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Is it School Lunch?



Lots of us in the United States understand the term "School Lunch" to imply a meal separated by a partitioned tray with warmed or prepared foods that were previously processed, canned, frozen, or prepackaged. "Back in the day" as they say about those in my generation or older, School Lunch was never cooked from scratch. I jokingly use the term "School Lunch" to describe a food made from canned, frozen or otherwise pre-packaged foods. That sort of school lunch, however is not the norm everywhere.


When I worked for St. Paul Public Schools, the school district, like many around the U.S., had begun to work with chefs and the diverse community they served to bring a global perspective to the cafeteria. Students were served made-from-scratch dishes that reflected the many cultures of the SPPS community, and if they were picky eaters, there was always a huge buffet of fresh salad veggies, fruits and other tidbits to make most kids happy. Minneapolis, where I lived and raised my son, on the other hand, had a huge centrally located food facility where all menu items were prepackaged in plastic before being distributed to the schools. Cost was an issue that forced nutrition and the environment to the back burner for that school district.


In countries around the world, when school children are released for lunch, many of them walk to the school gates where they find somebody waiting with warm and delicious treats available for sale. When I worked in Honduras, the lady at the gate brought Baleadas (beans and cheese in a flour tortilla), fruit cups and fresh juice, in Ecuador, a man sold Empanadas and bags of sliced cucumbers, and I've seen all sorts of tacos and tortas (sandwiches) sold off the carts parked outside school gates in Mexico.


I've been making tacos and serving up a bit of Mexican school lunch this month at the Farmhouse World Kitchen! Earlier on I made Beef Birria, last weekend we enjoyed a Beef Guisado and Chicken Enchilada, now this week I'll have Al Pastor Tacos the way Farmer Bill recreated the dish after one of our trips to Mexico a few years back. Pork loin, pineapple, peppers and spices all simmered together for a tender and juicy taste treat!


We're open Noon-2 Saturday and Sunday.


What's next for the Farmhouse World Kitchen? Well, that's in the works as I test a couple of new ideas, but rest assured, I will post a winter calendar soon. There may be a "test" menu option available this weekend if I can pull it off.


Lake View Organic Farm Store


The store is open through December 18th this year. For those of you who enjoy a hot lunch, I have individual size portions of soups, Swedish Meatballs and Enchiladas (Chicken and Veggie) in the freezer. The chickens brought egg production to a near complete halt as last week's cold and snow triggered a shut down for the girls! We'll see if the light on in the coop will get them back up and running a bit, but I'd guess eggs will be few and far between for awhile. If you enjoy feeding "farm lunch" to the birds, William has sunflower seeds bagged for easy grab-n-go.


Enjoy this season of darkness. There are twinkling lights all around!


Sending love from the farm,


Sarah


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