Sunday, February 1, 2015

A reader's question: packing lunches


"Something I've always wondered about is your lunches. I know that you often take leftovers. What about the other 5 people in your household? What food is available, and who makes their lunches? Morning or night before? I'd love to read a good blog post about packed lunches!"
*Recently, I knew that I would have an early dismissal, so I didn't bother packing lunches. Once I returned home, I cleaned out the fridge leftovers, making myself a salad plate, adding some Deli sliced ham (Aldi's) for a protein source.

Long gone are the mornings when I would pack lunches for 6 of us! Typlically, after supper, I prep my lunch container with leftovers. I keep tea bags at work, so I really only need to focus on the solid food. A reheatable container (love Pyrex with plastic covers), cutlery as needed, a piece of fruit, and often, my breakfast yogurt are packed in a soft sided bag, and a fzn cold pack inserted. Done.

Oldest 3 are all young adults, working weird, inconsistent hours in retail. They are on their own. That said, I will suggest that they heat up X or Y from the fridge if eating from home. 2 of these 3 never tote a lunch bag, but may* grab a protein bar or some fruit. Shrug. One does pack a lunch. She will bring designated leftovers (has access to a microwave as well as a Kurig provided by her boss), or make a sandwich. She will also sometimes buy fzn entrees or just add boiling water and/or heat up in microwave soup cups, for example. Fresh fruit is often grabbed as well.

Besides myself, I feel that I am only responsible for the 2 youngest kidlets. For at least a year, one twin would literally tote his lunch bag to/from school, only to eat it when he got home. @@ Forget this! I have precious little time in the morning to waste on making a lunch for someone who won't eat it. So, I am down to one. : )

I typically keep a few packages of lunch meat on hand: Aldi's bologna, Aldi's lean ham. Sometimes, turkey breast, Salami. Alternatively, hard boiled eggs are sliced or turned into egg and green olive salad, peanut butter and jam or fluff sandwiches, warmed up leftover hotdogs/sausage in a bun are wrapped in foil (stay reasonably warm until lunch (no cold pack on those days), home roasted meats when available if not turkey/chicken/tuna/deviled ham salads. I also pack pasta salads that contain protein (meat/egg or beans), tossed salad with aforementioned proteins. I keep sliced cheeses on hand for sandwiches: Swiss, extra sharp Cheddar, Provolone, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, plain Colby, Munster. I typically stock up once a month, and we eat it down, moving to block cheese  to hand plane, if monies are tight. 

I add a baked good/cookie(s), and a refillable 16 oz container of water. Done.


Belinda said...

I watched the neatest YouTube video this morning on making your own pressed lunch meat. I may have to try it sometime. She also had a neat video on making your own bouillon powder. I've saved them to view later when I have time off from work.

Here is a link if you are interested:

Grammy Goodwill said...

I've never heard of egg/olive salad. Do you use the olives instead of pickles, then add mayo? Thanks.

CTMOM said...

In my family we always make egg and olive salad this way:
1-use a pastry blender and chop up the hard boiled eggs in a bowl
2-add mayo, black pepper, salt, and some sliced green olives with red pimento.
Blend until well incorporated. I suspect that this recipe may hark from the '30's or '40's. Maybe it's a Massachusetts thing-that is where I am from. Many also do cream cheese and sliced green olive sandwiches, white bread preferred!