I always hated school cafeteria food...

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TIPPY LEE
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/20 23:21:17 (permalink)
My father was career army, so I got to experience many different things in many places...When he retired in 1973 after thirty years service, we came here to the Eastern Kentucky mountains, his home area, much to my mother's and mine's objections! Grade school food here was really wonderful. Chili, homemade yeast rolls that were bigger than you fist, chicken and dumplings, hamburgers and fries,etc.,...The main cook was a saint of a lady whom just recently went to that "big lunchroom in the sky", Lack Lafferty. She always knew when a child needed an encourageing word, and might need a little extra on their plates as that might be all they have to eat that day.Don't make em' like her anymore! High school food was a tad underpar. The preresiquite pizza and corn, but the most feared, by me at least was the Chuckwagon patty. A contender for mystery meat if ever there was one...Of course now, they have changed to more mainstream like all others:salad bar, tacos, pizza, etc.,....Those were the days my friends! Tom B. in cold, wet, foggy, Eastern Kentucky.
#31
robicheaux
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/22 10:58:38 (permalink)
back in the 50's tacos in CA were great, but having my first New Orleans Poor Boy ( ham & Cheese ) in high school in New Orleans was always my favorite for 50 cents.
#32
Jennifer_4
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/22 11:06:19 (permalink)
My high school cafeteria had a way with bread dough. They turned out the most delicious homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and pigs in blankets or beerocks. They also turned out a dish called "hamburger gravy" which was just ground beef mixed with beef gravy ladled over mashed potatoes (something I serve for dinner occasionally). The most memorable bad thing was the fried chicken..the pieces of chicken sat in a large pool of grease on our plates.
#33
Art Deco
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/22 11:18:43 (permalink)
My elementary school cafeteria experience was like those of emsmom and redtressed. Mostly I remember sturdy grandmotherly women in white uniforms and hairnets making lots of good food. The made-from-scratch rolls were particularly delightful. The canned english peas were not (I still retch at the smell of these...)
#34
Route 11
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/23 11:25:46 (permalink)
My high school food was pretty good. It was an ala carte set-up. We also had salad bar, potato bar and pasta bar on rotating days.
In elementary school, we had mystery meat patties shaped like a smurf head, complete with hat. I still can't figure out what they were.
#35
trolasater
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/23 12:15:35 (permalink)
My favorite memory of school cafeteria food was wonderful hot rolls the size of your hand. The one recurring nightmare from elementary school was giant dried lima beans. These horrors were each the size of an adult's thumb and must have been WWII surplus. When cooked (you had to boil them for a very long time to make them tender), you got a watery off white goo filled with empty bean skins that looked like cicada bodies. My favorite meal was meat loaf, white rice, and steamed cabbage.
#36
RubyRose
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/23 12:44:11 (permalink)
In elementary school, we ate our packed lunches in a dreary, low-ceilinged basement with naked light bulbs and big exposed pipes overhead. We could buy little cartons of milk but since there was no refrigeration, it was usually warm by lunctime.

I hardly remember my high school cafeteria, although I do remeber snaeking out of lunch period frequently for a cheesesteak from a little place about a block away.

The food in college was good, except for any menu item preceeded by the word "savory". I attended Penn State and they always had a couple of flavors of the good ice cream they still sell at The Creamery on campus for dessert.
#37
Rusty246
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/23 13:25:49 (permalink)
I too loved the pizza, ours was always sausage so there was a bit too much fennel, soy burgers, ahh yes. Cinnamon rolls were always great except for the bully that tried to talk everyone out of the center of their rolls. What about the peanut butter bars, anyone remember those? We were fortunate to have ice cold milk, chocolate or regular
#38
danimal15
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/24 09:36:17 (permalink)
I hated cafeteria food, too. That's why I never ate in my high school cafeteria. Luckily, I went to high school in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, and we had an open campus. Gold Coast Dogs was a block away, so I went there a lot for char burgers and char dogs. There also was a Leon's BBQ on Clark Street back then, another popular lunch spot for my friends and me. And a place farther down Clark Street called Calliope that had good gyros. And a pizzeria (still there) called My Pie. Gee, I miss high school!
#39
MikeS.
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/11/25 00:20:55 (permalink)
For the longest time I swore that my elementary school cafeteria would serve spaghetti the day after they mowed the grass. The spaghetti athey served always had some herb/spice that looked like a blade of grass.

MikeS.
#40
enginecapt
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/04 05:44:40 (permalink)
I'm old enough to have gone to school in the days when they MADE you eat EVERYTHING on your plate. I can remember the cafeteria at the old Morro Bay Elementary in Morro Bay, CA had a Japanese lady who would watch the kids as they ate, and she brooked no horseplay whatsoever.

This lady would go up and down the aisles, and when you were finished, you had to raise your hand, whereupon she would come over and inspect your plate. If there was any food left, you were instructed to eat it or there was no leaving to play for the rest of the lunch period.

Over the years, I have learned to eat many food items that were untouchable to me in childhood. But one thing I still cannot stand is butter on my bread. I despised it then as much as I do now. After being forced to choke and gag my bread and butter down a few times, I came up with a novel plan. I simply took both pieces of bread in hand, waited for the lunchlady to have her back to me, then I would slap the bread on the underside of the table, using the slathered on butter as glue.

I never got caught, and I never ate another piece of bread and butter from that year forward. And that was way back in 1962.
#41
Farfromhome
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/04 11:04:12 (permalink)
In elementary school at LaVace Stewart Elementary in Kemah Texas they had the same menu day in, day out month after month except for the last day before you got out for thanksgiving and christmas. I can't remember what was served Monday through Wednesday, but Thursday was hamburger days (yes those soy patties) and Friday was the fried fish sandwich (like a mcdonalds filet o'fish minus the cheese and lettuce) with gobs of tarter sauce slathered on top. Those were my 2 favorite days to buy my lunch and the rest of the week I would bring a sandwich from home. Also, it seemed like they served raisin and carrot salad with everything. One of the lunch ladies lived next door to us and I mentioned (to be polite) that I really liked the raisin and carrot salad and for the rest of my elementery school life I got served that salad in massive quantities when I went through the line.

The food choices in jr. high and high school were much better and there I was introduced to my all time favorite school lunch of sloppy joes!!!! Also they had things like corn dogs, chili dogs, and fries so greasy you could wring them out and get a puddle of grease.

My great aunt was the supervisor for the Texas City High's cafeteria for a number of years and I always envied those kids because she planned all the food offerings herself and the recipes were the same things she served at her home and that lady was one hell of a cook. Of course this was before federal mandates of how much fat etc could be in a school lunch so the food actually tasted like food. Nowadays, at least at the schools my kids attended the food is so awful it seems like child abuse to make these kids eat this stuff and my kids always take a lunch rather than buy anything but milk and juice at the cafeteria.
#42
enginecapt
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/04 20:24:21 (permalink)
By the time I got to San Clemente, CA HS, they had shut down all the school kitchens, and were shipping the food out of one central district kitchen in San Juan Capistrano. I'll never forget the hamburgers. They were made with a thin grey patty of mystery meat, with painted on grill lines. They sure were good though, in a White Castle sort of way.
#43
MYmimi
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/05 22:13:17 (permalink)
Back in Lyndhurst, Ohio in the 60's we had the BEST cafeteria food on Fridays. Greenview Junior High.The macaroni and cheese, french fries, and cherry pie with crumble topping were to die for.[:p
#44
zussers
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/05 22:21:29 (permalink)
Ick, the worst at my school (Farragut elementary and middle in Knoxville) was the Salisbury steak. The gravy they served was like glue! I get sick just thinking about that glop! I guess the best was the pizza and the taco's! I don't think the stuff they served in highschool was all that bad. We could get milkshakes and pizza all the time.
#45
UncleVic
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/05 23:26:36 (permalink)
I wish some of the younger folk would do some posts here also (Or kids of some of the roadfooders here)! Around here, our better off schools are equiped like a mini restaurant now. Choices to be had! (Like college). I see some of you had choices back in the 70's, we always received what the cooks decided to serve that day. Actually, as stated earlier, we did have a choice of White or Choclate milk... Either way, I still stand behind my favorite being the meatloaf and mashed spud day. (I've even read in the past that a few schools on the east coast have gourmet food served vs. the normal slop).
#46
Gizmolito
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/08 19:46:29 (permalink)
I'm sure others may remember this from the mid- or late-50's:

"Mock Drumstick," which was veal made to resemble chicken! I guess at that time veal was cheaper than chicken. Of course back then, chicken was not marketed into individual parts as they are today.
Ground veal was molded to the shape of a chicken leg, and then cooked (I don't recall if it was baked or deep fried, mere child that I was.)
I avoided veal for years after that, since it wasn't very good.
#47
EdSails
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/08 20:33:59 (permalink)
I think the most amazing thing about elementary school menus were the names. Somehow the entire creative output was not channeled into creating the food, but instead of coming up with names like "Playground Chicken", "Baseball Burger" and "PBJ Surprise".
#48
Pogo
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/09 00:19:51 (permalink)
I never knew you had the option of not eating what was put in front of you.......And liking it.
But dear old Mrs. Henderson was my elementary school Lunch lady. And could she cook! Just good old appalachian soul food, but it was made with love. My favorites? Chocolate oatmeal fudgy cookies, chili served with either peanut butter or pimento cheese sandwiches. Homemade yeast rolls, sloppy joes.
Pogophiles, I agree with you about those green peas... When I read your post I kinda gurgled a little bit, but I ate them.

Jr High we had no cafeteria, there was a little drive-in across the street that made Krystal style hamburgers and those were brought into the gym each day and sold for lunch. I usually had a Dr. Pepper and some cheese crackers.

High School was an open campus because we had no cafeteria. Beer was sometimes my food of choice, or I would drive to Merri Mirths Bakery and get a cream horn.

I have one child in middle school and one in high school now. Both of them have salad bars to choose from, they have pizza every day, always 3 different meats to choose from...... And my children refuse to eat it. ALL THE FOOD IS PRE-PREPARED!!! Nothing is handmade anymore and is of the lowest quality obtainable.

It is sad that in a country as great as ours, that we cant find the money to feed children properly. I went to elementary in the 60's, and I know for a fact that the lunch served at school was the only meal some of my classmates would get that day and I am sure that is the case today.

Ketchup is a vegetable........... Anyone remember that bunch of crap? That was the beginning of the end.
#49
Wallyum
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/09 00:50:39 (permalink)
The best lunch item that St. Therese Elementary in Southgate, KY had to offer was the Hot Balogna and Cheese sandwiches. They were served on a bun wrapped in foil with a mystery mustard sauce and they were truly impressive. I reminded my Mom of them a few years ago and she promptly whipped up a batch. They were just as good 20 years later. That was pretty much it though. I don't remember another single menu item that was memorable, although their idea of pizza, half a hamburger bun with a smear of tomato paste and some cheddar cheese, left me fairly cold. After this, even the large squares they served in high school were impressive.
#50
KimChee43
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/09 09:48:00 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by EdSails

I think the most amazing thing about elementary school menus were the names. Somehow the entire creative output was not channeled into creating the food, but instead of coming up with names like "Playground Chicken", "Baseball Burger" and "PBJ Surprise".


Ed, you're right on target. I remember "Wiener Winks" -- take a piece of bread, add a slice of American cheese, place the wiener diagonally on top, fold up the ends, secure with toothpick and bake. I guess the idea was you'd see the wiener "peeking" (winking?) out either end of the bread.
#51
brookquarry
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/09 10:37:52 (permalink)
we also had wiener winks. also chuckwagon steak(a breaded deep-fried veal pattie) and pizzaburgers ( a sloppy-joe type mixture with ground sausage replaing the ground beef)
#52
Spudnut
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/09 12:09:20 (permalink)
My personal favorite was Thursday, when we had a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna and macaroni salad. For some reason, that was really good.

The most popular day was Wednesday, which was pizza day. If we could figure out how they made one slice so greasy, we could tell OPEC to get lost. It was good, though. But, I didn't like anything else they served with it.

The only meal I recall steadfastly avoiding was burger day. I'm not sure what they were made of, but I wouldn't have wanted to have been a dog living near my school.

#53
coppercat
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/11 22:12:13 (permalink)
The only thing I can remember about school lunches was Friday was Pizza day. Somehow I remember that as the best pizza ever. But if your class was one of the last to get to the cafe. there was none left and you enden up with PBJ instead.
#54
Scarlett
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/11 22:27:23 (permalink)
Our cafeteria food wall always excellent.
The schools (grammer, junior/middle and high) were relatively small and the smell of the baking rolls started perminating the halls by second period. Every one was in a 'feeding frenzy' by lunch.
The vegetable/beef soup, meat loaf and chicken pot pie-- all legendary.
#55
AndreaB
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/12 09:45:34 (permalink)
I have never been a fan of school food, but I do fondly remember the days we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Also, the spice cake with the white icing was good. Dreaded foods included the anise seed pizza, the fake mashed potatoes, and the sloppy joes. In the final year of high school, we were allowed to bring food from the cafeteria to class, and my friend and I put way to many raw onions on our hamburgers so we put the excess onions in our desks. The next day, our desks were sitting out in the hall being aired out and we had to clean them out and sit in them in the hall for that hour and then go to the office.
#56
Pwingsx
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/12 18:01:30 (permalink)
In Boulder, during the late sixties and early seventies, on Mondays or Wednesdays they would have the "Manager's Special." It was either a hamburg gravy over mashed potatoes, or an ice cream scoop of some casserole that somewhat resembled Spanish rice. I thought it was wonnnnderful.

But of course, the chili and cinnamon roll on Fridays was the best.
#57
ConeyIslandLou
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/12 18:13:44 (permalink)
School lunches.....mmmm....Sloppy Joes with rice-to this day Sloppy Joes get accompanied by rice....yes...the meatloaf with gov't issued instant taters...the same when they had turkey.....
#58
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/12 23:03:39 (permalink)
It's amazing. I originally posted this topic out of a Yahoo link. With the responses so far, I have begun to think about my past school meals, also. No, not about the pizza & turnip green fiasco, but about the wonderful meals I had during my stent as a "military brat" in Puerto Rico. Arroz con Pollo, plantanos, the "infamous" tomato soup (aka penny cleanser...), et. al. I remember so many things; so many good foods from this era of my life ('65-68). Ah, the chateaubriand; the Maine lobster (all via NAS San Juan). All gone... If there are other Antilles brats out out there; please let me hear from 'ya...
#59
noncentz
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RE: I always hated school cafeteria food... 2004/12/15 13:24:57 (permalink)
Massachusetts high school lunch in the 80's:

A love it or leave it "meal" was something called Pizza-burger, which resounds with a lot more potential than it actually offered, but I loved it anyway.

It was basically a hamburger bun half (top or bottom) with a sloppy-joeish topping that was baked, thus allowing the sloppy joe substance to become dryer and less sloppy. The meat in the joe-stuff was ground much further also, so it was practically a paste on the bun. The pizza aspect came from the "cheese" that was placed on top of the bun creation prior to baking. The cheese was nothing akin to a dairy product. It was in fact, a couple of Cheez-its that became soggy when mixed with the sauce mixture.

As disgusting as it sounds, Pizza-burger was an anticipated meal at school and it is the one recipe I wish I had - because I've never seen it on a menu anywhere.
#60
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