Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Experiments

So, school. We're into the second semester of trying it for the first time ever, and the results have been mixed.

One of the things I'm not thrilled about is lunch-packing. Some days I'm inspired, some not, sometimes cool leftovers get incorporated, some days not. It's no secret to me any longer why the crazy folk who blog about their lunchboxes often only have one child. . .

That said, I have discovered some things. Frilly toothpicks work wonders. Dipping bowls filled with ketchup for tofu dog bits are a hit, as are tiny calzone left over from the night before (made especially small for little hands). And canned Mandarin oranges. Oh, does Ellie love those.

Sometimes I think I get more paid work done with the kids in school; some nights I think that's probably not true, as I spend a few hours grading papers. Some of the problem is me and my lack of focus (hellooo, Tricia!). One night, while distracting myself from the prose as yet untouched by my professorial input, I wandered around some canning blogs.

Genius! It's tiny tangerine season here. So Denise and I got together today to turn a couple of boxes of "Cuties" into future lunch offerings:


Easy, and very pretty. I think they'll be a bigger hit when fresh ones aren't littering the counters, though.

15 comments:

GrafixMuse said...

IF you are going to be distracted, you may as well accomplish something useful :) Packing lunches will be much more fun when you add the tangerines you preserved yourself.

suzee said...

I knew my mother loved me when I got canned mandarin oranges. The cuties look so pretty. Nice job!

I have actually ended up never making school lunches until this year, believe it or not. Annie's done her own, and Joe was supposed to. But Joe was eating crap out of other people's lunches and stuffing himself when he got home because he was hungry, so I finally decided it was easier/ better for me to pack his. At this point, also one semester in, I still don't mind much. He's an easy eater, though.

kitsapFG said...

Those tangerines are really pretty - bet they are tasty too. My daughter is a senior who has all her classes at the community college (running start) - so no lunch making duties for me. Did it for year's though and I pack my own lunch at least four days a week (treat myself to lunch out about once a week). Left overs are our primary lunch fare. I always cook more than I need for dinner and we eat the extra's for lunch.

Ribbit said...

I'll do anything to keep from grading, sometimes. Canning, however, seems much more fun than cleaning the bathrooms!

Erin said...

Fantastic! My kids LOVE those mandarin oranges, too. Too bad we don't have citrus season here, only peanuts and tobacco LOL, not good lunchbox fodder :)

P.S. nice morning coffee verification word: perverta??

Engineeredgarden said...

Oh, I don't know anyone that doesn't just love mandarin oranges. I bet packing a child's lunch each day is interesting!

patricia said...

The downside of being focused is that you're focused--and you don't get around to reading the blogs you enjoy. Today I decided to catch up, and lo, I see I'm being personally addressed!

You are far more focused about your garden than I am about mine. Plans and sketches? I used to do that, once upon a time.

Those mandarins are so pretty. Have you tried making the mandarin vanilla bean marmalade yet?

Power of Powell said...

Hello Sicilian Sisters. I'm Sicilian and I wrote the novel/script "Sicilian Sisters: Women in La Famiglia" by Marianna. It's about strong-willed Sicilian sisters that married Spanish pirates in the 14th century and ruled the islands. www.siciliansisters.com

Stefaneener said...

GrafixMuse, thanks. Do you want to grade some papers?

Suzee, lucky you. Having big kids was a really good decision on your part. . .

kitsapFG, you're more on the ball than I am. Leftovers somehow don't register much with me, so I end up wasting too much.

Ribbit, I thought I was a master procrastinator, but I have never managed to clean a bathroom instead!

Erin, you know how it is near San Francisco -- anything goes!

EG, you're welcome to try. This morning was pretzels, rice cake, bagel with cream cheese, and salami for son, and pretzels, half pb&j, and tangerines for daughter. Sigh. At least the school has a "no candy" policy.

Patricia, I haven't gotten my ebay vanilla yet! My garden is pretty much my #1 hobby, so it gets focus (as much as anything does. . .). Glad you got your shout-out.

Hi Power of Powell. Yes, I know. You took the blog address I wanted, and it was a blank blog when I checked it. Nice to see you here.

Kalena Michele said...

Canning. This is something that I need to do this year.

Zach said...

WOW... You are amazing. That had to be so much fun! can I be adopted into your family and have your kids luchboxes for when I head off to college? That would be awesome! I LOVE tofu! I am vegitarian, so Duh!

Jackie said...

Love the mandarin oranges! What is it about them that makes every kid smile?! Have you found an organic source locally?

Annie's Granny said...

We just love those California Cuties! They start getting them in the stores here in AZ around December, for a very reasonable price, and we pig out on them for a good month. I've never seen them up north, but maybe that's because I'm not there during their season.

Stefaneener said...

Kalena Michele, it's easy and every time I go into the basement and bring up a jar of jam or tomatoes, I'm tickled all over again. This year -- pickles!

Zach, the fun of college is packing your own lunch. Seriously, check out lunchbox blogs. Blow. You. Away.

Jackie, only very pricey ones. If we were eating them occasionally, maybe. Hopefully our tree will yield more this year.

AG, they are a treat. I think the trees are unusually prolific, too.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I have such a fond memory of eating canned mandarins as a kid. Care to share where you found the recipe?