tastier that way)
                                    -homemade sushi (I used to be envious of people who would get supermarket sushi, but now I know that I was lucky!)
                                    -Premium Plus crackers with slices of cheese and bologna
                                    -a nice big green salad with tuna, with enough room in the container for shaking the dressing in!

                                    Snacks were mostly homemade treats or granola bars. Also, my mom did not sign me up for the greasy pizza days. Although I was not happy with that decision as a child, today I thank her for it. Funny how you look at things differently as you age, eh?

                                    1. re: pinkprimp

                                      Ah, one of the fortunate kids who got bologna. I've got no sympathy for you. ;P And your Vietnamese pork sammies sound pretty darn good!

                                      We may just need a separate thread on all the wanky ways in which our well-intentioned parents tried to make us pizza. These are great stories -- and there are an astonishing number of variations... kind of amazing!

                                      BTW, don't they now market your parents' baguette pizzas to the frozen TV dinner-eating populace?

                                      1. re: cimui

                                        Hah! I had to *beg* for bologna. My mom thought it was sooo suspect, lol! I was also one of those kids that had never tried a cream cheese bagel until I went camping when I was 8 yo- it was only after that I would ask my mom to buy me these things.

                                        Hey, I'd trade you the pork sandwich for some homemade carrot cake!

                                        My sister actually succeeded at convincing my mom that she *HAD* to have Lunchables. I think my mom only gave in because my sister had a few allergies and thus was a picky eater as a child. (I am happy to report that she is now a very adventurous eater!)

                                        1. re: pinkprimp

                                          >>Hey, I'd trade you the pork sandwich for some homemade carrot cake!

                                          Man, anytime! Gotta warn you though: She made it (still makes it) with hardly any sweetener, so it's more like a bread than a cake. The only kid I was ever able to push it on was my buddy Kristin, the child of hippie parents who fed her even worse things. ;)

                                    2. re: cimui

                                      Oh how funny! I was lucky enough to get bologna and fried egg sandwiches (my favorite as a child), but did indeed have my share of the "weird lunches." There weren't too many Asians or Asian-Americans in my elementary school. So I got a lot of "Ewwwws." I think the thing that elicited the most response was jia jiang myun (Korean-Chinese dish consisting of noodles in a fermented black bean sauce). The kids got really grossed out when they saw the squiggly looking black noodles in my thermos. Thank goodness my mom didn't pack kimchi for me! I think that would have guaranteed me eating lunch alone for all of my elementary years.

                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        Haha that reminded me of this guy in my class who unforunately got chive dumplings and kimchi for lunch at least twice a week. We had to stay in our classroom seats for lunch, so you can only imagine how popular he was with his seat mates...

                                        1. re: pinkprimp

                                          The funny thing is that these days, I'd be sidling up to both your classmate and Miss N., attempting to trade in my carrot 'cake'. ;)

                                          1. re: cimui

                                            Perhaps this meal could only be perfected by a thermos full of durian shake?! ;-D

                                            (I could totally go for one of those right now...or perhaps mangosteen!)

                                    3. I thought cream cheese and chopped black olives was just some weird thing my Mom made up! Not really a favorite, despite my usual love of olives. I do remember my friends being grossed out by my blue cheese sandwiches, but I liked them. Also liverwurst, olive loaf. My least favorite was probably leftover meatloaf and dill pickle sandwich, mostly because I found the ketchup-soaked bread to be disturbing on some level.

                                      1. Underwood Deviled Ham with mayo on sourdough bread. I just figured out what I'm having for dinnner tonight. Yum.

                                        1. Throughout the 50s and 60s the school lunch program in Fresno served really good and hearty and well prepared food. Somewhere around the fifth grade or so, however, I asked my mom to pack me a lunch box: bologna sandwiches, fruit, a big dill pickle, homemade cookies, and a thermos of milk. Part of my request was because I like(d) dill pickles. After quite a while (couple of months?) I couldn't take the daily dill pickle but didn't want to tell mom and hurt her feelings. So I went back to the school liunch program.

                                          1. I always envied the kids who got to bring their lunch, often in a special 1970's era lunch box like "The Partridge Family" or "The 6 Million Dollar Man". The school lunches were still at that time Filling, hot and for the most part good to eat, so my mother trusted the local lunch ladies to provide a healthy meal for us.
                                            Once or twice a year she'd let us take our lunches, so we were able to select the contents. I generally went with chopped ham loaf on white with Miracle Whip and American cheese, a bag of Fritos and a pack of Twinkies or even better, Hostess Sno-Balls.
                                            My daughters prefer I pack them a lunch, because they get chef salads, roll-up sandwiches or their choice of meats on a variety of specialty breads, crackers and cheese (import or domestic, just as long as it's exotic), whole dill pickles, homemade brownies or cookies, and a beverage. I always pack too much, because I know they'll end up sharing half of it.

                                            19 Replies
                                            1. re: podunkboy

                                              podunkboy, how did I forget dessert? I got hung up on your lunch box mentions. ;)
                                              Remember Big Chief Big Wheel and Twinkie the Kid? I loved Big Wheels. And Sno-balls were great, too. Remember on St. Patrick's Day they'd be green instead of pink?
                                              And in the Drake's world, there were Ring Dings. And whoever made Ding Dongs--whose messed up idea was it to name a snack such as this?!

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                we were an equal-opportunity snack cake household - Drake's, Hostess, Tastykake. it's all good.

                                                ahh, Twinkies, Coffee Cake, Devil Dogs, Yodels, Ring Dings, Krimpets...those were the days ;)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  your mom is jfood's hero.

                                                  Then they came out with mini versions of coffee cake, yodels and ring dings. to save money that was now the dessert adder for jfood. a two bite yodel was a tease not a treat.

                                                  the rich kids brought a package of snowballs and there was always an argument over which color was better. Jfood finally made it to the big leagues when the football coaches sent him to the chinese restaurant for their lunch. His reward? $0.12 for the three pack of those fantatstic double chocolate tastykake cupcakes that stuck to the roof of his mouth. Touchdown and extra point.

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    i'll tell mom, she'll be so proud. jfood, i would have shared my treats with you. well, the ones that came 2 to a package anyway ;)

                                                    ick, Sno Balls were my childhood kryptonite because of the coconut. those, Girl Scout Samoas, Mounds & Almond Joy could make me gag at the mere sight of the wrapper or package.

                                                    all this talk about childhood junk food plus your "big leagues" comment now has me thinking about those pouches of Big League Chew...another treat!

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      My dessert was the hostess cupcakes, the chocolate ones with the chocolate icing with the white icing swirl across the top. The inside had a creamy filling. I see them in the store and I have to fight the urge to buy a box, mostly because i fear I would eat the entire box that night.

                                                      1. re: roro1831

                                                        the problem with those Hostess cupcakes was that the cake part wasn't good! i would peel off that solid layer of icing on top (had to be in one piece!), separate the white icing squiggle from the brown/chocolate icing base, break open the cupcake, scoop the creme filling out of the center, and toss the cupcake. then i'd flip over the large icing piece, spread the creme on it, top it with the squiggle, and nibble my way through it!

                                                        i was an anal-retentive perfectionistic control freak even back then ;)

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          I would take the icing off as well, that was half the fun of eating it

                                                        2. re: roro1831

                                                          I got those, too. I don't think my dad realized how bad they were for me. He probably never ate one. They didn't exactly go with the egg salad or peanut butter and honey sandwiches on homemade brown bread. The bread had to be cut into thick slices or else it fell apart and the honey soaked in and got crunchy. Bleh. I also got little cans of Tree Top apple juice (pre-juice box?) and tiny boxes of raisins.

                                                          Oh, I just remembered there was an orange version of those hostess cupcakes, too.

                                                          1. re: Glencora

                                                            gack! reading that seriously almost just made me hurl. those orange cupcakes were VILE.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              OK rewind.

                                                              There were two cupcakes de jour.

                                                              The Hostess came in a 2-pack with the squiggle white line and then Tastykate had a 3-pack. The icing was lighter in color and the cake was dark and harder.

                                                              It is the Tastykate Variety jfood refers to.

                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                poor jfood. i *adored* Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets and PB Kandy Kakes, but their cupcakes weren't very good at all. *however,* i'd take those over the orange Hostess any day!

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  Until last night when jfood went to the Tastykake site he had forgotten all about the Krimpets. Jfood's older brother (7 years) received the krimpets and jfood the cupcakes. Once jfood grabbed a krimpet and his brother beat the crap out of him. When brother went to college jfood finally was able to buy and eat the krimpets.

                                                            2. re: Glencora

                                                              I'd forgotten about those little boxes of raisins....sometimes they were the "fruit" portion of my lunch.

                                                            3. re: roro1831


                                                              not to worry, they are not nearly as good now as then. keep the memory.

                                                    2. re: podunkboy

                                                      Oh yeah - I had forgotten about the cool lunch boxes! We always (on the rare times we had lunch brought from home) paper bags.

                                                      1. re: podunkboy

                                                        I wanna say sometimes "cup o'soup" came to school with me in the thermos.

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                          Are you sure you didn't live in my house??? I forgot about the cup-o-soup - Lipton's chicken noodle - once in a while found it's way in to my "Flipper" thermos. And, Chief Big Wheel!, wrapped in foil I do believe. (The Flipper lunchbox and Thermos were hand-me-downs from by brother and sister.)

                                                          1. re: cuccubear

                                                            I knew we were related a long time ago, brother bear. ;) Oooooh, Flipper! And Big Chief Big Wheel, yes indeedy--Twinkie the Kid, too. All this talk makes me way nostalgic for some nasty Hostess treats!!! What was the pie character guy, too, he was some sort of magician???

                                                            EDIT: Yes, and big wheels were wrapped in foil for sure. How messed up is this? I used to wish I had braces (silly girl!) and would make pretend braces out of the foil. Now I am a 41-y.o. adult with real braces I cannot wait to get OUTTA MY MOUTH!!! Go figure. ;)

                                                      2. Inner city NJ in the 60s.

                                                        There was a round bread like wonder bread ($0.19) and jfoods mom placed either some tuna with hellmans or jif smooth and grape jelly. He also ate a scooter pie every day as the snack. Milk was served to him since Tuscan was in the next town.

                                                        15 Replies
                                                          1. re: salsailsa

                                                            a great pocket snack sledding and skiing
                                                            the ones I remember ,were individually wrapped
                                                            sandwich cookie with marshmellow,chocolate,softish cookie,not quite a graham cracker about 5" in diameter
                                                            very old memory here

                                                              1. re: lcool

                                                                how could i forget Scooter Pies? i *loved* those!

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  They must have been cheap because my frugal mom packed a scooter pie every lunch for 6 years.

                                                              2. re: salsailsa

                                                                hopefully the picture upload worked.

                                                                jfood's favorite was banana.

                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                  Sounds kind of like a "wagon wheel."- Wagon wheel is probably the Cdn version. I hated when those things got crushed!

                                                                  1. re: salsailsa

                                                                    have had wagon wheels,scooter pies and ?? the original moon pie in the really big box
                                                                    Scooter pies really stood out,as jfood mentions there were flavors,4 or5 .They weren't just sweet,cheap with nasty after taste.
                                                                    Another great commercial cookie memory I have is the original Nabisco CHOCOLATE COVERED CINNAMON GRAHAM CRACKERS
                                                                    They didn't make it into the house or my lunch,but they were allowed with friends and when out

                                                                    1. re: lcool

                                                                      I had a real moon pie at an NRBQ concert (as in "RC Cola and a Moon Pie"). I like the song much better than the snack, but it was interesting to taste one after singing the song for so long. ;)

                                                                    2. re: salsailsa

                                                                      Me, too! I hated them uncrushed as well...Sigh...

                                                                    3. re: salsailsa

                                                                      You can still find them(Scooter Pies) and little Debbie's makes one(called marshmalllow pies I think) too not as good as Murry's but not too bad. Try them. Two graham like round cookies with marshamallow in between dipped in chocolate.

                                                                      1. re: Sherri K

                                                                        Little Debbie Marshmallow Pies are a poor imitation of Scooter Pies (but i did like the Oatmeal Creme Pies).

                                                                        and don't even get me started on how much better Mallomars were than Pinwheels!

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          Major debate at casa jfood growing up...mallomars vs. pinwheels.

                                                                          Jfood did the appropriate thing and took it under advisement and to this day 40+ years later he still performs his annual testing and it is still under advisement.

                                                                          The problem with mallomars is the length of season (although Costco just started selling them) and the problem with pinwheels is that many times the chocolate cracked and the marshmallow became hard. The big selling point in the pinwheel was the chocolate "inny belly button" which was a nice big circle of chocolate from the middle. You placed your pinky in the hole and ate around the circumference, then what was left if the chocolate "inny belly button" ...yummmy

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            the limited availability of Mallomars made them even more desirable :)

                                                                            you're right, on the rare occasion that i did eat a Pinwheel, that chocolate "belly button" was the best part. as a rule, the marshmallow was too stiff & dry, and the cookie wasn't nearly as good at the Mallomar cookie (plus it was thinner).

                                                                            i had a VERY specific process for eating Mallomars, which required the separation of the marshmallow from the cookie base, and both components had to be intact once the separation was complete. Pinwheel components rarely stayed together - the chocolate covering on the marshmallow flaked too easily so you lost some of it, and the cookie often cracked or broke.

                                                                  2. I was an elementary school student in the 70s, too.
                                                                    My 1st lunchbox was yellow and shaped like Snoopy's doghouse, "Go to school with Snoopy. Have lunch with Snoopy."
                                                                    Milk was 5 cents when I started, 6 cents the following year.
                                                                    Hot lunch was 50 cents, then 55.
                                                                    My mom used to pack me Mother Goose liverwurst sandwiches with French's mustard on slice-a-slice bread. Another favorite was when mom or Nanny had made banana bread, so I'd have banana bread "sandwiches" filled with cream cheese. And, yes, no refrigeration here either and we all seem to have turned out just fine! ;)

                                                                    I distinctly remember one of my "tablemates" would always bring Funyuns with her lunch.

                                                                    1. My Dad packed my lunches for me and he would put in Vienna Sausages and crackers and a bottle of hot sauce. Also canned Deviled Ham that I would open and put on the bread. I really remember the Vienna Sausages though because the other kids would make so much fun of them.

                                                                      1. Meatloaf sandwich. When we were out of everything else an egg sandwich with mayonnaise on Mrs. Baird's bread.

                                                                        1. 80's school kid in Nairobi - sandwiches were a rarity amongst the lunches brought to school, and we would all generally have a pcinic with our particular group of friends with tins and containers placed in the middle of the picnic table or the grass in teh school grounds. Alot of evening leftovers were brought, and shared amongst the group (8-10 of us)

                                                                          - Pizza
                                                                          - Mexican rice
                                                                          - a whole load of Indian fried snacks - bhajia, vada, samosa, kachori etc
                                                                          - toasted sandwiches fille dwith spiced potato pea mix (cooked on one of those long handled sw toasters that you hold over a gas flame)
                                                                          - garlic bread
                                                                          - handvo (spiced baked cake made with semolina and lentils)


                                                                          First school had a hot lunch that was so bad I can't yet face shepherds pie, beef stew or rhubarb crumble

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: waytob

                                                                            I love that you were able to have potluck picnics in elementary school. Having 8-10 different things to nibble for lunch must've been pretty cool!

                                                                            Also, I looked up handvo, since I'd never heard of it, and it sounds / looks amazing. Does this recipe look about right? (It doesn't use semolina.)


                                                                            Do you generally use a premixed handvo flour or mix your own? The version in this recipe sounds a bit like the kind of batter you'd make for dosa, 'cept with a mix of lentils.

                                                                            1. re: cimui

                                                                              Recipe looks about right, we don't use coconut and add plenty of gourd to 'veg' it up, so mine turns out greener in colour. Generally I make my own mix, and leave it soaking overnight. I bake it in quite a deep pan so I get a thick soft cake with a very crunchy topping, but different people vary their thickness. And this is definitely one of the healthier Indian snacks as there's no deep frying involved. The taste is very different from dhosa.

                                                                              Will try uploads pics next time I make it

                                                                              1. re: waytob

                                                                                This sounds really delicious to me. I think I'm going to have to attempt it.

                                                                                Thanks so much for the info!

                                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                                  Also, for a lighter cake i add some soda water along with the soda bicar - helps with the fluffiness and rising of the batter

                                                                          2. My daily 1950s school lunch in Brooklyn was either PB&J (much preferred) or bologna on white bread that was spread with butter or margarine...eeewwwww, just ghastly. To this day, just thinking of bologna and butter together makes me heave. Horrible, horrible stuff. For that metter, I never really liked bologna in any preparation, and haven't eaten any since I left home for college more than 40 years ago.

                                                                            1. Sandwiches: Bologna & cheese. Liverwurst & cheese (somehow, no one died because I had such a sandwich waiting at room temperature for a few hours before eating it). Cheese.

                                                                              With crusts. I never understood why people would willingly forego the best part of bread, and my mother would have thought we were switched by gypsies if we even dared to suggest going crustless.

                                                                              1. 1970's/80's - school - more often than not, a turkey sandwich

                                                                                2009 - work - more often than not, a turkey sandwich


                                                                                1. Pepperoni sandwich on whole wheat with mustard.

                                                                                  1. PB+J, with chips and a pickle, or
                                                                                    Velveeta on Triscuits, or
                                                                                    Cream cheese and jelly, or
                                                                                    Braunschweiger sandwich, or
                                                                                    Tuna salad,
                                                                                    all with fruit – apple, banana, peach...whatever.

                                                                                    Those were the regulars. I guess once in awhile I’d get a fried chicken leg.

                                                                                    Nothing was in tupperware. Sandwiches wrapped in wax paper (just like I still do today), chips in a plastic bag as well as the pickle. When I was done, throw the remains away and take the bag home for tomorrow’s lunch.

                                                                                    1. I brown bagged from grades 3 - 13 b/c my schools were so far from home. I've probably eaten every combination of sandwich/leftover/random foods there is over those 10 years. I do remember that my standard high school lunch would usually be a sandwich, 2 peach or pear nectar bottles/juice boxes, a yogurt, and literally 5 - 10 pieces of fruit that I would snack on during the whole day [seriously, I could have made a Carmen Miranda hat], supplemented by a large chocolate milk from the cafeteria. I find it ironic that I ate healthier as a teen than I do now...

                                                                                      1. Wow! You've set off the nostalgia train for sure! I didn't have to bring lunch until Jr. High but it was pretty much your standards: PBJ, crream cheese and jelly, liverwurst, ham, all on white bread, and unfailingly accompanied by Hostess Twinkies or Ding-Dongs. And yet, we made it out alive!

                                                                                        1. I took my lunch to school from kindergarten to grade 6, in Ontario in the 80's. In grade 7 we moved and for two glorious years I lived close enough to school to come home for lunch. I hated taking lunch, but we didn't have a cafeteria. I did buy milk, but that's the only thing the school sold except for the odd hot dog day.

                                                                                          80% of the time I'd bring a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Sometimes pb and banana or pb and cherry jam (never strawberry or raspberry; I didn't like the seeds).

                                                                                          Other days I'd take Zoodles in a thermos (sort of like spaghetti-os I would imagine, though I've never had spaghetti-os) or mom's homemade macaroni and cheese.

                                                                                          Snacks were sliced apples or grapes and I'd always have dessert: homemade cookies or brownies, or sometimes Dare Fudge cookies or fudgee-os. It was a lucky day if mom packed a Jos Louis.

                                                                                          1. Cream cheese and jelly on wheat, never white for me. I hated it
                                                                                            PB& banana
                                                                                            My mom would give me fresh cut up steak from the night before with mustard and lettuce.
                                                                                            I loved lettuce
                                                                                            Bacon, lettuce and miracle whip, mayo sitting out I don't agree with but she gave me a
                                                                                            small ice pack
                                                                                            No bologne, can't stand that either
                                                                                            Ham, cheese or roast beef and cheese
                                                                                            Tuna and ham salads my mom made an awesome roast beef salad too
                                                                                            Fresh fruit and jello cups.
                                                                                            Pimento cheese
                                                                                            Meatloaf which I still love

                                                                                            1. My friends teased me because I had the EXACT same thing every day for four years:
                                                                                              -peanut butter and jam on multigrain bread
                                                                                              -an apple, cut in five pieces
                                                                                              -two slices of cheddar cheese
                                                                                              -a yogurt
                                                                                              -one cookie (oreo or fudgee-o)
                                                                                              -a juice box or V8 can

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: alixium

                                                                                                In late elementary to mid junior high (same grades in one school) I walked to Grandmas for lunch. 1/2 mi away. She made me grilled peanut butter on whole wheat with crusts cut off, mac and cheese just a small cup, kraft only and 1 apple cut up I use to add myself to the peanut butter sandwich, ice tea and she always gave me a cookie or brownie to take back. I walked home from school 1 1/2 miles so I always ate it on the way home.

                                                                                                I did that for 2 years straight every day of school

                                                                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                  Wow that reminds me of what my grandmother used to serve me for lunch (not on school-days, but whenever I was at her house)
                                                                                                  She had a really old cast iron gadget that she would put a slice of white bread on one side, then put loads of mozzerella on it, then another slice of bread. She'd close it and put it right over the gas burner on the stove. The result was a sandwich shaped exactly like a flying saucer! With tons of gooey cheese inside!
                                                                                                  Absolutely incredible! I'd kill for it right now. I'm pretty sure my brother inherited it
                                                                                                  This was not like a panini maker because the sandwiches weer the opposite of "squished" - there was about 2 inches between the fused bread slices. Think: flying saucer. We also used provolone and dried sausage - yummm

                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                    How cool was your grandmother to grill you a flying saucer (sounds great)?! And I thought *my* Nanny was so hip because she put M&Ms in her oatmeal cookies. I still like to think she was a very wise lady. ;)

                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                      Grandma used to cute rounds, the crust off, stars, anything. It was the best. Every day I walked and she always had lunch. She was amazing. She passed on Mothers day when I was 14.. Many good lunches that is for sure. The last year before she died (cancer) I made her the same lunch she made me for those couple of years. It was a lot of fun. Good memories

                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                        My God! It's a Toasty-Pie (also called Toast-Tites). They made the greatest sandwiches. You could put fruit inside the buttered bread too. I still have a Toasty-Pie iron in my pantry...my treasures.

                                                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                          We still have that gadget and use it to date. Call them 'chamcha' sandwiches because they're cooked in a spoon supposedly. Gives a crust and sandwich thickness that can never be achieved by a sandwich maker.
                                                                                                          Our filling was always a spicy pea and potato mix, similar to a vegetable samosa filling, and we eat them with a fersh green coriander and chill chutney

                                                                                                    2. I had to buy school lunch for most of my education, but on the days we had field trips I was in heaven because I knew it meant my parents would go to hoagie's corner and get me a roast beef hoagie with everything, a bag of doritos and a koala springs fruity carbonated drink. I've tried to recreate the hoagie's corner sandwich, but have never been able to recreate that magical combination even when we ran a sandwich shop years later....

                                                                                                      1. Campbell's soup in my thermos
                                                                                                        Fluffernutter on white bread
                                                                                                        Cream cheese and jelly
                                                                                                        Ham and cheese

                                                                                                        My mom never got too original

                                                                                                        1. All my sandwiches were on "wheat" bread (puffy just like white bread, just used wheat flour), while most of the other kids were on white bread.

                                                                                                          peanutbutter and ham (got teased pretty bad about that at an adventist vegetarian school, as of the meats, pork is the "worst")
                                                                                                          peanutbutter and bologne
                                                                                                          peanutbutter and strwaberry jelly
                                                                                                          peanutbutter and honey
                                                                                                          peanutbutter and banana
                                                                                                          not a sandwich, but sometimes in leiu I'd get an apple with peanutbutter
                                                                                                          (can you tell I like peanutbutter?)
                                                                                                          turkey, mayo, cheese, mustard (dijon.... my mom spoiled me a bit there. well that and she was only going to buy one mustard, and that was the one SHE liked. hey worked well for me!)
                                                                                                          If mom was feeling especially nice towards me, she'd make a pizza sandwich. wheat bread, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni made on the sandwichmaker, like an oldschool hot pocket lol

                                                                                                          1. 1970's
                                                                                                            Mom's homemade lunch: PB and Fluff
                                                                                                            Dad's homemade lunch: PB, Banana's, chocolate syrup on white bread.
                                                                                                            We loved Dad's lunch

                                                                                                            1. I hated peanut butter and jelly.

                                                                                                              I recall having macaroni and cheese loaf sandwiches, ham and turkey.

                                                                                                              If I came home for lunch I'd have mushroom soup or sometimes Zoodles. I made the mistake of trying Zoodles in my 20's- god, I can't believe I ate that stuff.

                                                                                                              1. In the 60's for the early grade school years my lunch never seemed to measure up to the others . My mom did not know what mayo was, and coming from a war diet would not have conceived of margarine on a sandwich (not that she knew anything about sandwiches), so her attempts at them were on a sturdier bread than everyone else's Wonder bread, dry, with things like scrambled egg or my fave (which really got me dirty looks from the color and smell) mashed avocado and garlic powder. The sandwiches were one piece of bread cut in half (not on the diagonal), no chips or cookies and a piece of fruit. When thermoses became popular things got more interesting, but please someone else tell me they had days where you could not get your thermos open?!? She closed it when it was scalding hot and it must have vacuum sealed itself. I would know there was a nice soup in there, but I could not get it open!

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: torty

                                                                                                                  I always had that darned thermos problem too! Thankfully we had mothers on lunch patrol that were able to open them..or it was used as an excuse to walk over to the current boy crush to ask him for a favour ;-)

                                                                                                                  Your garlic powder bread reminds me of a girl who used to have a slice of wonderbread with butter and mashed garlic cloves at recess for a snack.

                                                                                                                2. Amazed at how many of you had lunches prepped by mom (or dad). I made my own lunch from 2nd grade until I started getting lunch at school (which we 7 Manzo kids got for free since our dad was under almost nonstop layoff at the Ford factory from around '76 until his retirment).

                                                                                                                  Lunches were strictly rationed: TWO slices of Carl Buddig corned beef on white or wheat- some of you might know Carl Buddig and those slices were as thin as tissue paper. A bag of something crunchy from the variety pack (usually cheetos or nacho-cheese doritos) and a Little Debbie snack cake since Hostess was too ritzy for white trash like us.

                                                                                                                  1. Mid-50s, Jewish family in San Francisco. Seldom white bread which my mother wouldn't allow in the house. Chopped olive sandwiches, liverwurst on corn rye, cream cheese and jelly on raisin bread, tuna salad and egg salad on sourdough. Once in a blue moon Mom would give in to our demands for pb&j on "goyishe white bread."

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. Ugh! One of my least favorites was when my mom packed hebrew national salami--sliced too thick--on white bread with mustard. The bread couldn't take the heft of the salami and would mush into a mustardy mess! She was also big on fluffernutter on white--off which I was a much bigger fan!

                                                                                                                      1. Liverwurst, beef tongue, bologna, or westfalian ham sandwiches on white bread. Little cubes of 'La vache qui rit' or Babybel cheese. Banana, sometimes cookies. And on some days (what glorlous days they were) there would be a Passion Flakie -- the snack cake to rule them all.

                                                                                                                        1. Mondays lunch was always meatballs from Sundays Gravy on thick sliced panella. The rest of the week would be other left overs like eggplant parm, meatloaf, veal cutlets. If there were no left overs, It would be salami. All sandwiches made with Italian bread and wrapped in aluminum foil. I grew up in an Italian section of Jersey.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                              In my neighborhood, the birds didn't even eat american bread

                                                                                                                              1. re: Nunzio

                                                                                                                                In my neighborhood Wonder Bread and cheap cold cuts were king....LOL

                                                                                                                          1. I had to suffer through several days of the same horrible cold cuts until they were used up, alternating between "spiced ham" (chopped cooked ham), olive loaf, turkey roll (this was a treat) and an occasional cooked ham sandwich. Always brown mustard, always on a Kaiser roll. Parents thought balogna was "junk" meat and that the mayo in tuna would turn to poison instantly the moment you left the house with it. PBJ was regarded in a similar way as eating candy for lunch. Go figure.

                                                                                                                            On Fridays, it was a scrambled egg sandwich, sometimes with green bell peppers and sometimes with potatoes. Thank goodness for meatless Fridays in the old days.

                                                                                                                            BTW, I have never eaten that awful spiced ham again, and have since upgraded to high end turkey breast and ham. I've probably had olive loaf only a few times in forty years. I still like egg sandwiches.

                                                                                                                            1. When I was in elementary school in Brooklyn, I walked home for lunch every day. Brown-bagging was a new thing for me in junior high, and in hindsight, some of the stuff my mom packed for me was really weird. Among the most "memorable" sandwiches was canned salmon that had been chopped up with nothing added to it, on white bread that had been spread with butter. BLECH!

                                                                                                                              1. Usually, unexceptionable stuff, like deli sandwiches, peanut butter and jam, and the like.

                                                                                                                                However, sometimes my mother's ingenuity went too far.

                                                                                                                                For Passover, when she didn't eat bread, neither should I. Sandwiches were some filling between two cold latkes. Yech!

                                                                                                                                She also got the strange idea that I liked cold fish sandwiches. Cold, sliced carp, not too successfully deboned. Fortunately, I had a friend, Alex Butkiewicz, from a Polish family, whjo actually seemed to like them. He ususally had sandwiches of some delightfully non-Kosher sausages, or ham and cheese, and was willing to swap his lunch for mine.

                                                                                                                                1. Coming from a Sicilian family who's mom and dad were the first born here and who's grandparents lived upstairs I can tell you I was one of the odd lunchers in my class. Italian bread with roasted peppers and egg during lent or broccoli and egg omelet (this could vary with different veggies-asparagus,escarole,eggplant, or onions-my kids love when I make it for them it's a good recipe to have when you only have eggs and frozen or fresh veggies in the house)and for Fridays and your basic Sicilian cold cuts and toppings on other days with dried cured Sicilian olives on the side. Winter a thermos(glass lined) of minestrone crusty Italian bread and Nana's cookies came with all the lunches. We didn't have American bread in the house until I was a teen can you believe that? I still feed my hubby and kids this and they LOVE it!

                                                                                                                                  1. I have come to the conclusion that some ethnos have more sandwichable leftovers than others.

                                                                                                                                    For example, char siu sandwiches (which we used to make for our kids, even though we're not Chinese) are good, but can't compare, IMHO, to Genoa salami (we're not Italian, either).

                                                                                                                                    1. At my small school, starting in 1959 and finishing at the same school in 1971 - we never brown-bagged. The cafeteria food was so good. Figure it was b/c the mothers were cooking it. And I don't remember anyone being especially picky about it, all thru' school.
                                                                                                                                      Life in a small town of 300 persons, I guess....I still remember that food!

                                                                                                                                      1. I had a bad experience with prunes and a mean lunch lady one day. They had a policy that you couldn't take your tray up if you didn't eat at least one bite of everything on your plate. I know this would NEVER pass mustard these days. That day they had prunes. I told the lunch lady I knew I didn't like them. She insisted I eat a bite. I sat for 10 minutes after lunch was dismissed with her insisting if she made me eat it I would throw up. That was an eternity for a 6-7 year old. Finally I ate a bite and threw up on the floor. I got up looked at the lady said I told you so now I am going to class and left her to call the janitor.

                                                                                                                                        I then went home to my tofu-healthy-on the board of education to reform school lunch mother and told her I wasn't eating hot lunch again. She told me as long as I packed my own lunch that was fine. The problem with that theory was that she never bought stuff to make a normal lunch so I brought cold spaghetti, brown rice with chicken and veggies, pepperoni cheese crackers and fruit, etc etc. The great thing was I had a friend who always had normal lunches and got jealous of my exotic treats. Her mother made her excellent things such as PB&J on cinammon swirl peppridge farm bread, greek salad and italian hams with provolone on a soft italian roll or classy bread. The thing is she made these a lot and my friend got bored so I would trade from time to time.

                                                                                                                                        Back then schools didn't have microwaves for kids to use so I ate things cold until one teacher let me use the microwave in the teachers lounge. Things greatly expanded then. Vegetarian lasagna, pasta carbonara, soup, vegetarian chili, etc... A lot of kids must have had things like this happen as now most places have microwaves.

                                                                                                                                        When my parents divorced my Dad made me sandwiches and we lived with an older sister of mine who packed the good mom lunches: sandwich, cookies, fruit, fruit roll-up, carrots, yogurt, etc.

                                                                                                                                        The bus driver often would honk the horn outside my house and wait a couple minutes as I grabbed a container of leftovers and ran for the bus.

                                                                                                                                        Now everyone wonders why I save every little scrap of leftovers... it's still lunch I still pack everyday!

                                                                                                                                        1. Just been discussing this with my sister to further jog memories. We had a couple of things that seem disgusting now, but used to be oh so good then
                                                                                                                                          - one one's - a mandazi (sweet deep fried donut flour like bread) stuffed with a hot beef samosa and smothered in chilli sauce
                                                                                                                                          - gatush - a plastic bag ful of hot chips fried in oil that hadn't been changed in forever - half the bag then filled with brown vinegar and then topped up with chilli sauce and kachumbari (tomato, onion and chilli salsa)

                                                                                                                                          I look at my 7 year old niece now and wonder - how different things have become. School is 2 minutes away from home, so her grandmother takes her lunch everyday at 12.30 - hot pasta, pizza, chapati and curry, fresh fruit etc.
                                                                                                                                          She takes 'break' with her for her 10.00 snack
                                                                                                                                          - Monday - chocolate peanut butter brownies (I was in a baking frenzy over the weekend, so had lots of goodies to pass on)
                                                                                                                                          - Tuesday - carrots sticks and roasted almonds
                                                                                                                                          - Wednesday - popcorn
                                                                                                                                          - Today - half a grilled cheese sandwich

                                                                                                                                          1. peanut butter and fluff. every day.

                                                                                                                                            1. Sandwiches were tuna salad, PB&J, cold meatloaf (which was a thick slice of meatloaf, butter, and mustard on whole wheat bread), or egg salad. Or cold leftover pizza, soup in thermos is I was lucky on a cold day.

                                                                                                                                              1. My mother packed our lunches every morning. Our lunch pail almost always had a thermos of hot soup. Sometimes a couple fo pieces of fried chicken, leftover roast beef sanwiches, and one that I craved was a meatloaf sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                My absolute favorite thing was a roll my mother made with beef and cabbage stuffed inside. They were heavenly. Still think about them to this day.

                                                                                                                                                We always had a piece of fruit and a bag of chips.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                  I can't believe I forgot to add the horror of the tuna fish sandwiches to this comment.

                                                                                                                                                  My mom would make us tuna fish sandwiches for school lunch. Not just tuna, but canned tuna in oil and smothered (and I mean driping wet) in mayo. Needless to say, we didn't have refrigersators at school, so by the time lunch came around the bag was soaked with grease and smelled to the high heavens. People three rooms away just knew there was tuna somewhere. The teasing we endured got worse as we got older, and by high school it was just too much for my brother to deal with, especially since the smell would linger in our lockers for days.

                                                                                                                                                  One day my brother had enough, and told our mother to never pack us tuna again. She was shocked that it could be so terrible, and my brother went outside grabbed his lunch sack and brought it in the house. She got the point immediately. There was no more tuna.

                                                                                                                                                2. At least for the early catholic school years, before I got to public jr. high (with a real cafeteria!), it was bologna on buttered white bread. Chased with a small carton of milk.

                                                                                                                                                  1. We regularly ate really healthy at my house, but for some reason as I reflect pack on what my parents used to pack me for lunch in the mid/late 1980s, I'm shocked.

                                                                                                                                                    I often had a pb&j sandwich, Better Made chips and a nutty bar or Little Debbie brownie. When lunchables came out I remember getting those in my brown bag; you were cool if you did.

                                                                                                                                                    In high school we had "open lunch" and ventured out to Taco Bell across the street, Hardees, Jet's Pizza or a bagel place. Later when we could drive Panera or Subway was one of our favorite. I remember loving the tuna sub at Subway--very un-Jared friendly!

                                                                                                                                                    1. In 5th grade (1976-7) we moved to a different town and had to stay at school during lunch. We ate PB & J most of the time. Occasionally baloney. We had a Charlie Brown Brown Bag Cookbook that suggested tuna salad w/pineapple - that was pretty good too. Until I was in 4th grade we all went home for lunch and then walked back to school . It was PB & J, my favorite, almost always. Sometimes open faced grilled cheese with a light spread of ketchup on the bread before my mom cooked it. Often eaten in front of an episode of "Buffy" otherwise know, I think, as "A Family Affair" (remember Ms. Beasley?)

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. Same thing, every day: Cheese sandwich on white bread with Miracle Whip, Fritos or Husman's potato chips individual bag, piece of fruit, some Hostess treat or other.

                                                                                                                                                        1. definitely cream cheese and olives )green) which i still occasionally whip up and serve stuffed in celery as a canape

                                                                                                                                                          1. I had on alternating days, Swanson's fried chicken wings, wrapped in aluminum foil, such that came lunch time, they were soggy, but I didn't care, and on the other days, bologna sandwiches with 2 slices of Oscar Meyer, on Wonder white with Kraft Sandwich Spread (not mayo). These were the only 2 lunch options I can remember. Oddly, I've grown up to crave them still!

                                                                                                                                                            1. When we got to brown bag (rarely more than once a week) it was usually tuna salad on home made white bread rolls w/ the treat of potato chips. I'd put the chips in the sandwich for that satisfying crunch.

                                                                                                                                                              If there was something on the school's lunch menu that I couldn't deal with, I'd wheedle mom into letting me pack my own lunch. Then it was usually a Miracle Whip and home made dill pickle sandwich sans chips as those NEVER lasted.

                                                                                                                                                              1. I usually ate the following:

                                                                                                                                                                vienna sausages
                                                                                                                                                                turkey breast, white bread, mustard, sprinkle of old bay
                                                                                                                                                                avocado on toasted white bread
                                                                                                                                                                rice with korean seaweed wrapped around it
                                                                                                                                                                dried squid and peanuts

                                                                                                                                                                Mom is Korean, so she always made sure to pack me some boring all american food and some crazy korean stuff (:

                                                                                                                                                                1. Am I the only one who made their own lunch? My mom never woke up in time to make my lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                  I remember making Campbells chicken noodle soup every day and putting it in a thermos. My mom would buy variety meat packs from Oscar Meyer and I made bologne or cotta salami, frito and mayo sandwiches on white bread. Sometimes pimento cheese sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                  I used to dream of having tang and these little chocolate sticks that looked like long tootsie rolls. It was the early 70's when kids like to eat what astronauts ate. Or so they marketed.

                                                                                                                                                                  Nobody ever wanted to trade with me or the girl whose mom made her giant sandwiches made from homemade bread. Lunch outcasts the two of us.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, Tang! Haven't had that in years. Do kids still drink that?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                      All four of us kids made our own lunches. Plus we had to MILK COWS BY HAND before/after school. I was in school in the late 70s-80s and our bus ride was 45 minutes long - we were the first ones on and the last ones off. My first lunch kit was an orange Barbie one. In high school it was plain yellow with a hole in one corner so Dad patched it with this weird blue gummy stuff. I remember how embarassed I was about that!

                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, did anyone else have to suffer through cinnamon spread sandwiches? Someimes that cheap bologna, too. But at least we had it on homemade bread. We also had grape Tang. We had wagon wheels (or Square Boys YUCK) and Mom's glazed orange coconut buns and fruit. Oh, and thick caramel spread. Anyone else know what I mean about cinnamon and caramel spreads??

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Always on Roman Meal: pb&j, bologna & plastic cheese was the usual but my favorites were always dill pickles & mayo, liverwurst and iceberg lettuce or peanut butter and orange marmelade. Egg salad or tomato sandwiches always got to squishy, they were home sandwiches. The biggest bag of cheap puffy cheese curls we could get away with (a great trade item) and sometimes those flat packs of sugary wafer cookies. 5 kids so it was a race for first the chocolate, than the vanilla, leaving the strawberry to get limp, soggy and thrown away. Ding Dongs always a big fave - another great trade item. I remember a friend of mine often brought sliced white bread and a little bottle of Italian dressing to shake on for her lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I totally had a Partridge Family lunch box in the first grade. That was always an exciting part of the back-to-school preparations, picking out a new lunch box for the year! :)

                                                                                                                                                                        Lunches were always sandwiches on white bread--bologna with mayo, tuna fish, and cream cheese and grape jelly were my favorites (I was probably the one child who never liked peanut butter although I eat it now), maybe a small bag of chips and a piece of fruit like an apple or orange. Mom would also make ham or pork salad, grinding up the meat and mixing it with celery and mayo, and on occasion egg salad. The thermos, however, was never used for hot liquids--it was always used for milk.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. My first year of teaching, it drove me nuts to see all the good food that went into the garbage can. So after checking with the families (re: allergies, etc), I set up an exchange table where kids could trade a sandwich for a sandwich, a piece of fruit for a piece of fruit and a dessert for a dessert.
                                                                                                                                                                          Not only did most of the items get taken, kids got introduced to foods from other cultures. It was a huge success.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ola

                                                                                                                                                                            Always peanut butter and honey (at my insistence and for my entire school life up to and including undergrad) but luckily on mum's homemade bread. These were the only sandwiches that survived until lunch unrefrigerated (this was in the days before all these newfangled bags and little frozen dealies to keep things cool). To this day, deliver me from limp lettuce and squidgy tomatoes in sandwiches made in the a.m. and ingested in the p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                              This reminds me of a classmate fo mine who always had PB & Honey on whole wheat, everyday. I'd always try to get her to trade, but she was perfectly happy with her same sandwich. She introduced me to the PB & H combo, which paved the way for me to discover the Elvis, later on down the road. Lori, I'm still grateful to you for the intro! lol
                                                                                                                                                                              I'd always envied the kids with PB & anything sandwiches. I begged and begged my mom for them, but she was horrified at the thought of me having one. So she sent me to school with chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and mile high deli sandwiches (my parents used to own a deli so she had the routine down pat). I knew to her, something that required more effort to make showed she was a good parent- but all I ever wanted was a PB sandwich. Funny, how that works out. Once my mom explained to me her reasoning behind why she'd never pack me a PB sandwich, I used to feel a little sorry for the kids who only got oscar meyer slapped between 2 slices of wonderbread and more appreciative of her efforts. (though now we know that pizza rolls and chicken nuggets were probably worse for my health than those wonderbread sandwiches!)

                                                                                                                                                                              Side note: one friend used to get nutella sandwiches once a week... I'm still grateful to her for being willing to trade me half my deli sandwiches for half of those....yum!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Pimento cheese--yummy! Home made in the grinder--or PBJ, or bologna and mustard, with lettuce....maybe a slice of "cheese." Those tended to rotate, with raisins, carrot sticks, or--if I were lucky--HALF a Hostess snowball (there were four kids in my family ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                            Mostly, though, I ate at school because in the South, in the early 60's, the lunch rooms were filled with great cooks and delicious food! It started to go to hell by the time I was in 6th grade--1967?--and was practically inedible by the time I finished High School, alas.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Fluffernutter sandwich! Yes! Then Mom went all healthy & gave us those hokeypuck rice cakes with oily peanutbutter & vegies. Yuck!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Depends on who made the lunch: if I made my own, it was neatly wrapped and as middle-class "normal" as I could make it look, usually tuna salad, pbj, a cheese sandwich, chips when I could get them. Watch out though....if Mom made the lunches, we'd end up with some funky deal: stoneground peanut butter on homeade wheat bread, roasted/salted soybeans, carrots cut in her cuckoo-bunny style, a handful of peanuts in the shell JUST THROWN IN THE BAG,not individually wrapped. My lunches were completely untradeable and 100% embarrassing, which is why I overcorrected with my own kids and sent them blithely off with bologna, chips, juice boxes, etc. Nowadays I'd probably be a little more careful - more like my mom- about what I gave them to eat, but at the time it was all about standardization and "normalcy".

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Salami on white bread. And it was stinky. It was just like the little Toula bringing Moussaka for lunch in "my big fat greek wedding".

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I am not that far removed from brown bag days, but I'll join the fun

                                                                                                                                                                                    I refused to eat the lunch in gradeschool that consisted of glutinous mashed potatoes, strange steak fingers, gelatinous gravy, and unflavored green beans

                                                                                                                                                                                    When my mother made me lunch, to my great dismay it usually consisted of bologna, miracle whip (gag), and processed cheese (gag). Never have been able to stomach miracle whip or processed cheese. Other times she would substitute chopped ham and water "product" that had a sort of slimey/smooth texture that I absolutely hate. On occasion I would have a PB&J. I usually had an apple or some grapes, and the highlight of my meal was a lunchpack bag of chips. My favorite sandwich was on Monday when mom would make me a sandwich from leftover roast. I also enjoyed braunschweiger and red onion with real mayo.

                                                                                                                                                                                    In middle school it was more acceptable to eat from the school lunch that offered pizza and I did that about once a week. I started to take over the making of my own lunch in middle school and began with deli turkey, roast beef, ham, with a slice of swiss or provolone. Eventually I got my mom to boil a chicken on Sunday and would take fresh chicken sandwiches or chicken salad sandwiches. I would also occasionally make tuna salad with hard boiled egg, sweet relish, onion and carry in a small styrofoam cup covered with saran and some crackers. I also loved cold pasta salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                    In highschool I was all over the map--sometimes simple sandwiches, sometimes more elaborate couscous or bulgur salads. In highschool we had a much better lunch selection with chicken wraps, these great bagel sandwiches, or just a pretzel, fresh homemade cookies, pizza, chicken poppers, or the nacho bar. But the best thing was that a chinese takeout place would deliver to my highschool and I still love that takeout best!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. -a can of sardines or kippered herring with crackers or some stale bread or
                                                                                                                                                                                      - liverwurst on pumpernickel or
                                                                                                                                                                                      - the traditional PB+J (I didn't like it much though) or
                                                                                                                                                                                      - cream cheese and jam on sourdough toast
                                                                                                                                                                                      - leftovers
                                                                                                                                                                                      - ants on a log (PB+raisins on celery) ants on a frozen log (switch PB for cream cheese)

                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually had it with a can or two of V-8 juice and some candy and fruit. The strange thing was I packed it myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I love these posts, because I remember some days being so jealous of the kids that got to eat the "crap" the cafeteria served. Occasionally my mother would give in and let me buy a sloppy Joe or the french bread pizza, but normally she made me brown bag it. Mt standards were as follows

                                                                                                                                                                                        Peanut butter with bananas
                                                                                                                                                                                        Salami and provolone w/mustard and tomato
                                                                                                                                                                                        Roast Beef with tomato and mayo
                                                                                                                                                                                        Turkey and Munster with mayo and tomato
                                                                                                                                                                                        and my all-time favorite Tomato and Provolone with mayo.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and the sandwiches were always either on whole wheat or Semolina!
                                                                                                                                                                                        I almost always had a piece of fruit thrown and a thermos with either milk or juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. My mother used to make me a Wonder Bread sandwich with peanut butter. I have never liked peanut butter, unless it's baked in a cookie. All the other kids at least had jam in their sandwiches. Not me. (boo-hoo.) What I really wanted was: chicken salad, cherry preserves, tuna, egg salad...not in the same sandwich, of course! Oh, and that warmish milk in the Thermos! Oh boy...It's a wonder we all lived through our childhoods. When I was eighteen, and working in the local mall, I packed myself a salad, topped with a sliced hard-boiled egg, and thousand island dressing. That, and a bottle of orange juice from the health food department, kept me going until I clocked out, and I, and my friends/coworkers could buy chocolate and nuts at the candy store.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Peanut butter, with jelly if I was lucky.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Or bologna with ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Both on white bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                            A thermos of milk
                                                                                                                                                                                            an apple or some applesauce or canned peaches or pears.

                                                                                                                                                                                            At one point I was tasked with actually making "lunch meat sandwiches" up before hand, putting them in those Glad sandwich bags, and freezing them en masse, then taking them out and slinging them in a brown bag in the morning and sending them to school with various siblings. Freezing them was supposed to make them safe to eat - allegedly they would not rot before lunch time this way.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. don't really remember sandwiches so i probubly had the usual peanut butter and jam. but i used to love alphagetti in a thermos. i remember that really well...still eat the stuff

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Some are the same as you..liverwurst, baloney w/ mustard, tuna, cream cheese, salami on white bread. .Unbelievable today, but we didn't bring ice packs, etc. The whole bag went into your locker and your dragged it out at lunch. We never got sick....even with all the meat and dairy. You couldn't force a bunch of this stuff down a kid's throat now!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: berkleybabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So true! Anything that my mom was worried about keeping cold was simply wrapped in foil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I went to primary school during the late 80s to mid 90s. In Australian summer a vital component of the lunchbox was that the plastic flask containing your drink had been put in the freezer overnight, so that it acted as a chiller block and kept your food cool. The cordial tasted ultra sweet and concentrated as it slowly thawed and the best bit was late afternoon by which time the ice collapsed into a delicious slushie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most kids had apples or bananas. The lucky ones had grapes, passion fruit and cherries. Cherries were a luxury item, only the rich kids had those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also loved Vegemite with a passion. But only on crackers, not sandwiches. It was very important that there be enough Vegemite that when you squeezed the crackers together it oozed through the holes in "worms".

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: raisingirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I met a girl from Perth who taught me how to eat Vegemite: on Ryvita flatbread with marge. Except I spread it very thinly. You'll have to give me credit for eating it that way since since I didn't grow up with the stuff (and most Americans hate it). ;o)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Lunchbox paildifferent days of :

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thermos w/milk,OJ or sometimes Campbell's chicken noodle soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bologna sandwich made w/ Wonder bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Egg salad sandwich made w/Wonder bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                    P/B & J sandwich w/Wonder bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, didn't have baggies them
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bad of Fritos(then 5 cents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hostess cupcakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Saltine crackers w/peanaut butter

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rlb1251

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ah yes, good old wax paper to wrap the sandwiches. Always HATED how certain sandwiches would make the paper soggy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'll tell you the item I could not swap for anything from another classmate ... Leberwurst mit sweet butter and chopped onion and a sprinkle of salt on heavy German Burkhardts rye bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Funny how I love that exact sandwich now with a dopplebock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I was always getting leftovers for lunch too

                                                                                                                                                                                                          eggplant caponata and a piece of bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                          stewed zucchini, tomatoes, onions and garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the other half of the pork chop I didn’t eat from dinner the night before
                                                                                                                                                                                                          cold spaghetti
                                                                                                                                                                                                          a piece of chicken cutlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Occasionally I’d get a pb&j sandwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I envied the kids that got to eat “normal” lunches of ham & cheese or turkey on white bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          School lunch was 65cents when I was in elementary school and we couldn’t afford it till I got to junior high. By then, eating in front of my friends was so much of an embarrassment (boy did I get ridiculed for the leftover pork chops and eggplant caponata) that I’d get a cookie or a couple of pretzel sticks with a juice at lunch and that’s all I’d eat till dinner… I carried that with me to high school too…by high school, I’d grab a milk or a juice and that’d be it. (I’m not going to eat in front of BOYS!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          (no wonder I was so thin back then!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Oh this thread brings back great memories...my mom packed pretty great lunches for me, IMO. They suited my simple tastes as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            PB&J, no crusts
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Turkey and swiss cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bag of chips (Cheetos and Doritos were my fave)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Piece of fruit (apple, peach, nectarine)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Litte bag of animal crackers, Famous Amos, circus cookies (pink and white with sprinkles!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peanut butter crackers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gummy fruit snacks or Gushers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Capri Suns

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I went through a phase where I loved tuna salad...so my mom used to hollow out a tomato and stuff it with tuna salad and made sure to pack a little fork...I felt so gourmet and special at the lunch table! Other kids probably thought it was gross but I didn't care.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I was very much a lunchables girl when i was in grade school. cheese, ham & crakers... pizza.. the hotdogs! not to mention the kit kat at the end!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              but if not lunchables, my moms brown bagged lunches came in the form of McDonalds Happy meals!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Grade school, those were the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I make my own meals now... life isnt as delicious. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. When I was a kid, it was usually PB&J on wheat bread, or turkey & American cheese on wheat. Always an apple or a banana, and a Juicy Juice juice box or a quarter for milk. Sometimes we had a little baggie of wheat thins. When I got to high school, our school provided such great options (a deli sandwich bar reminiscent of Subway, pasta/veggie salads) that I ALWAYS bought my lunch. I did love, when I was in grade school, the weeks when my Dad did the shopping.... then it was olive loaf and provolone cheese with spicy mustard on rye... sooo good!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. hmm Mostly cottage cheese and carrots and a pudding cup. Mostly i waited until I got home to have a Fluffy Nutter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Cheese sandwich, crisps and a cereal bar. Sometimes I hit the jackpot and mum packed cold chicken nuggets in my lunch from the night before dinner. When I was 13 I went through a phase of taking cold pizza to school everyday and by the time I left I was sick of cheese and pickle sandwiches because I had so many during Year 11!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. When I was in grade school in the 70s we had hot lunch at school and the kids who brought their own lunch, usually in a lunch box which if in pristine condition today would be worth hundreds of dollars IF the thermos was intact and included, were usually looked upon as being just a bit weird that they would not eat the hot lunch, disgusting as it sometimes was, with the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My mother was NOT into making lunches, so I almost always had the hot lunch from the cafeteria (and I was too much of a sleepyhead to get up in time to make my own lunch...). I don't really have any particular memories of any of the caf. food, except for the spinach. Canned spinach. A color not seen in nature. Blech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My first brown-bagging was the summer I was 14, working in tobacco curing sheds in CT. Baloney and cheese with mustard and sweet relish on Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat bread, thermos of Lipton iced tea, hiking water bottle frozen the night before, and cookies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kcshigekawa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They cure tobacco in Connecticut? Who knew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My mom often sent us to school with a thermos. Open the top and there was a string. Pull out the string, there was a hot dog attached. In the lunch pail was a roll and condiments. I didn't appreciate her creativity or thoughtfulness then. But looking back, this was a pretty wonderful way to say "I love you" to her kids. Given the time and place, of course (late 50's - early 60's). Thanks, mom!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kbjesq

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You need to elaborate, KB. Was the hot dog in hot water in the thermos? Was the string so that it could drip dry and not sog up the bun? Do tell! (Your mom sounds wonderful)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mom would boil the hot dog in the morning, then tie a string around it and put it in the thermos. The other end of the string would hang over the edge of the thermos (like a tea bag). She'd pour the hot water into the thermos to keep the hot dog warm until lunch! At lunch time, I'd open up the thermos and pull out the hot dog using the dry end of the string. I'd dry off the hot dog using an extra napkin that she would include for that purpose. She had six kids to raise and not a lot of money but she always made each of us feel very special. BTW she was (and is) a terrible cook but she always managed to get something on the table for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Brought lunch maybe 1/2 the time- bought the hot lunch the other - which, when I was in elementary school (70's)was 40 cents!! snack, consisting of milk, juice, 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit or a cookie, was 20-. A cheese sandwich made with Pepperidge Farm very thin white bread, Kraft American singles and Plochman's yellow mustard was a regular visitor to my lunch box, as were tuna salad sandwiches, and broiled chicken leg quarters. Carrot sticks (no "baby" carrots back in the day!), grapes, apples and celery (sometimes with cream cheese or peanut butter) were the usual tagalongs. I don't remember ever getting chips or sweets in my lunch brought from home. My brothers got lunch meat sandwiches- other than a rare fried bologna sandwich, I never could stand the stuff, and still can't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff [I can't believe no one has mentioned this.]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PB + saltines. sometimes with J.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interspersed with bologna sandwiches. ICK. Ma was not into packed lunch. There was some fruit in there, somewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would have preferred tuna. Mother didn't think that tuna would make it until lunchtime. [and I guess that I should now thank her.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't eaten peanut butter, except for an occasional bite of my spouse's PB toast, in decades. And I was so thrilled to make it to junior high, where I could get an ice cream sandwich for lunch [bad me] and forget the PB and the lousy steam table food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was obviously pre-Lunchables days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. my mom was hard working, we had a farm and my dad worked full time. I am amazed looking back at the strength she had.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lunch was home baked whole wheat with cheese, tuna, eggs, whatever but I remember being in a tomato and mayo phase and I got that faithfully every day. A piece of fruit, if it was an orange she used to score it in a spiral so we could peal it easily and it came off in one long piece, that was cool :) Bananas had their tops slit for easy pealing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She baked a 9x9" snack cake or cookies every night after dinner and some of that went in ( dad took a packed lunch too so between that and after school eating the goodies were gone by the next evening)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Our thermos had juice or milk, usually juice I think, as the milk tasted off by lunch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We lived in a rough rural area and some kids were really badly off, some got sugar and margarine in their bread if they were lucky otherwise they went without. My lunch got stolen more then once, looking back I'm glad of it, they needed it far more than me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. If it was a rare, good day, leftover cold pizza!! Woooo! Still excites me. Plus some sort of Koolaid Jammer or some radioactively colored beverage. On a typical day, however, it was usually bologna, american cheese, and mustard on potato bread (Yum) with either a hard sourdough pretzel or a Granny Smith apple. No drink was included. Guess my mom wanted me to choke. lol. This was my lunch up until probably 5th or 6th grade. For the rest of my schooling I did not eat hardly anything at lunch (maybe shared a poptart with someone) because how mortifying it would be for everyone to find out that I, Meowzerz, do, in fact, eat food. I quickly got over that phobia after high school haha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. In the very early 80's, I went to a private Catholic school with no cafeteria, so everyone brought their lunches. My mom, being from Italy, would pack the most delicious, albeit HUGE, lunches: hard salamis or mortadella on homebaked white Italian bread and provolone cheese, boiled eggs, at least 2 pieces of fresh fruit (usually apple, banana, grapes, oranges cut into wedges), and in my thermos there was usually lemonade. When juice boxes became main stream, she would freeze them and they'd keep my lunch cold until eating time, plus they'd be slushy and you could drink them. I also loved tuna salad, but mom would always add things I didn't like: celery, onions, etc., and I only wanted tuna mixed with Miracle Whip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    During the holidays, my grandparents would import Nutella from Italy (you couldn't find it in the US back then) and it would be such a treat to get a Nutella sandwich around Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Carrot sticks - I also loved green pepper strips, celery stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter, little raisin packs, sometimes chips or airpopped popcorn (and always wrapped in foil - lol), 1 single Chips Ahoy or an Oreo. We could buy milk at school for a quarter. She would even separate my lettuce and tomato slices into individual baggies so my sandwiches wouldn't get soggy. I also remember having homemade Lunchables before they existed: cold cuts, cheese slices, crackers, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She would intersperse this with things I'd report to her that my friends were bringing to school for their lunch, such as Campbell's veg soup in my thermos with 1/2 sandwich. My school would occasionally have a special hot lunch day that the PTA would cook/serve: hot dogs, sloppy joes, sub sandwiches. My mom would never allow me to buy them, as she said she "didn't know where they came from." LOL but she'd always make me the same thing the PTA was serving up so I wouldn't feel left out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also remember going through a phase where I'd only eat PBJ sandwiches or simply Miracle Whip on Wonderbread (no meat, no cheese. Just Miracle Whip). EW!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looking back, I see the love and care she would put into those lunches. I remember she'd usually drop a grape into my thermos with the drink because it would make me laugh to find it at the bottom after I drank all my juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My favorite is fresh strawberries sandwich between white bread and cream cheese

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mastercooker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just read through this entire thread. When I got to yours, I dropped everything and made it. Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Lunchables. :D I didn't eat sandwiches for lunch at school. I would also eat the hot lunches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Oscar Mayer 'baloney', French's mustard, Wonder Bread. (sigh) And a little bag of Fritos. Mom always wondered why I was so ravenous after school!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I bought the school lunch almost exclusively through 6th grade. In 7th grade, my mom and step dad got married. My step dad was already in the habit of packing lunch for my step sister, so he just added a lunch bag to the assembly line for me. The standard lunch was turkey and provolone on a kaiser roll (lettuce packed separately to prevent sogginess), carrot and celery sticks, a piece of fruit, and half bag of skittles (cheaper to buy full size and split than buying snack size), and a can of cranapple juice. After about a year of that, he ended up in a job that required a weekly commute to the other end of the state, so it was back to school lunch. I was old enough to pack my lunch, but given the choice of packing or buying, I chose buying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Canned pineapple rings and cheddar sandwiches on brown bread