Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Camp lunch #1

As a working mom, I've been particularly fortunate to have have Sophie at a school with a lunch program that includes mostly organic, mostly homemade, mostly delicious meals. The program wasn't as good this year as it has been (the cook seems to be crapping out on us and really soon retire), but all the food is made there at the school each day instead of being prepared at district facility and shipped out wrapped in plastic and then heated at the school. And whereas I'm not thrilled with even homemade nachos being considered a lunch (nachos are an appetizer for christsake), we are spared corn dogs and chicken nuggets. I've been even more fortunate to have a kid who will eat what is served at school. I've encouraged her in this over the past few years by refusing to make her a home lunch, adhering to the message accompanying dinner: This is what we're having. Eat it or go hungry. 

I'm foiled though by summer camp, which serves neither lunch nor snacks. I need to send with Sophie all the food she will eat during the day while she is there. We've got the snacks down pretty well—fruit, crackers, yogurt, etc.—but lunch has put me into quite a spin. She does not really like sandwiches. Quesadillas, which she is happy with at home on weekends, come back cold, hard, and uneaten. Soup, also a weekend favorite, is not practical. And we have found that another weekend favorite, canned sardines (called "dines" by Sophie and her dad) make her unpopular with others. Apparently not everyone finds food that smells like catfood attractive (when feeding the cat, Sophie draws in a deep breath over the can . . . "Mmmmmm!"). 

So we're doing a little experimenting. First up, the wrap. 

I spread a flour tortilla with goat cheese, ham, and pesto (I confess—I was doing a little fridge cleaning here).

Looks very nice rolled up and sliced, no?

And the result?

SCORE! Nothing left but a few cornichons, which she insists she does like but was too busy to eat. 

Today's lunch is leftovers from last night, summer pattypan squash filled with seasoned lamb and topped with feta and tomatoes. She like it last night, and it's one of those things that's probably even better the next day.

In the meantime, I think we're on to something with these wraps. I'm thinking of all kinds of other things we could put inside: tapenade, grilled eggplant, fava bean spread . . . It's going to be such an exciting summer [add sarcasm—I'm not that crazy].

Any summer camp lunch ideas you've found to work well? And if you're thinking about Lunchables, that's fine. Just don't tell me. 


ANFQ said...

You can put ANYTHING into a wrap-- the possibilities are truly endless! I say stick with the wrap.
I do have friends that send kids with soup in a thermos. And then there is always grilled, cold chicken. That always tastes good in the summer to me.

I commented back on my blog comments about "Hangover"-- should I be commenting back on your questions on my blog on your blog, or mine? I guess I don't know all the blog ins and outs. :)

J said...

My mom used to make us homemade lunchables with crackers, turkey slices (cut to cracker size just like in real lunchables), and cheese slices. Of course we still complained that they weren't real lunchables, but they were good and easy for her to make. I wasn't a big sandwich eater when I was a kid either and she would give me hummus, pita triangles, carrots and cucumbers fairly often.

Amy said...

What about a pasta salad? I love one with tuna, capers, olives, Parmesan, etc...you can really explore great combinations with pasta.

Hmm...I'll have to keep thinking. I'm a big fan of bringing lunch to work. I'm guessing there's no microwave?

Howabout gazpacho? You can suppliment it with grilled chicken shreds, avacado, shredded pepper jack, grilled shrimp, pitas...

five tomatoes said...

Those lunches look great! My mom would make me a bagel with cream cheese and a bunch of cut-up veggies with dip for lunch a lot of days. I was a really really picky eater and that was always a big hit with me.

Midge said...

Wraps seem like the way to go- easy and portable, they are also clean and self contained so she can just grab and eat one without worrying about utensils and other messy stuff while she's at camp.

Kate said...

How about a Bento box? I love this site for lunch ideas.


Kate said...

They have a blog too.


Elliott said...

I really like a lunchbox of greek or middle eastern foods: falafel, pita and hummus, dolmas, baba ghanouj, etc... Very finger friendly and tasty at room temperature, too.

KK said...

I didn't really like sandwiches as a kid either. So my dad would just roll up the meat and cheese. And put veggies in another bag. I guess looking back that it was the bread I didn't like. If only I could claim to dislike bread now. My waistline would be so skinny!

Trish said...

I love all the lunch suggestions! I've got one kid who doesn't eat sandwiches and the other who won't eat anything but PB&J, so lunch ideas are always good.

I'd like the summer squash with lamb recipe, please!

adozeneggs said...

What about tabouleh with halved cherry tomatoes and seeded chopped cucumber with either feta or goat cheese sprinkled on top? We love it, and I think it would be a great lunch.
You could also do a nice orzo salad.
Last nights' dinner is also a great lunch option!!

Caroline said...

One of my kids is not a "sandwich person" either. We've done soup in a thermos, peanut butter and apples or pasta tossed with chopped tomatoes and veggies (she's also not a big "sauce person"). I always give her fresh fruit and cheese to eat with her meal.

One thing that's interesting - she doesn't really care for sandwiches, but if we have homemade bread, she likes meat, bread and cheese packed separately.

I love all the great ideas. I need to vary our routine. The wraps were a great idea.