Day 161: creamy pasta and a video blog for you

Today’s menu: creamy bow tie pasta, green beans, pear, bread, butter, cookie

That was actually really good. Tasty even. A new menu item, well, that’s pretty rare. I wonder why they decided to debut it so late in the year — bring it back next year, it was good.

The pear was an amazing color. Would a pear aficionado happen to know what kind of pear that is? It was delicious. The beans were “eh,” but I was distracted by the pasta. I kept staring at it…

chicken, pasta, sun-dried tomatoes…

Sun-dried tomatoes? Am I dreaming?

My taste buds, now a jaded, suspicious bunch, told me they were indeed “sun-dried.” I don’t know if that was perception or reality. I tend to believe them, mostly because I don’t have any other data points.

I ate the top off the tree and enjoyed butter on my bread

The cookie was not good. It was pure sugar with funny tasting green stuff. Some say that synthetic food dyes have a taste. All I can say was that it was an odd bite of overly sweet stuff. But like I said before, my taste buds don’t know which end is up. The kids loved the green cookies. But the other green item (the green beans)? Not so much.

I’m eating gluten-free, dairy-free at home outside of school lunch. It sounds restrictive, but it’s mostly a whole food diet. With my husband on an Indian food kick, we are eating really well. My husband, who was only able to boil water and fry an egg, decided within the past month and a half that he wanted to learn how to cook his favorite cuisine: Indian. Last night we had Daal that was terrific. Going from Daal made with cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, and turmeric one day to a fluorescent green cookie the next is dietary whiplash!

***

Hello to everyone who came to visit via the beautiful article written by Rebecca Dube that was featured on todayshow.com and then got picked up on msn.com‘s home page. I’m feeling shy again. Anyway, I had a really fantastic conversation with Rebecca about the blog one night this past week. It was like chatting with a friend; I was actually lying on my dog-chewed couch just like I do when I call up my sister. Rebecca wrote such a nice article. Go ahead and check it out.

***

Lastly, I made something for you. I video-blogged my lunch today. I don’t say anything in this silly, short video but at least I waved!

You can see how wimpy the spork is!

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29 Responses to Day 161: creamy pasta and a video blog for you

  1. Melissa December 17, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    The pear looks like a Red D'Anjou, but I could be wrong. I've only had them a few times. The pasta actually does look pretty good. :o)

  2. Rosa December 17, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    I say d'anjou too!

  3. Scentsy December 17, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    I'm a new visitor from the MSN article. Being quite leary of school lunches for my child, I was very intrigued with your blog. Thanks for bringing more awareness to this topic. In fact, as I was writing this, my daughter read the topic and said "school lunches… yuck." Look forward to reading more. BTW, the pasta did look quite appetizing. 🙂

  4. Justine December 17, 2010 at 4:20 am #

    Wow, that looks like a really good lunch!

    Just Better Together is having a CSN giveaway!

  5. Charlotte December 17, 2010 at 4:21 am #

    I read your article on MSN! Although the first thing I noticed was how much your school's food packaging resembles that of airplane meals, I was surprised that your menu has so much variety. Most of the time my high school sells pizza and "Chinese" food from popular fast food companies, and they look a few days old so I pack my own lunch. I would never dream of eating anything from the cafeteria – if I ever forget my lunch I eat chips from the vending machines and wait until I go home to eat something more nutritious.

  6. Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) December 17, 2010 at 4:26 am #

    You have a really funny, interesting blog here! Congratulations on your MSN article, it's what drew me here in the first place! Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to seeing more!

  7. Anonymous December 17, 2010 at 4:39 am #

    That green cookie in a bag looks like an air freshener! I was slightly caught off guard at first.

  8. Evan December 17, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    I, like some of the other people here, found this blog from MSN today. I've been sitting here reading your entries from the beginning for the past 2 hours. Very interesting!! As a high school student, I have never been so grateful for the lunches my school provides! I must say that these lunches are absolutely disgusting!!! At my school, we have 4 main choices, plus a bar with salads, veggies, dressings, etc. We also get a fruit serving, sometimes a dessert, and milk. Thanks so much for sharing this, and I hope this insipres your administrators to look at healthier options for your students!

  9. Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) December 17, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    I loved your article today on MSN. So proud of you, my friend! Thanks for the laugh, anonymous – air freshener, indeed!

  10. Tara December 17, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Saw the MSN article earlier today when Food Inc posted it on Facebook! Nice article:)

    I'm going to agree it looks like a red d'anjou:)

  11. Sailor RA December 17, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I too came upon this blog through MSN and I'm glad I did. It gave me a good excuse to procrastinate on final papers, and inspired me to finally get off my butt and start my own blog.

    I spent the past few hours reading all your back posts and it's made me super thankful that my high school offered such good food. Sure, it wasn't five-star quality, but we had a lot of options. Though I think the pizza you eat at your school, is the exact same served in all schools.

  12. Anonymous December 17, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    I know you have probably heard this same comment hundreds of times, but I am new to your blog and after just looking at the last three school lunches, your school is serving MUCH better food than ours. One day it was pizza, fries, and macaroni and cheese. Carbs anyone?

    We have also been fighting against our school snack line – which serves chips, cookies, sugary drinks, and other non-essential items. Students aren't even required to buy a proper lunch, they can just go through and eat chips and cookies! Are you kidding me?

  13. Kim December 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    This lunch actually looks pretty yummy! I especially LOVE pears. I agree that yours looks like a red d'anjou. I would have mixed some of the green beans with the pasta to make them more palatable. My mom and dad got me in the habit of doing that when I was a kid. To the reader that said artificial dyes sometimes have a flavor, I've noticed a bitter taste when I've eaten some artificially flavored foods, especially deeply colored icing. Blech!! And the anonymous comment re: the air freshener cookie…..THAT was funny and so true!

    Got a kick out of the video, too, but uhhhhh, Mrs. Q, you should definitely keep your day job. 😉 Congratulations on the great article…..on the MSN and Today Show sites, no less!

  14. lucy December 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Indeed, this is one of the better lunches you've had. If only they could serve pasta and rice more often I think that would be a vast improvement.

    Yay for Mr Q!! You must be proud of him. Just goes to show that all those people who say they "can't" cook, can! They just have to try.

    One more lunch left, eh? Bon courage, Mrs Q!

  15. *jean* December 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    funny!! i love your little thumbs up!! the pear is maybe a red anjou??? anyway, that pasta looks pretty tasty and with the exceptions of the flacid green beans and nasty looking cookie, i would actually be happy if my son was served this at school…wow, maybe things WILL change!!!

  16. Que Interesante December 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    My brother in law just sent me a link to this blog! You're doing amazing work! I'm a vegan high school teacher who hasn't eaten school lunch since leaving high school…and I hate having lunch duty because the food is just so nauseating! I'm stressed out for you having to eat that stuff!

  17. Renee December 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    For me, artificial food dyes definitely have a terrible flavor. I've been surprised that kids are okay eating the neon-colored icings and the colored gold fish. To me they taste very bitter, and given that things can taste more intense to kids, I've wondered if they really don't taste it, or if they just like the idea of eating bright colored sugar so much that they ignore the bitterness.

  18. Ariel from My Life on the Dole Blog December 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    That pasta actually does look good. The green beans look canned, but, hey, even canned green beans must be more nutritious than that bagel dog or the PB&J "sandwich".

    Happy eating on your last day!!

  19. Anonymous December 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Look at all the new traffic the blog is getting!!! A little sad that they've just tuned in on your nearly last school lunch. I have to admit after having followed your blog from the beginning I'm getting a little teary now thinking of the end-your video and all these new readers really touched me.

    Yesterday you commented on a comment – "why not keep eating school lunches" What a terrible thing to say!! Have they thought of your feelings at all? your stomach?

    I too will miss your daily unfortunate lunches that I myself could probably never eat. But I am very happy to know that you will be able to go back to controlling your own lunch destiny. Bravo.

    Side story-last night I picked my significant other up from work-he was the last one there so I waited in their lunch room while he checked the doors.
    what did I spy on the lunch table? A graham PB & J sammie!!! not the same wrapper as on yours, and since i didn't feel right about opening it I have no idea what it looked like on the inside. But I did scan the ingredients-
    very long list partially obscured by the wrapper itself-but Low and Behold, the first ingredient was peanuts.

  20. Anonymous December 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I have been following you since January/February. I have never written to you before but feel compelled to tell you I will miss your blog. I have laughed and cried with you for the past year. I find it very informative, sad, and funny. I am a school nurse and have worked in NJ (south and central), MD (Baltimore), and IL. (Chicago area). It is interesting that school lunches seem to be the same everywhere. Thank you for bring into the open what kind of "food" we are serving to our future. Is this what we really want? I think most people did not really know what their children were eating. The menus make the food sound very good but when you actually see it.. UCK..I just wanted to say, THANK YOU.

  21. Krisfromparis! December 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    how ironic that, on the day you get a new stream of visitors…your lunch actually looks appetizing and exceptionnally good!!! LOL for the air freshener cookie comparison, though…oh, and I still don't get why you have to eat with a spork instead of the regular fork & knife? just doesn't make sense to me……….

  22. Laura December 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Congrats Mrs. Q on the great article you finally got the recognition you deserve and for eating all those awful lunches. Thanks for all you've done to raise awareness!

  23. Jamie December 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    I think it's a Bosc (sp?) pear. I have some in my fridge and they are my favorite! That is literally the only delicious looking meal you have posted and so this is my first comment. You have culinary guts to have done this and I pray that you're 30 day natural/gluten free/dairy free diet helps you get back on track! Good luck!

  24. Cara December 17, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Ms.Q I love your sons lunchbox. Where did you get it?

  25. Viki December 18, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    "dietary whiplash!" Love it!

    Congrats on your husbands new hobby too! Sounds delish.

    I hope people understand that you do plan to continue blogging even if you aren't eating the school lunch everyday…
    Maybe you will have to SHOUT IT.

    I do want to Congratulate you on making it through the whole year of school lunches. Nice that they ended on a high note.

  26. fitforreallife.com December 18, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Congrats Mrs. Q!! You did it!! I'm so curious to see what direction you head next. You'll definitely feel the angst of those who don't click w/ what you find interesting enough to blog about, so as a fellow blogger, I urge you to stay true to you & what YOU find interesting. We'll enjoy following along with you as your new adventures await! When will you reveal yourself???? 🙂
    -Kate

  27. The Soap Girl December 18, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    Just had your blog forwarded to me and after reading through a giant chunk of it, I'm sad to say the lunches you've been eating are considerably better than the lunches my students eat everyday (I'm a teacher). I always thought it would be a great idea to take a picture of the lunch everyday – but what torture to eat it! You are brave – and thanks for opening the eyes of your readers 🙂

  28. Mrs. Q December 18, 2010 at 5:03 am #

    Thanks you guys!! I can't believe it's over. It was a loooong year. I appreciate the support and can't wait to continue the discussion.

    Cara – my son's lunch box is from laptoplunches.com — I love them!

  29. Navi and Boss Man December 18, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    Congrats on your MSN article! Like many others that is how I found your blog. It is truely amazing! I spent hours reading every one! I cant wait to follow your other blogs as well! I do feel sorry for you and the kids for eating all of these meals! They look HORRIBLE to me! My school never had anything like that. They actually used to serve good food and we always had a really fresh salad bar everyday. I graduated 5 years ago so it may have changed by now but I am really grossed out! Your blog has changed my attitude toward food and I will be sure to making my kids lunches when they are old enough to start school! I loved when you showed what you packed your son for lunch, I think you should do more of those! And I love those lunch box sets also! I will be sure to get some for myself! Anywho, keep up the great work! The word is really getting around fast so hopefully something huge can be done because of this!

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