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Monday, 15 March 2010

Writing and life Faye's Fun Monday

So your assignment for March 15 is to share your memories of school lunches. What kind of school did you attend--public, private, parochial? Did you bring lunch from home or buy in the school cafeteria? What did your lunch look like? Who prepared it? Who did you have lunch with? Was this a happy part of the school day? What did you do during lunch time other than eat your PB & J sandwich?

The lovely Faye of Summit Musings
has set today's topic

Another welcome opportunity to take a trip down Memory Lane

Junior School from age 5 to 11

Meals were cooked ‘centrally’ at the local Secondary School and delivered daily.

They were the standard ‘meat and two veg’ popular in those days; with steamed pudding of some kind for afters.

In my last year I was chosen to be a ‘waitress’ for the teachers who had their meals delivered on a tray to the staffroom. Before I could have my own meal I had to them theirs. Then after the first course, take away their crockery and bring back the puddings. All had to be accomplished with spilling or dropping anything and you had to balance the tray on your knee to knock at the staffroom door each time.

Can’t imagine any of today’s youngsters doing that!

Grammar school

Here they had their own kitchens so everything was prepared on the premises. Whereas junior school was a small place, Grammar school felt huge by comparison.

A separate dining room (instead of using the school hall) with tables of 8 from different age groups, plus 1 sixth former. From each table two people were nominated to fetch and carry. The sixth formers played ‘mother’ by dishing out the food.

By the time I was in the VIth form the school had expanded. The original dining room was too small so the school hall had to be used as well. If you had a P.E. lesson just before lunch you had to set out the tables and chairs ready for the diners. Afterwards we had to clear up and pack away.

By now the idea of a cooked dinner was less appealing so we got permission to have our own table and brought in packed lunches. Oh the fun we had as people began experimenting with the fad diets of the time.


Here we had a refectory and it was self-service Monday to Friday there was a range of dishes. Saturday tended to be left-overs and Sunday was always salad even in Winter. We soon got into the habit of avoiding eating in at the weekends. Sometimes my room-mate and I cooked for ourselves in the communal kitchen but more often we'd visit the chip shop.

Thank you Faye for the inspiration (smile) hope you'll be pleased to know I've ordered a copy of the book you mentioned which should arrive some day this week.


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I can really picture those lunches and can imagine all the different kinds of fad diets everyone went through at school.

Sayre said...

So the Grammar school lunches were kind of like a family dinner with the "mother" to dish out and others to fetch and clear. That actually sounds kind of nice compared to the assembly line lunchrooms that are common here.

Faye said...

Thanks for this glimpse into the English style of school food service. Especially interesting to learn that meals were sometimes served family style. In the US portion size is strictly monitored for cost. Like you, in college I learned to avoid the school cafeteria. My roommates and I turn our iron upside down on the clothes rack and heated soup or made grilled cheese sandwiches!

I'm glad A. Lamott's book interested you enough to order. It's a great one for anyone interested in writing--or living--better.

Jan n Jer said...

Your grammar school lunches sound way better then mine... Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Sounds like you had an interesting time growing up as a kid! Please feel free to come and visit, I just got my post up, as I hadn't found out until late who was hosting!

Pamela said...

I love hearing how it was in another country. Chip shop. ha ha!

Gattina said...

I missed visiting you last week, so I read your entry now. It's so interesting how different were our lunch hours at school in different countries. In Germany as school finishes at 1 pm I had never lunch of course, but a sandwich at 10, that also was an adventure, lol !