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 http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/d_h/goodnight.htm)
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:
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 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.
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?