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Old 07-12-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
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Best School Cafeteria Food

For any of you who were privileged enough to eat at a good school cafeteria, where the food was made from scratch every day, what were your favorite meals? Some of my favorites were"

Pigs in the blanket - Freshly made bread dough wrapped around whole hotogs and baked to perfection

Pizza - Made on a yeasty, thick and soft crust, with tomato and ground beef. Lightly seasoned with oregano and topped with shredded cheese

Corned beef hash, with mushroom soup and noodles, all made into a casserole

Fish sticks, always served with cole slaw and American cheese sticks.

Spaghetti with meat sauce - At the Catholic school I attended, our cooks were a couple of Italian ladies who knew how to cook. Need I say more?

Lasagna - those same ladies made amazing lasagna.

Roasted chicken - served with smashed spuds (real smashed spuds) and green beans.

Roasted turkey with stuffing, smashed spuds, sweet spuds, and green beans - always a favorite for me.

Sticky buns - at both the Catholic sdhool I went to, and the public school, you could smell those buns baking. What a distraction for an energetic boy trying to pay attention in class. And they were done so well.

Pies - always made from scratch, and always delicious.

Roast beef and gravy, with boiled, or baked spuds, and steamed veggies.

Beverage of choice - white whole milk, at least two cartons.

I ate and enjoyed everything they threw at me. Even the high school food was good. Everything was made in the school kitchen back then, and from whole foods that required prep and cooking. And the picky eaters who didn't like this or that just gave their portion to me. I took almost the whole lunch hour to finish my plate, and sometimes in grade school went back for seconds. And I still graduated high school as the smallest student in the school.

Now, all the schools have their lunches shipped in from a central kitchen, and the food quality is terrible. I feel sorry for today's children. Progress, as it is called, has not made the world a better place, just the opposite.

Seeeeea; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 07-12-2016, 11:54 AM   #2
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Spoonburgers with dill pickle chips...the recipe is very close, the yeasty dough was made with butter as the fat. I may still have Izola Kopf's (my favorite lunch lady) recipe, but have yard things to do. She encouraged my cooking forays from middle school to today.

Tuna Melts.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #3
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Best School Cafeteria Food

My great aunt was an elementary school lunch lady, and an amazing cook anyway.

Oh, those sticky buns!

"Eye-talian" spaghetti. The sauce was amazing, though they used rotini pasta.

Decent tuna casserole.

Home-made chocolate pudding, with the skin on. It was so thick and chocolatey.

Tapioca pudding.

I also had the fortune to work in several rural schools where the lunch ladies also made amazing food, and had a true love of the kids

One of the middle schools that I worked at made good taco salads, until they switched to ground turkey, not the same.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
My great aunt was an elementary school lunch lady, and an amazing cook anyway.

Oh, those sticky buns!

"Eye-talian" spaghetti. The sauce was amazing, though they used rotini pasta.

Decent tuna casserole.

Home-made chocolate pudding, with the skin on. It was so thick and chocolatey.

Tapioca pudding.

I also had the fortune to work in several rural schools where the lunch ladies also made amazing food, and had a true love of the kids

One of the middle schools that I worked at made good taco salads, until they switched to ground turkey, not the same.
I'm thinking that sticky buns were a shared recipe across all grade school cafeterias in the 60's. They were gourmet by any standard.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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Starchy rice served with an ice cream scoop, meatballs and beef gravy. I still make that some meals.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:10 PM   #6
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Cheese zombies served with tomato soup and a salad. Best lunch ever!

These are rapidly disappearing from school lunch menus and need to be placed on the endangered foods list imo.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #7
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For any of you who were privileged enough to eat at a good school cafeteria, where the food was made from scratch every day....
You are fortunate. I guess I wasn't privileged, because I remember most of our lunchroom food coming from a can.

We had canned spinach, canned corn, canned green beans, canned beets...
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:13 PM   #8
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Couldn't afford school lunches..... I brown bagged it every day...
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:23 PM   #9
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I brought my lunch each day...

Would rather skip card board pizza and the rest of the disappointing food my school had for lunch.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:33 PM   #10
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We lived right across the street from the elementary school, and two blocks away from where I went to high school. I was disappointed when my mom told me to come home for lunch. I grew up in an era when the school food was cooked on-site, and it was actually pretty good.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:19 PM   #11
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DH works in an urban school system with a lot of kids on the free lunch program. They have salad bars in the school cafeterias. They're not all uniformly terrible these days.

I don't remember much about school lunch. Growing up, sometimes I brought lunch and sometimes I bought it.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:31 PM   #12
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I used to walk to school every day with my home packed lunch because we had no cafeteria at my small private school. In the morning I'd pass the public school with all the delicious smells of the cafeteria getting ready for lunch, and think about my cold sandwich and fruit.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:49 PM   #13
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Cheese zombies served with tomato soup and a salad. Best lunch ever!



These are rapidly disappearing from school lunch menus and need to be placed on the endangered foods list imo.

What is a cheese zombie? I do not recall that. We had Walking Tacos at one of my schools that I worked at, but AFAIK, mine didn't walk very far before it got et. They put taco meat, shredded cheese, and whatever else was around into a tiny bag of Fritos. Saved on dishwashing.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
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Peanut butter cookies! Usually the only thing edible in the entire cafeteria
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:57 PM   #15
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Best School Cafeteria Food

School cafeteria pbcs, and Snickerdoodles, are the best!
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:58 PM   #16
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I much preferred taking my lunch rather than eat in the school cafeterias, so I don't really know what the food was like. Except on tamale Fridays in middle school - then my friends and I would buy. Fifty cents for a tamale and a shake.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:26 PM   #17
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When I was in grade school, I lived with my grandmother and went to the Catholic school next door. She was the head cook the Holy Redeemer Catholic High School cafeteria across the parking lot from the grade school. She started working earlier than I started school. Every morning I went to the cafeteria with her and she put me to work with small prep tasks. When it was time for me to go to class I walked across to school.

At lunch time I walked back to the high school and she fed me whatever I had helped prepare that morning. Many evenings, dinner was leftovers from the cafeteria.

I thought cafeteria food was the greatest on earth. And I know it was all made from scratch by Grandma, Mrs. Loretta, and Miss Connie (with a little help from Kathy).
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:49 PM   #18
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DH works in an urban school system with a lot of kids on the free lunch program. They have salad bars in the school cafeterias. They're not all uniformly terrible these days.

I don't remember much about school lunch. Growing up, sometimes I brought lunch and sometimes I bought it.

One of my former high schools has a food court, very similar to what you would find at a mall: pizza, salad bar, tacos, etc., for a price, along with the regular food line for free and reduced lunch kids or whoever else wants it, with perfectly good stuff. They also make and provide food for the elementary and middle schools in the area.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:45 PM   #19
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When I was in grade school, I lived with my grandmother and went to the Catholic school next door. She was the head cook the Holy Redeemer Catholic High School cafeteria across the parking lot from the grade school. She started working earlier than I started school. Every morning I went to the cafeteria with her and she put me to work with small prep tasks. When it was time for me to go to class I walked across to school.

At lunch time I walked back to the high school and she fed me whatever I had helped prepare that morning. Many evenings, dinner was leftovers from the cafeteria.

I thought cafeteria food was the greatest on earth. And I know it was all made from scratch by Grandma, Mrs. Loretta, and Miss Connie (with a little help from Kathy).
What a lovely story Silversage, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:18 AM   #20
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To me, good and school cafeteria food should not be mentioned in the same sentence! Brown bagger here too.
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