Day 148: turkey and feeling grateful

Today’s menu: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, bread, pear, cookie

When I first saw the main dish, I thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of turkey!” I love eating turkey. While I was paying (and before I visually scanned the line) I asked, “Are there mashed potatoes too?” The lunch lady said, “No, it’s sweet potatoes!” Terrific!

I took everything back to the room thinking about my lunchtime-turkey-feast. (Bear with me please — I get excited about menu changes. I have no control over what I eat every day for lunch, which has played with my mind. Maybe it’s like Food-Stockholm-Syndrome?)

My first bite of turkey yielded some mush and I realized that under the turkey bits was formless stuffing. Not my thing, but I liked the gravy. My mom recently reminded me that one of the hot lunch meals that I purchased regularly when I was a kid was the turkey over mashed potatoes. Yum then….now, not so much.

Let’s move on to the sweet potatoes. They tasted like sweet potatoes, but were pureed to the point of having a texture not unlike jarred baby food. Eeech. The worst part is that any kid moving through the line is not going to know what they are. If I hadn’t been told that they were “sweet potatoes,” I would have assumed that they were beans, which are served way more frequently than sweet potatoes (this being the first time I have eaten sweet potatoes at school). Yes, the kids could read the menu to find out, but there are a lot of non-readers or low readers who aren’t fully able to read the menu. It would be great if the teacher could review the menu with the kids prior to lunch but the reality is that the average teacher is just trying to get everyone rustled up to get to the cafeteria on time. I fear that the sweet potatoes mostly went into the trash.

The red cookie! Well, I avoided it. I’m not into Red #40 at a the moment. A student came up to me after lunch with bright pink lips. For a split second I thought, “Is that lipstick— ooooohhhhh yeah, the cookie…” This particular kid’s mom is anti-make-up for girls this age (so she should be) and I wondered what the mom would think when she saw her daughter’s lips. Rest assured, your daughter did not get lipstick from me! Gah.

Most of the kids came back from lunch with pink lips, pink tongues and even pink teeth. I asked a different student who had pink teeth, “Why do you have pink lips and teeth?”
“Because I ate cookies!”
“Wait, you had more than one?”
“I ate five cookies!!” smiling with glee (another kid piped up in the background, “I had two!”)
“Wait, I thought you only got one? did you buy more?”
It took me about five minutes to get the whole story. They did not buy more cookies. Some kids didn’t want their cookies. So they gave theirs to other kids. At first it sounded like a bullying situation to me, but knowing the five-cookie-student, it didn’t seem like he was capable of bullying the other kids.

The five-cookie-kid was hyper. I don’t know if I should feel happy that many students didn’t want their cookies or that one student thought that five cookies was appropriate for lunchtime. I didn’t find out if that was the extent of his lunch…

The pear was delish, by the way!

No cookie for me — good thing too after seeing all those bright pink lips.
Pink lips would not have enhanced my outfit today!

A month ago or more I mentioned wanted to take some additional tests after having a negative Celiac test. Well, Enterolab’s test results indicate that I have gluten sensitivity. I feel like I have known this on some level for a long time. I’m going to need more help me to interpret the results I got back (some think the company is great, other people think it isn’t). I’ll post more in-depth about my health once I get some additional information.

So I avoided the slices of bread. Of course there was gluten in the gravy and stuffing, but somehow I just can’t get myself to eat the obvious wheat in the bread!

Food for Thought!

Feeling grateful.
Grateful for home.
Grateful for my family.
Grateful for our son.
Grateful for friends.
Grateful for life.
Grateful for your readership.
Grateful for the journey.
Grateful for food.
Off to soak it all up.

I’m not going to post for the rest of holiday on through weekend…(never say never, but probably not). I wish you guys the very best holiday with your family, friends, and loved ones! See you on the flip side!

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16 Responses to Day 148: turkey and feeling grateful

  1. Anonymous November 25, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Enjoy your tine away, you deserve it and some great homemade food!

  2. Anonymous November 25, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    It's just so much carbs. I don't know how you do it. Have a Happy TDay and eat some real food. It'll make me feel better.

  3. Carissa November 25, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    Wow, those sweet potatoes really do mimic baby food. Too bad they were the big chunks of yams I remember growing up. I bet the kids would have gobbled them up! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and are able to eat a lot of the food you want!

  4. Anonymous November 25, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    Am I the only one who thinks the cookie and the tray have the exact same color?

    Mmmm… pears. I use to love them as a kid. Well, I'm 15 now, but still 😛

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Amy H November 25, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Happy Thanksgiving Mrs Q! Enjoy choosing your own meals!

  6. Scattered Mom November 25, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    Those cookies look just like ones that are sold here on Canada Day…maple leaves and all.

  7. grumblekitty November 25, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    Mrs. Q, until you go all the way off gluten, you probably won't notice any improvements in any ickiness you feel. I know right now you're waiting for your year to be over, and I get that.
    I don't know if you should expect big changes, anyway. I kind of went gluten-free by accident–we made our house gluten-free for our son, and we rarely eat out anymore because of all his allergies. Eventually, when we went on vacation and I was eating at restaurants, I noticed that eating gluten and dairy made me very, very sick. That was over a year ago, and I've only just been able to really come to grips with it, and stop telling myself that just that little bit of gluten in some stir-fried rice or a rice krispy treat won't be enough to bother me (or yeah, it might bother me, but not much and not enough to keep me from eating that delicious food!). Well, after a year of experimenting with what I can tolerate, it turns out pretty much nothing. Even food that has come in contact with a surface that a gluten food touched is unacceptable. I will spend the next two to three days in discomfort and very close to a bathroom.
    Sooo–I've noticed drawbacks, but have yet to feel any particular benefit to going gluten-free. I didn't lose any weight, I don't feel more energetic…or any other miracle benefit people are claiming these days. Just a rather large restriction in my diet.
    I don't mean to come across as a downer, it's just from some of your comments, I'm not sure you have a realistic view of what it means to not be able to eat gluten safely. Not eating the bread is meaningless when you eat the stuffing. Although, to be fair, I did my share of that kind of thing too (see above with rice krispy treats). I think it takes a while for us to really accept what we know is true. And I think I'm glad I wasn't writing a famous blog while I was making my own journey…

  8. Vanilla November 25, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Nice post, but you shouldn't really underestimate bullies just because they look 'uncapable' of bullying.

    I remember the days when in gradeschool, I've been bullied repeatedly by the class monitor (student president of the class) just because I was from another country. I told many teachers, but most didn't believe me because they thought she was too kind or too responsible to bully.

    Do take a second look. 🙁

  9. Charlotte November 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    When I was a kid eating school lunch, the Thanksgiving meal was always my favorite. It was the best meal other than pizza. It was also the only meal that tasted like anything in my memory. There was turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans, and usually some form of potato. It was so good. When I taught, and remember when the lunchroom was serving this meal, I bought it. Usually though, I ate salads.

  10. Ms.T November 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Part of eating is the visual presentation. Frankly, that meal is visually unappealing to me. I can't imagine how that looks to some kids.

    As for the 5 cookies, that isn't unusual in the schools I've been in. Even though school policy says they aren't supposed to trade food, they often do. I've seen kids trade healthy foods for the cookies. I've seen some kids give their cookies to friends just because. I've also seen cookies abandoned on the tables at the end of lunch. It amazes me sometimes. 🙂

    Enjoy your vacation and time away from the blog. 🙂

  11. Melanie November 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. Q!

  12. Food, she thought. November 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    I spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve school lunches in very realistic specifics, being an educational consultant & a food blogger. I actually read the menu at every school I go to if it's available. Trading sweet potatoes for regular potatoes in almost every potato dish seems like a gimme. This would add so many more vitamins & fiber to a starchy part of a meal that kids usually like without a great deal of expense or extra processing. French fried sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes au gratin and so on. I know not all districts are ready to make big structural changes in this time of educational economic crisis (ie salad bars, everything made on site from scratch and so on), but this seems like an easy, impactful & delicious exchange.

  13. Anonymous November 26, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Except, of course, for those of us who don't like sweet potatoes. 🙂 (Veggies aren't supposed to be sweet!)

  14. Anonymous November 26, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. Q!!!

  15. JoAnn November 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    I'm surprised that teachers don't read the menu to the kids. Parents also for that matter! We usually go over it a week at a time at home, so I have an idea what they want, but the teachers take a quick show of hands in the morning so the caf knows how much to make. We don't have a preorder option. I know some kids change their minds because my son has a later lunch and occasionally they run out of stuff, but not often. So teachers, literally, don't have one minute to read the menu out loud?

  16. Anonymous November 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    at our school, the teachers go over it in the morning and the students have to sign up for which meal they want. (usually two choices) that way the teacher knows which lunch line they go in when they get to the cafe. Also, they have finally changed the lunch rules a little. They used to have to wait till everyone was seated until they ate. Now, when the 1st person comes from the lunch line, they can all start eating now! Yeah, for small changes.

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