Hot Lunch eLearning Style

If you ask any kid what their favorite part of school is, I’ll bet you a majority of them would answer, “lunch and recess!” If you think back to your school hot lunches, I bet you remember Friday pizza days. Your tray may have looked like this:

Ahhh…the rectangle pizza that fit neatly in the compartment. As I look at this picture, I don’t know what bougie school this kid went to, but we never got soft pretzels with mustard. And the fruit cocktail and milk need to be switched. What kind of monster put them in the wrong compartments?? Oh the humanity! I digress…

You could always tell a lot about a kid by the way they ate their rectangle pizza. They usually fell into one of a few categories:

  1. The Folder: This method involved folding the pizza in half and eating it like a taco. It’s efficient and no-nonsense, however this method had its drawbacks. If you didn’t staunch the flow of grease with a wad of those useless mini napkins before you folded it, you’d have to tilt it and let the grease drip out through the trough created at the fold. By the time you were done de-greasing it, all the cheese would have slid to the center and completely ruined the cheese-to-soggy crust ratio. If you didn’t do the trough method of de-greasing and just started shoveling in, you’d have a river of grease dripping down your chin and arm. It was not attractive.
  2. The Knife and Forker: This method of cutting the pizza into bite-sized pieces was generally adopted by prissy girls who wrote with fancy pens with fake flowers and flowy feathers on top. They also had a coordinating headband, bow or scrunchie for every outfit. The Knife and Fork method, while much tidier and sophisticated, was slow and inefficient, (especially if your school had plastic utensils) leaving you with little time for recess after lunch.
  3. The Slob: This is probably the most direct method of getting pizza into your gob, but by far the messiest and grossest. It required strange contortions to steer the floppy, drippy mess to your face and it was annoying and unappetizing having to sit next to this Oscar Madison. You could always tell which locker belonged to this kid too. It always had a coat or random papers sticking out their half-shut door (if they could close the locker at all), and it smelled like rotting apples or smelly socks.
  4. The Hybrid: This method requires a bit of prep, but is totally worth it in the end. First, you staunched the grease with napkins, then cut the pizza into quarters. This allowed the diner to neatly pick up the pizza without needing to fold or slop pizza goo everywhere. Students bound for National Honor Society utilized the Hybrid method.

Which kid were you? Or did you always bring cold lunch and never experienced Pizza Fridays at school?

The inmates are generally hot lunchers, and I’m totally fine with that. It’s less stress on me not having to be sure there is lunch food in the house, much less needing remind them to pack their lunch in the first place. Having one less meal to plan each day is pretty awesome too.

But now that the inmates are eating their lunch at home for the foreseeable future, I’ve decided I don’t want to be the cranky lunch lady. We decided to try to plan the weekly lunch menu together to make things more efficient and less stressful. If they decide they don’t want to eat “the main” for lunch that day, they are welcome to make themselves a sandwich. This helps in so many ways. 1.) I can more easily plan my grocery shopping instead of needing to buy a full buffet of lunch foods for them to choose from each day. 2.) It saves time every day because I don’t have to repeatedly rattle off their choices like a waitress and then waste time waiting for them to decide what to have. 3.) I’m no longer a short order cook at lunch. They either eat the jointly pre-determined lunch or make themselves a sandwich.

Here is this week’s menu:

And because I’m the quirky weird mom, I kicked it up a notch. I found a list of all the weird food holidays and we incorporate those into the menu. As you can see this Thursday is National Hot Dog Day. Last week there was International Bacon Day, so we had BLTs. Next Friday is National Cheeseburger Day, so if they have a great week, McDonald’s it is! (In case you’re interested, here’s the link to the holiday list I used: https://foodimentary.com/)

And what would hot lunch be without the compartmentalized tray?! Mmmm hmmm! Oh yes, I did! Each inmate has their own lunch tray! Here’s First Born’s lunch from yesterday:

Chicken nuggets with BBQ, smiley fries, carrots (a vegetable — I tried!) and half a banana (just like school!) Now I need to get little milk boxes and it’ll be perfect!

So far it’s been working pretty well. Come to think of it, I should have bought the Warden his own lunch tray too!

Next school element to recreate: DETENTION!

Landfills to Lemonade

Good Lord. What are we on now, like day number infinity of shelter in place? One thing I’ve realized during all of this forced togetherness is that everything seems amplified for me. And not in a good way.

For instance, lately sounds have really been driving me crazy. The crinkle of wrappers about sends me into orbit. From nearly any room in the house I can hear the deafening sound:

[Crinkle Crinkle Rustle Crackle]

The hairs on my neck go up. They might as well have dragged a fork across a chalk board. “Who’s into the snacks for the 500th time today?!?”

[Sound of chip crumbs and an empty bag hitting the floor, followed by stinky boy feet hightailing it out of the kitchen.]

“Young Son?! First Born?! Get back here and clean up your mess!”

Dead silence in return. Then I mutter a bunch of martyr-ish things under my breath and huffily clean it up myself.

Another amplified annoyance that sends me into a rage is how my house has become about as tidy as a landfill. I mean it’s not like I need to have my house “company ready” any time soon, but still…

https://assets.climatecentral.org/images/made/09_21_2015_Bobby_Magill_CC_Landfill_2_1050_788_s_c1_c_c.jpg

The other day I had just finished vacuuming the kitchen and decided I was going to be an overachiever and actually MOP the floors too. I left to get the mop out of the laundry room only to return to find Warrior Princess sitting at the counter eating shredded cheese out of the bag. My momentarily-swept floor was now covered in shards of cheese.

Me: “Amazonia! Come ON! I JUST VACUUMED! And you do realize that we have cheese in stick form, right?”

WP: “Nuh uh. The cheese sticks are gone.” More cheese falls from her mouth.

Me:What??! I JUST bought some yesterday!” I yank open the fridge and pull out the deli drawer. “See?! Right heee….” as I hold up an empty cheese stick bag.

WP: “Yeah. You should probably add that to your grocery list.”

I give her one of my best searing Mom glares as I take the empty bag over to the trash can under the kitchen sink. There I find the counter covered in more random wrappers, a half dozen coffee mugs and water glasses the Warden must have cleaned out of his office, and another dozen half-full drink cups from the inmates. Well, at least they are near the empty dishwasher and trash can. How generously helpful of them.

The amount of food these inmates have gone through over these weeks has been staggering. I’ve been trying to limit my grocery shopping to about once per week to restock but it’s basically like trying to fill a bucket with water, but the bucket has a giant hole in the bottom.

I had someone tell me, “Oh, but I saw a great article that said you should make each kid a basket and put their snacks in it for the day. Then when they’re gone, they’re gone and they don’t get any more that day.”

And then I laughed hysterically in their face. Seriously? The inmates would take that as a challenge to see who could snarf their’s down the fastest followed by making the most inappropriate thing out of the basket, wrappers and crumbs. (Hmm…Maybe that could count as Maker Space homework or some sort of STEM activity…)

Actually that just gave me a good idea. I should be making stuff around the house more educational. For instance:

Science:
Lab experiments: How many days does it take a half-eaten sandwich to grow mold? Do conditions matter? (ex: in the dark under the bed? in the playroom? Crammed into a baggie and shoved in the back of the fridge?) What is your hypothesis? In which scenario does Mom yell the loudest when she finds it?

https://www.amazon.ca/BigMouth-Inc-Theft-Deterrent-Sandwich/dp/B00JLSVDYO

Math:
Elapsed time:
Mom asks you to clean your room at 9:00 AM. At 10:15 AM, she checks your room to find that you haven’t started. She reminds you again that you need to clean your room. Then another 1 hour and 50 minutes has elapsed. Is your room clean? (Answer: of course not!) Mom tells you AGAIN to clean your room. Another 30 minutes passes. Mom starts yelling. How much time has elapsed from the time Mom first asked you to clean your room until she gets out the garbage bag and starts throwing your toys away? Show your work.

Measurement:
Vacuum the kitchen floor and under the table. What is the total volume of dirt collected in the canister? What is the ratio of dust to food crumbs? What is weight of all the dried PlayDoh you vacuumed up? How many times did you have to empty the canister before you were finished? Now measure a 1:3 ratio of Mr. Clean to water into a bucket. Mop the floor.

Reading:
Find your favorite show on TV. Go under settings and turn on captions. Mute TV. Now watch your show.

https://external-preview.redd.it/eJPP2wtQAN1Ygu7lhqxA4HYWXfrNQVv1Loa6wAtNS4k.jpg?auto=webp&s=345fbb1ae3398b0f1f53df8f4b45a623ae66608b

Spanish:
Follow steps for reading assignment, but change caption settings to “Spanish” and complete assignment.

Writing:
Write a well thought out essay on why your parents are so mean. Provide supporting evidence. Give 3 solutions to the problem. Essay may be handwritten or typed and must be at least 500 words. Spelling, punctuation and capitalization count.

And there you go, fellow parents. Lemons to lemonade. There’s your lesson plan for the week. You’re welcome. Teachers: you may commence your well-deserved summer vacation. We’ve got this.