Monday’s Portrait: Portrait of a Lunchbox
School starts this week. I just made my third trip to Target in as many days for last minute school supplies, socks, and Sterilite containers. The containers are part of my ambitious project to organize my pantry, which is a spin-off of my ambitious project to organize my recipes, which is a spin-off of my most ambitious project: This year I told my kids they can only have hot lunch once a week. The rest of the days I am sending them to school with a lunchbox. My motivation for doing this is that I want them eating healthier food. This means that I can’t just throw peanut butter on bleached white bread and add a bag of chips and a twinkie. But I have to make my kids believe that what I pack is as awesome as the aforementioned meal, or they’ll be wishing they could go back to hot lunches. I have told myself a hundred times over the last few days to calm down, I don’t have to get stressed out about this. I can find some simple, healthy things for their lunchboxes. But I AM stressed out. And I have located the major source of that stress: one of my all time favorite books as a kid: BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES by Russel and Lillian Hoban.
Jam on biscuits, jam on toast,Jam is the thing that I like most.
“I have a cream cheese-cucumber-and-tomato sandwich on rye bread,” said Albert. “And a pickle to go with it. And a hard-boiled egg and a little cardboard shaker of salt to go with that. And a thermos bottle of milk. And a bunch of grapes and a tangerine. And a cup custard and a spoon to eat it with.”
“I have a thermos bottle with cream of tomato soup,” she tells Albert the next day, “And a lobster-salad sandwich on thin slices of white bread. I have celery, carrot sticks, and black olives, and a little cardboard shaker of salt for the celery. And two plums and a tiny basket of cherries. And vanilla pudding with chocolate sprinkles and a spoon to eat it with.”
“I think it’s nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice.”