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Nostalgia: USA public school cafeteria food - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Hmm. That's quite different from what I was told, but that was certainly informal. Where is this quote from?
post #32 of 46
Our family norm was to bring lunch from home. When we were in grade school we had metal lunch boxes or those vinyl-covered cardboard ones printed with the Beatles or something. I made my sandwiches on the pull-out wooden board every morning. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why my sandwiches were damp and faintly sour until I got up earlier than usual and saw my dad cut his grapefruit on the board and not wipe up the juice. My favorite sandwich was Oscar Mayer's Ham and Cheese Loaf on raisin bread. :lips: On the days when the hot lunch line served french toast and sausage, if they had some left after everyone got served, they'd sell the sausages for 2 cents each. Nice little Jewish girl that I was, I always kept a stock of pennies on me to indulge my taste for pig. We didn't consider Oscar Mayer lunch meat to be real pork, in case you're catching a whiff of hypocrisy here.

In junior high, the standard was not to bring your lunch from home in a lunch box- too infantile. So the era of the tissue-thin brown paper bags began. Half of the time the bag would rip and I'd lose something. The cafeteria sold potato chips, fudgesicles and ice cream bars for a nickel each, so I'd save up my nickels to enjoy the forbidden snacks with my egg salad (sorry!) or tuna salad sandwiches. In time I began to save up stray coins to pay the 40 cents for the hot lunch. Our lunches must have been deluxe compared to DeltaDoc's, although we were in the same neck of the woods. ;) The most frequent meal was mashed potatoes with some type of meat-and-gravy concoction flooding over the clump of potatoes. (By the way, they were real potatoes, not instant, with stray chunks of unmashed tuber studding the puree) As you might expect, I put on a few pounds in junior high.

Oddly enough, I don't really remember buying school lunch in high school. It looked far worse than the dee-luxe lunch from junior high.
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post #33 of 46
ill homeschool my kid before he/she cant take a good ol PB&J sandwich to school.
post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 
I have discovered the missing link! "Banquet" brand microwave foods!
post #35 of 46
Good grief....If Jamie Oliver were not alive he'd be turning in his grave...Anyone else seen his program for reforming school lunches in the UK? I reckon (no matter what you think of him otherwise), it's an excellent idea.

School cafeterias are pretty much non-existent here, so we've missed all the joyful concoctions listed here.. The schools generally have a tuck shop serving meat pies, pasties, sausages rolls and meat and/or salad sandwiches, plus fruits. All soft drinks (sodas) have been banned for years in my kids' school, plus chips, chocolates, all the yummy stuff :)

And all schools are nut free. The panic about allergies is as bad here as anywhere. I had a birthday party for my son's 8th many moons ago, and one boy had a nut allergy. His mother insisted on staying, complete with injection actually in hand, ready to jump up and use it. Didn't have enough time with running things to ask her how bad it was, but surely it must have (the boy survived the party btw).

My school lunches in lower school were normally either a tomato sandwich (real butter...yum) on the ubiquitos white bread for 10c, if you were lucky you could score the end pieces of the loaf with butter for 5c or in winter (and if we were rich that week) a meat pie and a cream filled bun for the grand total of 19c. In high school.....we girls were all pretty weird and didn't take any lunch, or except maybe a piece of fruit, or 2 crispbreads (Ryvita) glued together with Vegemite. Just filled up on the lovely chlorinated water. Tuck shop was still there, but it was too long a wait, and everyone was a slave of girls magazines telling you to be thin. Drink of choice by some was....Tab! But you had to try and hide the label or you thought people would laugh at you for drinking a diet drink.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #36 of 46
When I was a kid? I had a Howdy Doody lunch box, and what's a Microwave or Banquet dinner????
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post #37 of 46
Thread Starter 
I had a Flipper lunchbox.

Just saying those "Banquet" things are about right on. :D
post #38 of 46
My daughter loves this! I worked at a grouphome years ago and it was on the menu from time to time. I'm not a fan of potatoes in general but I will eat this now and then.
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post #39 of 46
I bought fries and gravy every day in high school and the best fries were the ones they saved from the day before and refried them along with the fresh fries. It worked out so that Monday's fries were worst so I never bought them on Mondays... and Friday's fries were by far the best. I wonder what that cafeteria serves now....
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post #40 of 46
Good luck to Jamie Oliver on his reform. I was apalled at our lunch programs and thought it should be reformed. Lofty ideal. I worked for a catering company that contracted for school lunches and that's when I learned you can have all the good intentions you want, but in the end the kids won't eat it. You bring it back and dump it. I watched a news show once about a gourmet chef the New York school system brought in to rework their menu. He was all full of fresh this and organic that and I was snickering because I knew what was going to happen. All his best efforts and the kids turned up their noses at it. The guy looked like someone slapped him. If it's not hot dogs, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, pizza or tacos, they will not eat it. Try to get a kid to eat a sloppy joe. We ate them all the time, it was one of my favorites. Kids now won't even try one. 'Course we had nuns that monitored the trash cans to make sure you weren't tossing something a starving kid in Africa would be glad to have (Really? Canned sweet potatoes and Spam? Wrap it up and sent it to them with my apologies because I'm not eating it. That one got me a trip to the principal's office.) Sometimes I wish the nuns were back. When they were around no one got bullied and nobody wasted anything.
post #41 of 46
>When they were around no one got bullied....<

Are you kidding! You're forgetting about Sister Mary Miserable and her 18-inch ruler! :lol:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #42 of 46
Thread Starter 
Just thinking back, of all the great fun I've had here, this is one of my favorite posts ever :lol::thumb:
post #43 of 46
My grandfather always told me,"Join the Army for the adventure. Join the Marines for the action. Join the navy for the chow." Apparently the US Navy eats quite well.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #44 of 46
Thread Starter 
HAH right on :^)
post #45 of 46
Cafeteria food - pigs in a blanket (pigs in blankets? don't they each get their own?).

I'm a Navy kid, & can report that the officer's mess on USS Providence when it was flagship of the somethingorother Fleet (6th?) ate very well indeed.

Actually, I was kid. I have no idea how good the food was. But they certainly dined in style.
The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #46 of 46
My last purchased meal from my school was in 3rd grade. It was St Patrick's day and we were force fed some kind of brown meat (Corned Beef) with overcooked cabbage as the side. Green jello for dessert. The cafateria monitor forced me to eat half of everything. She was also the one that had clean up my vomit...a lovely shade of green...
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