random school food memories

what a weird blog post for me to start the new year off with, eh? what can i say? some crazy memories hit me today while i was making my lunch (my current odd pregnancy craving – top ramen chicken flavored). but you need a little bit of background info…. why? because that’s the way i am. there’s no such thing as a "short story" with me. or "long story short." in my case, it’s short, boring story stretched out for an eternity. so enjoy!   :)


i attended two Christian schools in high school. actually, i was at LBCA (which dave’s grandpa & grandma helped to start – seriously!) from grade 4-10. and then i was at PMCA for my last two years of high school. LBCA had an actual cafeteria with hot lunches and lunch ladies and the works. PMCA had NOTHING. if you forgot your lunch, you went hungry. seriously. but the year i started there (grade 11), my friend’s mom started a lunch program. fresh fruit, cup o soup, snacky things (chips, cookies, etc.) and i’m not sure what else. to me, it was a sad state of affairs. to my new friends, it was NOVELTY…. ACTUAL FOOD FOR PURCHASE AT SCHOOL?! so here are some oddball memories from school lunches….


in 11th grade, jen painter used to buy a cup of noodles soup every day. she’d sit at our table (which wasn’t the same table every day – not like at some high schools across the country). she’d open it up. remove ALL the veggies (carrot, peas, corn, etc.) and throw them away. then she’d head back to the counter for the hot water. she’d wait patiently for her noodles to soften and enjoy her soup. this was daily. and it’s so odd that i remember it.


and then there was rachel marks. she’d buy an ice cream sandwich every day. that wasn’t her dessert – that WAS her lunch. her whole lunch. oh silly rachel. (does anyone remember if the ice cream sandwich was from a vending machine or if lisa’s mom brought them in? i’m thinking it was a vending machine b/c i vaguely recall how mad rachel was one day when there were no ice cream sandwiches…..)


i packed my lunch daily. usually ham sandwiches on small potato buns. and a can of pop. and i don’t remember what else (plenty of junk food, for sure). i went through crazy phases with lunches all through school. 95% of the time, i took a packed lunch. i was SUCH a picky eater (still am, unfortunately) so the best was to ensure i would actually EAT lunch was for me to take it to school. so here are my random school lunch memories:


early elementary school: wonder woman lunch box. school bus broke down. we had to change buses. my lunch box opened and spilled it’s contents ALL OVER THE GROUND as i was about to step on the new (working) bus. i was devastated. 


2nd grade (Texas): had to buy hot lunch daily with my lunch ticket. i pretty much NEVER ate ANY food. i remember getting in a LOT of trouble with the lunch monitor for throwing away my food. she said she was going to send home a note to my mom telling her not to let me buy lunch anymore. i was fine with that. but i was also scared that i was in big trouble. that was the end of my hot lunches!


4th grade: bologna sandwiches daily. DAILY. my mom would buy bologna in bulk (when on sale) and freeze it. when i gave up bologna, there was still quite a stockpile in the freezer. she was not happy. but i ate it every day for almost an entire school year. i won’t touch the stuff now. hmmmm… i’m also remembering 1/2 a can of spaghetti-o’s in a thermos daily. so maybe i gave up bologna for spaghetti-o’s?


6th grade: decorative lunch bags. snoopy. and then fun/pretty ones we found at a fabric store (odd place to find them, i know). i actually took my bags BACK HOME each day to make them last as long as possible. 


10th grade: Heather (cheerleader) being AWED by HOW MUCH I ATE once i started playing basketball. i think she was just jealous that i could eat so much and LOSE weight!  :)


grades 4-10: my FAVORITE lunches – hot lunch for Friday Pizza Day. do you remember that old school rectangular pizza that the lunch ladies would heat up in sealed plastic? and it would stay warm under the heat lamps? and you had to open it yourself and try not to get burned by the steam? that pizza was nasty. but i sure LOVED it. my other favorite? Hot Roast Beef Sandwich Day (usually 1-2 Thursdays a month). A small to-go styrofoam container with two slices of white bread… loaded with roast beef meat and LOTS of gravy. so much gravy, in fact, that the bread was completely soggy… JUST HOW I LOVED IT! you only needed a fork (no knife) to eat it. it was heavenly. mmmmmmmmm!


other odd memories:

- grade 4 or 5 when rachel (not the aforementioned rachel marks) threw up at least 2x a month on the lunchroom floor. she’d never ask to go to the bathroom. she never would get up and go to the open-top trashcan. instead, it was all over the floor. and i was usually at the same 1/2 of the table where she was. ick!

- "loaning" far too much money to friends and classmates for ice cream, chips, milk, lunch, etc.

- sharing my excessive abundance of easter candy every year

- class field trip to Sea World (probably kindergarten or grade 1) in Ohio. it was SOOOO COLD that my chaperone (a friend’s mom, i think) had to open my hostess cupcakes b/c i couldn’t feel my fingers

- the joy in small bags of doritos (which i think are disgusting now)

- taking an apple AND a PARING KNIFE in my lunch BAG (i hated biting into apples and i wouldn’t eat an apple that was browning and i wouldn’t eat an apple that had been soaking in lemon juice or anything acidic)


do you have any fun, weird or random memories from school lunches? 


be prepared. i may want to share some stories from college lunches one day. maybe. tee hee!

2 thoughts on “random school food memories

  1. We always packed our lunches, so it wasn’t a big deal that there wasn’t a hot lunch program at PMCA. But they always sold snacks and had pizza one day a week- even before they started adding hot menu items. The best year was 10th grade when someone’s dad hooked us up with one of those hot dog vendors. He came once a week with his little truck and set up shop right outside the cafeteria doors. He sold delicious hot sausage sandwiches that I still get a craving for to this day! I also have very fond memories of senior lunch out, rotating between McD’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut’s lunch buffet. Then trying to get back to sign in with Mrs. Rodgers in time!

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