Over the last couple of years I have somehow managed to shift the school lunch making responsibility over to Andrew. I am not sure how I did it and I am always a little worried that this carefully constructed scenario might collapse at any time. I hate making school lunches. Never a big fan of sandwiches myself, I can’t make them and I hate the boring monotony of it all. I tended to put too much effort into making different things each day, making them presentable, etc….only for them to come home untouched. I think Sam probably ate about 10% of his lunches in his first two years of school. Now his much improved rate hovers around the 60% mark. Tara is a bit better with her lunches, mostly because she has very little breakfast. It used to make me really annoyed to see the lunches come back intact, confirming a total waste of the effort I had put in that morning. Ofcourse Sam would then try to hide his lunchboxes and they would get really disgusting. We make him hose out his own school bag every school holidays – he has to put his hand in there and extract anything still lingering in zip lock bags or boxes. By the end of term his school bag is pretty heavy with all the hidden bits of food in there!
Andrew makes pretty predictable lunches. Often the exact same thing day after day. There are almost no variations based on each child’s preference (he just can’t remember – or can’t be bothered). I bite my tongue and never comment. I don’t want to tempt fate and find that task fall back on me. The kids seem to cope with it just fine and it does not seem to make any differece to the ‘success’ rate. When Andrew has an interstate trip planned, my first thought is “who will make the lunches?!”. I have been known to ask if he could get up a little earlier (4.30 instead of 5am) and make the lunches before he goes to the airport.
Lunch making fell to me the other day. And rather than face making sandwiches, I decided to shape up some of the dough I was about to bake as a loaf into ham and cheese rolls instead. I flattened out some of my usual sourdough dough into a rectangle. Scattered some ham I diced up and some grated cheese, and rolled it up. Cut it into thick slices and baked them for 20 minutes. As soon as they cooled slightly (so they would not ‘cook’ the fruit in the lunchbox) I popped them into the lunchboxes. Easy. And they were hugely popular too. The kids demolished them and asked for more. Even Sam the “vegetarian” was happy to have meat in his lunchbox that day! Next time I am going to make a double batch and freeze some for those emergency days when I am forced to make school lunches.