Featured School Food Memory: Bologna Cups!

March 23, 2009

by Tara Kennon, HSC communications manager

Fresh-voices
Last week, HSC launched the Fresh Voices for Fresh Choices contest as part of our efforts to raise awareness of important school food issues involved with the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.

In the contest, we’re asking students, parents, teachers, chefs and everyone who has ever eaten in a school cafeteria to share their most vivid memory of school food. Some people are sharing their memories in writing, some are sending photos and others are working on videos to submit.

We knew the entries would be interesting and varied – after all, the idea for the contest originated with the fun, vivid, moving stories shared by food bloggers who participated in our Fresh Voices for Fresh Choices kick-off event in Dec. 2008: What’s Cooking, Mamaspeaks, My Readable Feast, This Mama Cooks, What We’re Eating, Green Mama, Laurene,
Lunch Lessons,
Food Blogga, The
Ethicurean
, Ramblings in Chocolate and Leena Eats.

Now, we can’t wait to share the entries we're receiving! Each week during the contest, we’ll spotlight a few of the memories that HSC friends have entered in the contest.

If you like what you read, take a moment to cast your vote on the contest site and help us determine the winners! Better yet, take a moment to share your own memory! You can win fabulous prizes while helping spread the message about making fresh, healthy food the norm.

Today’s featured entry is the one with the most votes so far: Mary Wilkins’ memory of the “bologna cups” served at her elementary school:

A long time ago when I was still in elementary school, once a week there was a revolting meal served named Bologna Cups which consisted of fried bologna slices (so the sides curled up) with an ice cream scoop of instant mashed potatoes plopped in the middle topped with a sprinkle of chives or parsley so it would look pretty.

It was so disgusting that I couldn't even stand the smell of it. I would beg my mother to pack a cold lunch for me on those days, and most of the time she did. Occasionally though, we would forget what day it was and I would be subjected to this horrible lunch!

When I got to High School, they only served sandwiches. I would ask for bologna sandwich but without the butter. I liked mustard instead. What was really cool about that was because I did not have butter, I got 2 slices of meat. I guess it had to meet a minimum fat content. This made up for all the forced meals of eating it fried. LOL.

Imagine my surprise when many years later, my father-in-law requested fried balogna for supper and he put his mashed potatoes right on top! I laughed until I cried, but I would not eat supper that night!

The meals of my children's time were much better. They had a salad and soup bar and could choose their favorite foods. They ate much better then I ever did. The nutritional aspects have improved drastically in 40 years!

You can vote for Mary's entry on the contest website. While you're there, be sure to share your own memory online!