To prevent writer’s block from making a home in my scribbling, I use daily writing challenges delivered via email from The Daily Post. The answer to your question about why I have written random posts. To get the creative juices flowing today one of the suggestions is my typical childhood lunch. Let’s see if I can remember.
Lunch on the farm was cat tails, rooster feathers and cow heart with a little pig tongue. Anything that moved, we ate.
All kidding aside, memorable childhood lunches were at school. A country school housing Kindergarten through senior high, we ate in the old gym. A new gym had been built to get the school up to code, I’m sure. The old gym was in the basement of the school with two small narrow staircases going up.
I remember being hungry by the time lunch rolled around. I wasn’t much of a breakfast eater(not sure that’s a word). A long line always formed while we waited to have our cardboard ticket punched. The lunch lady was also the school secretary who punched our tickets as fast as her paper hole puncher could punch.
On to the milk metal box cooler where we plucked our small box of white milk. Fridays were special with chocolate milk one of the choices. Plastic trays with five dividers held the lunch for the day. Milk carton for one spot, fruit, vegetable, main course and dessert with a side.slot for silverware. The food was splattered on the sections where our imagination ran wild as to what the main dish might be. We sat at large, metal picnic style tables, always racing to sit with the popular crowd…or not depending on who I was friends that day. Yes girl drama goes back a long ways. Cleaning off our trays was our job, scraping what was left into a hole in a table with a garbage pail underneath it.
Racing through lunch was usually the norm, with the rest of lunch period spent at recess or on the “stage” where the high schoolers could ‘hang out’. For a small school, the ‘stage’ was used for school dramas, band programs and musicals. It was also the ‘in’ place if you were a senior.
I don’t recall lunch at home. We did butcher our own pigs, so pig tongue was no lie. Cow heart was an early delicacy, I don’t remember how long mom gave it to us for supper until we squealed we didn’t want to eat it anymore. We also ate creamed tuna on toast, cornmeal mush and fried mushrooms plucked from the ground when in season…around this time of year. Fried SPAM, not the computer kind, but the canned variety made it to our table. A favorite for a family of five was tacos while mom or dad sat at the end of the supper table frying the corn soft shells on the griddle. We piled them high with fresh ground beef, lettuce and cheese.
Lunch for the farmer was typically a large meal at noon so it was called dinner with the evening meal called supper. I graduated to lunch and dinner when I left the farm, confusing my mom to this day as to what I’m eating when. Something I’ve never forgotten was a snack I had as a young child coming home after school. Not thinking my mom ever knew, but guessing she did because moms know most things. White bread, oreo cookies with a slather of miracle whip was my afternoon snack. I’m gagging as I write that combination. I’d like to think I had a deficiency of something if I was eating that mixture.