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Sep 8, 2009 04:19 AM

When I went to school my mom packed .....for lunch. Happy/Sad school lunch stories.

Mom made a sandwich I loved but was embarrassed for the other kids to see because it was so unusual in our Middle class Queens, N.Y. school. It was cream cheese and jelly with chopped walnuts on raisin bread. The bad one was when she packed an American cheese sandwich with tomato and I didn't know she had put waxed paper between the tomato slice and the cheese. It's hard to look cool in front of your table friends when you're pulling a sheet of waxed paper out of your mouth.

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  1. When I was around 5 or 6 I got toasted bologna sandwiches which I absolutely loved.

    Later in my school years we moved so it wasn't available but I'd get the middle eastern flat bread with lebnah (which is a lebanese style tangy cream cheese made of salted and strained yogurt - making some right now actually)
    I also had cinnamon sugar sprinkled on a bit of butter or oil on a flatbread. Kids found this VERY strange because everytime I got asked "what do you got there" I'd say cinnamon and they wrinkled their noses, pretty unusual in that country. I guess it could be pretty funny because everyone knew my family were there to do relief work, and the kids I went to school with were very poor in these war torn countries, and they brought egg or kebab or flavourful meat sandwhiches to school and there I was with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on some oil on bread. lol. They always asked about it just to bother me.

    Later in the west I had cheese whiz (can't tolerate the stuff now, so salty!)

    1. How 'bout lunch notes? Did anybody's mom (or dad) write real killers, good or bad?

      1. Wow wax paper - My story involves a thermos - my mom used to put a hot dog tied on a string and added boiling water to thermos along with hotdog, with string hanging out - closed jar - sent in lunch box with bun and with a homemade package of ketchup made from wax paper and staples - lol..... but I can tell you this, the kids went nuts seeing that I was eating an actual hot hot dog versus their p&j sandwiches!

        The worst was the plain american cheese with miracle whip - on homemade bread no less...(the bread was awesome made by her own mother) - this happened all in the 70's.

        Good post idea too!

        10 Replies
        1. re: Divaliscious

          A hot dog cooked in a thermos! Cooool concept.

          My story would involve peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Evidently that was an alien concept in Massachusetts. Chins up girls!

          1. re: Divaliscious

            OMG! I thought only my immigrant Hungarian Jewish mother put hot dogs in a thermos. But, mine was really special because she used to fill the thermos with beef vegetable soup. The soup was excellent since it was perfumed with the tasty hot dog. She packed a hot dog bun and condiments too. I must say I was the envy of all the kids in my class as it smelled terrific and tasted wonderful!

            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              Your mom was a true gourmet. Regard it as beef sausage simmered in beef/vegetable stock from which you could extract the meat and enjoy it on a fresh roll with condiments to the envy of your school lunch table. And you had a soup course as well. Brilliant!


              1. re: Chefpaulo

                Thanks! Your comment really made her day! She smiled when I shared this with her. We were NOT allowed to have Wonder Bread in the house, only bakery or homemade bread. We didn't appreciate the difference at the time. It made my brother & I feel like we didn't fit in with all the "American" children. Funny how sometimes it takes YEARS to appreciate your parents. Hope someday my 18 & 21 yo kids will realize how good they had it too!

                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  That is so interesting, because my seven year old absolutely refuses to eat any grocery store sliced rectangular bread - Wonder, Orowheat, anything. He only eats artisanal bakery bread. I would give anything to just slap a bologna between two slices of wheat for him sometimes, but no. He is a gourmet. It makes making lunch daily a pretty exhausting chore.

                  1. re: sasha1

                    At least you know that he eats it! I used to drop parts of my lunch off on the leave it/take it tray in grade school. This were much better when I could buy my lunch starting in 6th grade!

                    I hated lunch time!

                    My mom used to pack christmas cookies - cut out decorated kind - way into February. People in my class decided that they were old cookies, like the way some people walk by holiday candy a few weeks later proclaiming it too old to eat? I was absolutly tortured and my mother refused to stop telling me how they were perfectly good cookies and I had to eat it. I sometimes went into the bathroom to cry!

                    1. re: Allice98

                      I'm not convinced he does eat it.

                      He's not only picky but mercurial, in that he will suddently not like something he has liked forever. It doesn't go the other way. If you've heard people say - if he's hungry enough he'll eat it, they haven't met my kid. Probably why some of his 5T clothes are still too loose to wear.

                      Occasionally he really packs it in at breakfast and dinner if we're having something he likes, and my momentary worry about stomachaches is replaced by relief that he's getting some calories that day!

                    2. re: sasha1

                      I use either store-bought whole wheat bread or home-baked bread and all my daugher wants is squishy white bread. It's not that she doesn't like the home-made bread. She looks forward to my baking and happily eats it as long as it isn't seeded rye. I think it's mostly a case of wanting what the other kids have.

                      (Sasha - 5T clothes? My 7-year-old went to school this AM in size 7 jeans that look like they were painted on her. I think I'm going shopping at lunch time. I wish her clothes could last that long. :-) )

                      1. re: rockycat

                        Hey rockycat - our clothes don't last any longer than yours, I'm sure. It just takes him longer to get to his "appropriate" size. The confusing thing is that some of his pants are 5s, some are 6s. My pet peeve is the fake drawstring, which makes you think you can cinch it around him, but then it doesn't actually cinch.

                        Anyhow, yea, mine isn't super affected by wonder bread envy. Like I said, I wish he was a little more, because then making lunch wouldn't be such an ordeal. But he does suffer from peer pressure, further limiting what he'll agree to eat. Thought I made a breakthrough with hard boiled eggs last year, but after a couple of months of happily eating them at lunch, he asked me not to send them in anymore because they were stinky. Ditto frozen potstickers. Funny, because the child cannot pass up a good hunk of stinky blue cheese, at school or elsewhere.

                    3. re: Diane in Bexley

                      When I was seven my family moved to Belgium, and one of the American things I craved was Wonder Bread. Then we came back for a summer vacation and they gave me some Wonder Bread and I was totally shocked and appalled to find that it tasted like styrofoam. Never could eat it again after that.

              2. My mom would put a little brandy in my sister and my hot chocolate thermos during the winter months so we wouldn't catch cold. She told us we could share anything in our lunch that we wanted EXCEPT our hot chocolate. I didn't know why until later. You know how cold those Southern California winters can be...

                3 Replies
                1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                  Wow that sounds great. I wish I had thought of that extra flavoring when I was a classroom teacher. It sure would have made the long afternoon more pleasant.

                  1. re: lucyis

                    My grandmother told me that when she was in kindergarten, she almost got expelled for bringing alcohol to school. Her grandfather packed her lunches, and he was an "old-world frencheman" as grandma put it. He sent her with really really watered down wine. Teacher called him in, he told her what was what, and grandma continued drinking her watered down wine at school lol

                    Apparently when asked why he never drank water (always seemed to be wine or some such thing), he would answer "don't you know water will make your insides rust?"

                    1. re: Popkin

                      Tres interresant! Historically, the practice of mixing red wine with water (usually a 50/50 mix) went back to Roman times when it was a standing order (under penalty of death) to Roman soldiers to purifiy their water before drinking. This is because so many became ill from the foreign flora of tainted water in Gaul and other conquered areas that hydration was severely regulated. It was found that red wine was the best water purifier (even better than pure grain alcohol, as it has cleansing tannins) and all had to obey.

                      Jumping ahead 2K years, your great-grandpapa probably knew this water purification method from his ancestry. It works! When he was a garcon, tap water or well water probably wasn't the best so they did the vin rouge treatment.

                      If ever in doubt with your water, forget iodine pills and mix half red wine with it. My dad was a food chemist and confirmed this for me decades ago.


                2. Cold pork chops from the night before on Wonder Bread with peanut butter. Took a lot of milk to wash that down.