Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Convoluted Post.

It happens, sometimes.  I read a great blog post that starts me down Memory Lane, which then oddly coincides with the next thing I read online.  My friend, Sylvie, would say it's the sixth sense kicking in (in a very mild way).  I would say it's co-inky-dinks.

This post, by one of my favorite bloggers, dealt with your first real job, what you did and what you were paid to do it.  That got me thinking about all of the 'odd' jobs I have had over the years, leading, eventually, of me thinking about my short-lived stint as a camp cook.  I actually loved that job - it was cooking (good) for kids (good) on great, big, wonderful industrial strength machines (good) for a tasteless, megalomaniac (bad) who was the wife of the guy that ran the camp.  I would zip into the kitchen in the wee hours to whip up a giant batch of Tollhouse cookies or breakfast muffins.  I can humbly say that the kids loved me.  I think that was the beginning of the end.  Mrs. Crabcakes (let's just call her that, shall we?) did not exude warmth and was NOT a favorite of the campers.  The inevitable happened - she invaded my space (the kitchen), tasted my macaroni and cheese (NOT from a box) and told me it was bland.  She then -- in front of my very eyes -- dumped a half cup of garlic powder into it.  She was lucky I was not holding or standing near a sharp object.  I refused to serve the campers the mac 'n garlic, took off my apron and walked out.  I heard there was an uprising once the kids (and their parents, who were there for parents' day) got a whiff of dinner.

All this long rambling to lead to the article I read right after this remembrance.  It was about a Chicago area school that banned homemade, home-packed lunches.  The principal of the school said she was doing it for the kids' sake - and the sake of their good nutrition.  Then the article proceeded to list what the school considered as good nutrition.  Those poor kids -- faced with mystery meat or nothing?  Lots will eat nothing.  And, as was noted in the article and several sidebar articles, that will not help them with their ability to learn.  In some ways, I can see what the principal is trying to do.  Lots of the kids were bringing sodas and chips for lunch.  Not a vegetable in view, unless you want to count the unknown make-up of the chips.  I know that it's not easy to prepare everything from scratch and keep your costs in line, but it ain't impossible!  There seems to be no knowledge of food, health, or creativity involved in school lunches, for the most part.  In California, there are programs (as, I'm sure, there are in other parts of the country) and collaborations where school lunches are good tasting and good for you and the kids even like them!  And then, what about these kids' parents?  What, you can't put together a PBJ on grained bread with some fruit and yogurt?  And not that squirtable yogurt stick thingy.  Grump.  Of course, I could go off on my crotchety old-lady rant about how kids are allowed to choose their foods and tend to only want chicken nuggets and ketchup.  But I won't.  Heehee -- did!  What's your take on all this?


  1. I won't let my kids eat school lunches. I've eaten there with them and there are healthy choices, problem is nobody can force them to pick them and all the kids choose "nuggets" and fries, yuck! I have always packed my kids lunches, a sandwich usually pb & honey or homemade jam, sometimes turkey, yogurt, some cubes of cheese, pretzels, and apple, banana or grapes or raisins. Fridays they get to have chocolate pudding instead of yogurt LOL, I'm not all evil! There is a girl in one of my son's classes whose mom meets her in the cafeteria every day at lunch with a bag from McD's.. can you imagine? Oh don't get me started... I'm with you, Susan! :)

  2. Erin - Good gawd! That mother should be banned from the lunchroom! I know it's difficult to get kids to eat what is good for them, but you've done it. Maybe a lot of parents no longer know how to cook, or find it a chore, rather than a joy. That's too bad. But there is still hope when there are moms like you :o)

  3. I wonder how many parents watch the Jamie Oliver program? I optimistically think there will be a turnaround here....we already see it with healthier choices at fast food takes a long time.
    As we had talked about our mother's receipes...they weren't exactly healthy...these poor women were intrigued with the advent of processed food, having worked so hard for years with their own processing. Like the smoking will happen.

  4. It's all about education. So many people simply do not know anything about real nutrition. And, let's face it, there is so much conflicting information out there that it is very difficult to know what is right. I think the best thing that could happen to our society would be to bring the mother back into the home. But I guess first we'd have to find a way of fixing single parent homes, too. It all makes me so sad.