lunches don't seem to change much from school to school. They all seem to be made up of different permutation
s of the same fifty or so foods. I've seen the foods sold together in industrial food catalogs as "institutional meals." Indeed...
As testament to the fact that I have no life, here are some of the foods I remember from my time served in public education:
Mr. Rib - A generic McRib, ground Grade E Meat compressed into the shape of a tiny rack of ribs.
Macaroni and Cheese - Mmm, it's yellow. Very yellow. Day-Glo. Invariably came with three or four Lil' Smokies.
Fish Fillet - With tartar sauce, served on Fridays during lent. Totally disgusting, often had grey veins going through the white meat.
Pizza - Flat and rectangular, with perfect little 6 millimeter cubes of pepperoni.
Hamburger - Called a Hamburger because Textured-Vegetable-Protein-burger wouldn't fit on the menu.
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce - Tasted like watery dirt. No shit, it had little bits of sand in it and everything. Superbad.
Grilled Cheese - Pasteurized process cheese food! Only present at the same time as Tomato Soup.
Chicken Fried Steak - By "fried," they must have meant "thawed" ...
Tacos - Greasy ground meat with a lot of lettuce and a little shredded velveeta. No spice whatsoever, but still a different color than hamburger meat. Eerie.
Chili - This looks exactly like chili, but has no flavor. None. The saltines they gave you to mix in had more flavor than the chili itself.
Corn Dog - Exact same as every corn dog you've ever had. There must be a single company that manufactures the fuckers, or something.
Fried Chicken - Ostensibly a different product than Chicken Fried Steak, though they were utterly the same. The meat may have been a hair lighter in color.
Cheeseburger - See Hamburger but with velveeta and pickles.
Salad Bar - They carted it in and out of it's own personal refrigerator. It would be fresh on Monday, limp by Wednesday, and inedible by Friday.
Turkey - Flat, thin, shredded and shaped turkey meat food product, topped with Gravy. Served with Mashed Potatoes and Stuffing to commemorate Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Lil' Smokies - Sort of like a hot dog the size of your pinky finger, magically infused with "Barbecue" flavor.
Mashed Potatoes - Powdered and lumpy, of course. Topped with Gravy.
Brown Gravy - Had that notorious Kitchen Helper taste of faux beef. Oh thank you, it's just brown and water.
White Gravy - Usually only seen at breakfast, or Breakfast for Lunch. Thick, gummy, and flavorless, with specks of pepper and chunks of some random meat.
Tomato Soup - Just like Campbell's, for real. Just as thin and unsatisfying, too.
Turkey Gravy - Translucent and sticky. Tasted like poultry, or possibly MSG.
Waffle Fries - Potatoes cut into waffle shape and fried. Even better than Cap'n Crunch for tearing your mouth to shreds.
French Fries - Like McDonalds fries, only cooked for far too long, so they were harder than a #2 pencil.
Steak Fries - Huge wedges of potato, battered and fried. Pretty good, if you were willing to risk the heart disease.
Broccoli - Overcooked to the point of tasting like nothing, but still green.
Cheese Rice - Sort of a casserole, if you made casserole by mixing broccoli, rice, and velveeta together in a floor-standing mixer.
Corn - Off the cob, baybee.
Green Beans - See Broccoli, same thing in a different shape.
Vegetable Medley - Corn, carrots, and peas, overcooked. Looked colorful on the plate, though.
Chilled Peaches - Those devious lunch ladies somehow figured out how to make innocent peaches slimy. Bleah.
Fruit Cocktail - I always felt cheated if I didn't get my requisite single half maraschino cherry.
Applesauce - Usually normal, but sometimes with sugar and cinnamon, which made it gritty. Mmm, gritty.
Cinnamon Bun - Yummy. My school actually baked these, and they were reminiscent of actual food.
Strawberry Shortcake - Strawberry fragments in strawberry sauce, over a square of hard-tack, with whipped cream.
Beatnik Cake - Looked, tasted, and smelled like a brownie. The lunch ladies assured us it was somehow made of sugar beets. God knows why, as that only made half the kids not want to eat it.
Biscuits and Gravy - Hard lumps and goo would have been a more appropriate name. Only done with White Gravy.
Pancakes - Came with a little paper cup of Maple-esque syrup, which they easily absorbed without losing any of their dryness.
Breakfast for Lunch - Once a month, breakfast foods would be served at lunch time. Concrete proof that lunch ladies enjoy acid, too.
Milk - Half pints of Skim, 2%, and Whole. If you were lucky, there'd be ice chunks in them. If you were unlucky, you would get chunks of a wholely different nature.
Chocolate Milk - Mmm, chocolaty. Favored five to one over any kind of white milk, as it had a sugar and caffeine bonus.
Orange Drink - Half pint of super-sub-generic Tang, fortified with enough chemicals to make it as healthy (?) as Milk.