Hot Lunch


At lunch time, the chuckwagon rips through the house on runaway horses, leaving an aftermath of precarious towers of microwavable dishes, cutlery, and some kind of sauce.  This sort of damage only takes about 15 minutes to create. (Even Charles Goodnight, the inventor of the chuckwagon would be appalled, and if you look at this picture of him, you will notice that he’s probably seen a lot of things during his days. And probably nights.)   


(The photo above of Charles Goodnight is designated as “public domain.” The source is

All three of us (four if you count the cat) are STILL working from home, which was kind of fun at first, but now, lunch consists of a frenzied dash for the freezer to be the first to pull out a frozen meal and heat it up for three agonizing minutes while everyone else stands around and drools. Also, the cat screams at us. (He is always sassing off.)

Then, one day, Nate looked at me and said, “How come we never get any home-cooked meals for lunch?”

And then, Alex looked at me like, “Yeah, Mom. How come we never get any home-cooked meals for lunch?”

My natural instinct to be outraged was also fighting for first place with full-blown-hold-onto-my-bladder-laughter. I mean, do I look like Charles Goodnight? Do I look like I would even want to whip up beans and biscuits on a regular basis, while also driving cattle (writing/training tutors/helping students)?

However, I was intrigued by the idea of a “back-to-school” hot lunch, so I put on my old timey western bowler hat and made butterscotch cookies, tomato soup, and grilled cheese sandwiches for the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks cattle-driving team. I am more than willing to do this—once. Not every day. Here are a few of the recipes that I will share, in case you too own a chuckwagon:

Butterscotch cookies:

Preheat the oven to 375


2 ¼ cups of flour

1 tsp of baking soda

¼ tsp of salt

1 cup of butter (two sticks)

¾ cup of brown sugar

¾ cup of granulated sugar

2 tsps of butterscotch extract or liquor

1 egg

 1 package of butterscotch-flavored chips/morsels


Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in one bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and the butterscotch flavoring. Add the flour to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix well. Add in the butterscotch-flavored chips/morsels. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet—leaving about an inch of space around each mound. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Tomato Soup:

1 16-ounce can of tomato sauce

1 ½ teaspoons of dried basil

1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

2 cups of vegetable stock

½ cup of milk

Method: Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Grilled Cheese: Just use your favorite bread and slices of cheese. Toast them in a pan with butter.

Results: We were actually able to eat lunch at the same time. Everyone helped clean up, and the wheels didn’t tear loose from my wagon.

In Other News: My first column for The Daily Drunk literary magazine has been published. You can find the link for “My Very First Serious Beer Review” here.

Your Turn: When is the last time you’ve eaten/prepared a hot lunch? What is your favorite school lunch memory?

32 thoughts on “Hot Lunch

  1. We also eat frozen microwaved meals for lunch. Creating lunch for everyone seems like such a foreign concept to me. I haven’t done that since all my kids were little. Once they got old enough to make their own stuff, I never offered again and congratulated myself on my good fortune! Love the chuck wagon image, and am most impressed by the meal you prepared for your cowhands!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I used to prepare several meals because Alex was such a picky eater–and he really weighed next to nothing. I’m so glad he’s out of that stage now–and has been for quite some time:)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes–I imagine so. People in many other countries prepare meals three times a day. When I studied abroad in Spain, my host mother did the same thing–every day–and for the dog. The dog got a separate hot meal too! I was very impressed. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The chuckwagon was a great innovation, and I’m sure the Studebakers would’ve embraced the microwave, too, if it was around in 1866. Cowboys would surely love a microwaveable black bean breakfast burrito. Maybe frustrating when they got out there on the range, and no place to plug in the ol’ radar range. Microwave popcorn would’ve been another civilizing influence, a big hit in the saloons, and you’d have fewer gunfights, because nobody can grab their six-shooter when their fingers are covered with butter.
    Really lively beer review, lots of zing, or I guess, zest, since there’s citrus.
    My favorite school lunch memories, are sitting around the table, discussing the weekly Mystery Meat – – woodchucks involved in animal-based testing gone horribly wrong. Like a mid-day break for campfire horror stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading my beer review at the DD! It was lots of fun to write. Nate suggested I do a rum punch for the next one, which will be late September. And then, there will be all of the October/Halloween drinks. I can’t wait!


  3. Now I must make a hot lunch just so I can talk about it! I’m planning on making risotto as soon as I do grocery shopping next, so thanks for the incentive! Also, yours looks absolutely delicious, I may have to make tomato soup some day as well! I hope everyone in the team is doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

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