Alison gave me the idea for this post, as when I was commenting on her blog I started thinking of all those foods I liked that we had in our school cafeteria.
See, before you read this, you need to know that I went to a VERY small Catholic school for K-8, so there was not hundreds or thousands of kids to cook for. There weren't even a hundred kids at the school, yes it was that small. Most things were homemade. It was great. A lot of kids went back for seconds (in a small school you can do that). The head lunch-lady was also the owner/cook of a popular local restaurant/bar that was open in the evenings.
These were some of my favorite dishes:
* Pizzaburgers (not like a patty, but layers on a bun) Kinda like this recipe using the tomato soup, but on open-face hamburger buns.
* Tunaburgers (they were a creamy mixture on a bun, this recipe sounds like it.)
* Homemade pizza (crust & everything, this was a real treat!)
* Peanut Butter Dessert Squares (check out the Creamy Dessert Squares)
* Tater-tot Hotdish (recipe here)
* Pizza Casserole
I didn't care for the tacos. I was the weird kid that would take someone's refried beans on taco days in exchange for my taco, because you had to have a clean plate. I also didn't like peas and would try to get rid of those. Oh, and I detested these pork chopettes. A lot of the boys like the pork things so that was an easy thing to get rid of. I also didn't like when they made us take the raisin & peanut cups. I was not very fond of raisins thenand the peanuts were unsalted. What the hell? Who wants to eat unsalted peanuts.
Why can't I remember the other foods. I remember getting tomato soup and grilled cheese -- that was good and chili. I don't remember a lot of other soups. I also remember eating ravioli and loving that. Mom didn't buy us canned ravioli, so getting it at school was a treat, although I don't like the ravioli in the high school I work in. We always had a fish or vegetarian main course on Friday -- as we were a Catholic school. On fish days she always made her homemade potato salad. It was good, but since you knew you were going to her restaurant that evening and would have it, it did get old. I never did like the fish fillets (like those Van De Kamps breaded triangular ones) or fish sticks. I gave those away too. Oh! And I never likes the mashed poatatoes -- they were instant. Still don't care for instant mashed potaoes. I did like baked potatoes, but as a kid I didn't like skins and would get hollered at for not eating my skins. But that is why we always traded, so you got to eat the foods you liked and didn't get hollered at for not eating everything, because they made you take one of everything.
I guess I didn't care much for a lot of the pre-made stuff, except the ravioli. I always liked the homemade stuff and have fond memories of those things. Even now that I work in a high school, I tend to eat the lunches that require more assembling (as nothing is "really" homemade when you have 2000 students to cook for). Although they make the tatertot hotdish homemade (can you get tatertot hotdish pre-made?) and this great homemade potpie. I tend to eat a lot of salads there. They have a great salad bar with tons of things on it. They also always have a few choices for fresh fruit, which is great to get a variety of melons in the winter.
The good thing I notice about the high school and about the public high school I went to, is that they don't make you take anything.
You know, now that I re-read this post I am starting to think I was a little bit picky. I never thought I was a picky kid, as there were kids who didn't like things A LOT more than me. As I got older my tastes changed and I like some of the things I used to not like (peas, tacos, ok mayeb that is it). Hmmmm.....I wonder what my kid is not going to like.......