School-lunch grade: seed-plus

Dig in.

Dig in.

It’s Back-To-School time, and you know what that means. Surrendering your child to teachers, who everyone agrees 100-percent-no-question do the most noble job in the world, though, sure, there are bad ones, just like there are incompetent doctors or “too gropey” masseurs, and this is your child we’re talking about after all, so you can never 100-percent-no-question give your child’s teachers the benefit of the doubt, but still you don’t want to let on because, you know, why make your kid a target, which is why you wear that silly grin on Parent-Teacher Night?

Yes, that.

But also it’s Back-To-School-Lunch time. That’s right, school lunches. So you can wipe that silly grin off your face.

Thankfully, Back-To-School-Lunch time coincides with Garden-Glut time, that period of the vegetable-growing season when your weeding and fertilizing and weeding and more weeding bear fruit – more fruit, in fact, than you could possibly know what to do with, even if they are punky and weirdly misshapen fruit. And by “fruit” I mean “zucchini.”

What better way, then, to use up your fall harvest than by passing them off to your unsuspecting children in creative, healthy and borderline disturbing ways. Try these simple lunch and snack suggestions. I SAID TRY THEM!

Sorry. That was the rutabaga talking.

Monday: The Carrots of the Caribbean

Ahoy, To-Matey! Your children will “treasure” this pirate-themed snack. It’ll shiver their timbers and shake their booty. (Consult your schools rules regarding shaking, booty-wise.) Your children may even ship out to sea for five years, after which they’ll maybe appreciate how you slave to put food on the table, the scurvy dogs!

Take three carrots of any length, though who are you kidding? You haven’t grown anything longer than three inches. That’s fine. Wipe dirt off with your fingers because washing is for chumps. Dirt = authentic. Lash the carrots together using the enchanted golden tresses of a glittering mermaid or household twine.

Next, populate your carrot “raft” with green bean buccaneers, cucumber conquistadors and scallion rapscallions. Run them through with the cold steel of death! Or, in this case, wooden toothpicks. Finally, add an authentic quarantine of spotty tomato chunks – the cursed plague! “Arrrgh?” How about “Yummm!”

Garnish with zucchini oars.

Tuesday: Beets-Side Yourself Sandwich

You know what’s just like bread? Zucchini! If you slice it just so and slather it with butter, margarine, Penzoil or the topping of your choice, it’s exactly like regular white bread. With a green crust. And seeds! Everybody loves seeds. And everybody loves beets, except for the many, many people who don’t. But your child is not many people. If “many people” jumped off a bridge, would they be able to eat these beets? Of course not. So it’s up to your child. Slice cooked beets and layer them between two thick slices of way-too-giant zucchini. Why not make that a double-decker zuke-wich. A triple! How about a zucchini panini! My God, so many beets! For extra surprise fun, don’t tell your child about the miracle of beet digestion.

Wednesday: Beyond Cucumberdome

In a world where cucumbers litter the earth, one mom has the courage to pick them all… and serve them for lunch.

Here’s a simple and effective way to use up those surplus cukes. First, find an ordinary paper bag. Then, fill the bag with sharks, at least two, but more are better. Next, put the cucumbers in the bag. Eleven cucumbers go into the lunch bag, three come out. The sharks took the rest. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. Until he bites a cucumber and those black eyes roll over white. They hate turnip, though.

Serve the surviving cucumbers in a bowl. You’re going to need a bigger bowl.


Thursday: Big Box of Tomatoes

Tomatoes. In a big box.


Friday: Zuke Can’t Always Get What You Want

Finely grate zucchini to fill three two-litre buckets. Let drain thoroughly, squeezing out any liquid. Combine the zucchini with two cups of flour, three tablespoons of oil and a tablespoon of hair dye. Spread the resulting zucchini paste onto several cookie sheets and bake at 325 F until luxurious. Let cool. Meanwhile, you will have read up on how to fold large-scale origami swans, which you will now proceed to craft out of the flat zucchini sheets. Present your best and truest zucchini origami swans when you visit your child’s principal, whose phone call about “cruel and unusual lunches” you will have received by now.

Next week: Homeschooling Your Undernourished Child


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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48 Responses to School-lunch grade: seed-plus

  1. markbialczak says:

    The young green faces will not be in envy, Ross. Good growing season up there, huh?

  2. Karen says:

    Oh, I love zucchini. You know you can make all sorts of breads and cakes and cupcakes with it, and they’re all delicious, and the kids never know that they’re eating, you know, zucchini. Personally, I love veggie frittatas and would eat them every day for lunch, forever and ever, amen.

    Now I’m hungry. Thanks a lot, Ross.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      We have bags of shredded zucchini in our freezer from the Bush administration — quite possibly the first one.
      But, yes, my wife has sneaked zucchini into lasagna. The kids are onto us now, though.

  3. Paul says:

    You’re down in the Townships, aren’t you? That being so you have about 36 hours to eat the tons of produce that burst from the ground – and then it will snow. Ha! All the better to populate your famous ski hills – covered with the remains of squash, cukes, zucchini …

    P.S. Love your Thursday Surprise – so simple but so effective.

    As an aside to accentuate the validity of your post, my doctors are confused. Ha! I take warfarin the blood thinner partly for my dialysis. It’s effectiveness varies wildly depending on diet.They test weekly and then advise dosage based on the results. Lately my results have been low and they have started increasing the dosage. Week after week they increase dosage and the results show lower effectiveness. This has happened the last five weeks. I am now at double the dose and half the results. The folks whose job it is to monitor this process sat me down for a little chat this week – WTF?!?! Bwahaha! I knew the reason because I’ve had it happen before. I live on a disability pension – which isn’t bad as long as you eat whatever happens to be on special when you do your grocery shopping. As you pointed out veggies are exploding onto the market, literally overflowing the shelves, so the prices are low – so I’ve been buying and eating a lot. Normally here tomatoes are $1.50-$3.00 a pound and are now $2.88 for a 5 pound basket – hence the Thursday love. It turns out that veggies contain (amongst other good things) vitamin K. Vitamin K neutralizes warfarin (good to know of you happen to be a rat evading death). So the more veggies I eat the lower my warfarin levels. The docs were OK with this, as they do not want to be heard in public saying that veggies are anything but perfect. But they warned me to let them know when the Townships ran out of veggies or my warfarin levels could spike into unsafe levels.

  4. pinklightsabre says:

    It’s weird, I could hear you reading this as I read it. My favourite is the shark eye image, but that’s because it’s dark, the eyes. God they’re freaking scary, sharks.

  5. At our house, the back to school lunches will all be the Tomato Box lunches… for about a month.

  6. Yahooey says:

    Alternate zucchini with a few courgette recipes from England. Twice the mileage.

  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    Hmm, zucchini as bread. Remind me never to have lunch at your place…

    Funny post! Just think of the conversations your kids would generate if they brought those lunches to school!

  8. List of X says:

    You kind of lost me at “zucchini”, because I am no longer a kid, and you can no longer trick me into eating it (I don’t consider waterboarding to be “enhanced tricking”). Actually, what I mean is you lost me as a cook, but the post was delicious AND 100% vegetarian and fat-free.

  9. ksbeth says:

    being on the other end, as a teacher, and a parent of now grown daughters – bring it!

  10. Hahaha. 🙂 your kids will have lots of stories to tell (complain about?) when they’re older. 🙂

  11. Where can I find a “too gropey” masseur? Does that cost extra?

    Perhaps Quint would still be with us (instead of just his purloined dialogue) if he’d know about Carrots of the Caribbean.

    Do you know what “ants on a log” are? Do they have that up there?

  12. If ice cream grew as abundantly as tomatoes, zukes & cukes – this article would be a lot more delicious. An everyone loves Rutabagas (hence the cap “R”) – beets? Not so much. I do love the color – but only on the way in.

  13. Trent Lewin says:

    Box of tomatoes… are you mad? Are you really suggesting I should give me kids boxes of tomatoes? Ross, this is the worst single piece of advice I’ve ever heard.

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