Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lunch for the teacher

Today was the last day before Spring Break. Evidently, that's the day that the BAND appreciates the TEACHERS. With a Teacher Apppreciation Lunch (and band music in the background). This is FAR more complicated than it sounds. No such thing as serve up frozen lasagne for 40 teachers/staff. No. That would be FAR too easy.

No. Each teacher/staff had 2 or maybe 3 students assigned, and those students would provide the luncheon for that teacher (and play in concert on the "off" lunch...A lunch, B lunch...

Isaac and Bradley (he who wore the monk robe first) and Travis were assigned (or volunteered) to provide lunch for Mr. Q. The language teacher. THE language teacher. French 1, French 2, French 3, Latin 1, Latin 2, Latin 3, German 1, German 2, German 3. He speaks Spanish, too, but someone else teaches that.

Mr. Q is, without question, the most overworked teacher at the school. He handles it with grace most of the time. Hysteria some of the time. I revere and honor him. Alex has him for French 2. Isaac has him for Latin 1. Isaac and Bradley are THE Latin 1 students. Both have straight 100% averages in Latin. Travis, on the other hand, figured he might gain some extra credit by supplying lunch. He needs it.

So. The band students were requested to talk to "their teacher" and find out if the teacher had any specific meal requests, and honor if possible. One lucky crew got the head science teacher, who requested "A box of cereal". SCORE!! Mr. Q requested "Vegetarian".

Exactly WHAT does that mean?

And more to the point., are the other two clowns in this lunch crew going to DO anything? And to make things interesting, ALL parents involved in this group WORK. At least, 5 do, and the 6th one (me...) had a sub job today. So no parent could conveniently show up at 12:30 with a hot lunch delivered...

What to do?
And what to do VEGETARIAN?? Vegetarian is touchy. What KIND of vegetarian? Vegan? Eggs OK? Milk OK?

I really didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable...neither the teacher NOR my child...

So I quizzed Isaac a, no one else had suggested anything. No, he didn't think it likely that either of the other boys would DO anything...except maybe make a peanut butter sandwich.

OK. Mom to the rescue.

I made Isaac type up a menu with several choices, to present to the teacher, and ask exactly what he WOULD like for lunch. Including the all important "is Dairy OK with you?" Between us, we came up with the following (choose one from each category)

Fresh fruit cup
Raw vegetables with watercress/basil dip

Lentil Stew
Pasta with vegetables and pine nuts

Chocolate brownie
Ginger Snap Cookies

Bottled water
Coca Cola

Are Dairy Products acceptable in your food?

Isaac gave the menu to the teacher, and he good-naturedly checked off his choices. Dairy was OK, which was a load off MY mind. Isaac assigned the simpler things to his cohorts (napkin, plate, silverware, the bottled water)

Meanwhile, amidst the rest of the chaos this week, I prepared to cook.

Last night, WE ate Mr. Q's lunch...he needn't know he got the "leftovers!"

Mr Q chose:

Vegetables with the dip
Pasta with veggies and pine nuts
Ginger Snap cookies
Bottled Water

We packaged everything in disposable containers (did you KNOW you can get a lightweight plastic disposable container with a large section for veggies and a small section for dip??) and I gave Isaac explicit instructions on each packet.

A microwave would be available, so pasta dish could be heated.
We included a tiny container of feta cheese, to be sprinkled over the pasta AFTER microwaving.
Isaac was confident that he could do a nice presentation of the food.

We had a backup plan in order in case either of the other boys "forgot" his assignment ($1 for the vending machine for bottled water, plastic silverware in the bag with food)

We had a nice big lunch box with a cooler section for an ice pack. Everything was packed and taken to school in the morning.


Lunch was delayed.
By a fire alarm.


Eventually, people were allowed back in the building. Lunch commenced. Lunch was served.

The bottled water boy brought a chilled bottled water.
The silverware-and-plate boy brought his assigned items.
The microwave was in working order.

Isaac reported that Mr. Q ate EVERY BITE of his lunch.
And scrawled a "thankyou" on the place mat.

And now, for the side story.

We have a friend who is a senior, and WAY into band. Also WAY into drama. Lead in every play/musical sort.

HIS teacher assignment (choice) was the drama coach. No surprise.

The surprise was the LUNCH (which I heard about from his mom at committee night on Tuesday)

The drama kids are currently in rehearsal for the ONE ACT PLAY.
The play involves a murderer.
And a pastry chef.
The murderer murders.
The pastry chef covers up by making...
meat pies.

Yeah. With the meat.

So what did Renee offer to make for the drama coach's lunch?

Yep. A meat pie.