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Old 06-11-2019, 01:15 PM   #1
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School Lunches

In kindergarten, and 1rst. grade, I was only a block from my home, and so walked home for lunch each day. We usually had tuna, bologna,potted meat, or grilled cheese sandwiches, and some kind of Campbell's soup. Frome 2ne through 6th grade, I enjoyed the food at our township school. Did the ever make a good hot lunch. Tle food was cooked on site, fresh, and from scratch. It included items such as American goulash, wonderful breads, sticky buns, real mashed potatoes, real roast meats, fish sticks, cheese sticks, rich gravies, white or chocolate milk, and other items. I remember the food was top notch. Then, from 6th through eighth grade, I went to a Catholic school, where the head cook was an woman of Italian descent, and could she ever make great food. The pizza crust was thick and oft, very yeasty, though the topping was ground beef, a rich tomato sauce, and plenty of cheese. Her pigs-in-the-blankets were good hot dogs, wrapped in fresh bread dough and baked to perfection. Again the sticky bus, and other desert items were great. Everything was made fresh, from scratch. I sometimes used up a whole lunch hour because I'd go up for 2nds after all the other school kids were done. High school hot lunch was the standard tuna casserole, shepherd's pie, roasted meats, burgers, that stuff made with noodles and corned beef hash, stews, freshly made breads, and such. At each school, I always ended up with extra food as their were kids that didn't like milk, or fish sticks, or cheese, or veggies, and gave them to me. I was the perpetually tiney kid who loved all of the food, and ate as much as I could get.

I compare what the hot lunch programs of today are compared to what I enjoyed. I really feel sorry for the children.

What were your hot lunch experiences?

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the NOrth

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Old 06-11-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
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I usually only had the hot, cafeteria lunches on Thursdays, because they served hot dogs on Thursdays. I don't remember much, but there was definitely veg (overcooked), dessert, and milk with that. Other days, I had sandwiches and fruit carried to school in a brown bag and I bought a small carton of milk at the discounted price for school kids.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:19 PM   #3
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My memorable lunch times were all during middle and high school years where we were allowed to leave campus during lunch hour. The US Naval base cafeteria was just a short 5 minute walk and was usually crowded with squids (sailors). This was during the height of the Vietnam War. The food was good, I always ordered french fries with gravy with whatever I had.
We also frequently stepped outside of the US housing zone for Japanese food. We had all sorts of cheap J-food at various hole-in-a-wall joints for lunch and street food as well. Often times an hour was just not enough...
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:59 PM   #4
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I went to a small privately owned Catholic school from grades K-12. We didn't have a cafeteria at all for hot lunches, and to make matters worse, we sometimes could smell the cafeteria food from the public high school at the bottom of the hill. We all brought our lunch from home and Mom did a good job of keeping them interesting. I remember a sardine sandwich she packed that all the kids gagged over and I loved it. On cold days, she often had something hot in a thermos for me. When I got into high school, I sometimes walked the several blocks home to have lunch. Since we had a little grocery store and meat market, on those days I'd sometimes fry up a small steak for lunch, and Mom would take me back to school so I wouldn't be late.
Thanks for the sweet walk down memory lane.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
My memorable lunch times were all during middle and high school years where we were allowed to leave campus during lunch hour. The US Naval base cafeteria was just a short 5 minute walk and was usually crowded with squids (sailors). This was during the height of the Vietnam War. The food was good, I always ordered french fries with gravy with whatever I had.
We also frequently stepped outside of the US housing zone for Japanese food. We had all sorts of cheap J-food at various hole-in-a-wall joints for lunch and street food as well. Often times an hour was just not enough...
We were allowed to leave campus in High School, too. There was all kinds of fast food nearby, but also some good mom and pop places. Great seafood fast food, being right on the coast. The best sandwiches were at Amuny's Liquor Store. Yep, lunchtime everyday, that liquor store would be full of high-school kids buying sandwiches -- and soft drinks.

In elementary and junior high, I usually brown bagged it. I'd buy lunch at the school cafeteria about once a week. Nothing sticks out in my memory as being really good food.

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Old 06-11-2019, 07:10 PM   #6
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I don't remember much of school lunches. The one dish that stood out for me was something called pork in gravy. Basically a stewed pork in a thick brown gravy served over mashed. The pork and gravy came in big #10 cans. I loved that dish.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:15 PM   #7
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I went to four different schools through high school. Three of them were boarding schools so there were a lot of meals, not just lunches. But can only recall two of them, both positive. Chip beef on toast and grits with plenty of butter and scrambled eggs.
Edit: I almost forgot this one. Ninth grade was a Southern California school that was literally on the beach. Many kids had surfboards and would steal lobster from traps close to shore. A little diner across the street would cook them for a small fee.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:43 PM   #8
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A few things stick in my mind about school lunches. In elementary school, my mom packed our (me and my brother's) lunches in our tin 'character' lunchboxes. Cinderella, Superman, etc. We usually had tuna or bologna sandwiches, some kind of fruit, and one of those tiny little bags of chips. Milk in a thermos. Back then the little Thermos's that came with the lunchboxes had a glass interior and I remember being very upset on a couple of occasions when I dropped mine and the broken glass rattled inside. Mom just hugged my tears away and bought me a new one.

Junior High, my friends and I bought our lunch from the cafeteria and we ate it on the picnic tables under the trees instead of in the cafeteria. The only thing I can remember buying is either tamales or burritos, although I'm sure they had more. I think it was .45 for a tamale and a milk. Sure did love those tamales and burritos, and still remember them.

In High School I either packed a sack lunch or bought something from the cafeteria. When I got old enough to drive, several friends and I would jam ourselves in the car and go to the Frosty Freeze for a burger. I could never go home for lunch, because we lived out in the boonies on a dirt road about 20 miles from the high school. I also remember when the school closed the campus and didn't allow off campus lunches anymore, but sometimes my friends and I would just go anyway - got in trouble for it several times.

I still live in the same town and both of my daughters attended that high school.

Thanks for helping to revive old memories, Chief!
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:15 AM   #9
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My mother grew up during the Depression and learned to cook from her mother. So in typical New England style, every Monday just about every kid brought a Boston Baked Bean sandwich to school for their lunch. The line in the cafeteria was always short on Monday. But just about everyone did buy those little Hoodsie cups of ice cream with the wooden spoons. Not for the ice cream, but for the picture of the movie star on the lid. They would swap them for ones they didn't have. Me too. The girls always swapped the male stars and the boys the female ones. The Hoodsie cup cost a whole nickel. When I did buy lunch, it was always a bowl of home made type of soup. Beef stew was my favorite. That was in Junior High.

In Grammar School.
In the lower grades we went home for lunch. I lived right across from the brand new school and the old school was still standing. My mother would be waiting for me to come out and cross me. I remember her holding up traffic one day when she limped out into the middle of the street with her brace on, and yelling at me to speed it up. I was busy talking to a friend and inviting her home with me. Her mother never showed up for her that day. My mother fed us a bowl of hot soup with a grilled sandwich. That day has always stuck in my mind. There was always a hot meal waiting for me during Grammar School.

My kids went to the same Grammar School as me and my sister did. They still don't have a cafeteria in that school. And they no longer get to go home for lunch. So today all the kids brown bag it. I just hope they are all getting a filling good tasting lunch each day. And the Junior School has been converted into a residence for the elderly. I had the opportunity to be one of the first residents in that building. But I chose where I am now. I wanted to be close to my children and the new place is on a steep hill. To dangerous when on my scooter. Also I would rather keep my memories of what was.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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Just to add to my earlier post in this thread I found an old photo from 1969 of the shopping center where the cafeteria was located where we hung out and had our lunches during lunch break.
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