Commentary by Ramon Presson: I Bet Shakespeare Didnít Do This For His Kids
At 5:30 a.m., making my son’s school lunch is not even attempted without a full-cup injection of Columbian Roast. I believe that coffee is clear proof of the existence of God; and that sugar and half-n-half is proof of the love of God.
Furthermore I believe that starting one’s day with bad coffee sets the stage for further crisis and suffering throughout the day. You were late to work, hit a deer and got picked for jury duty? So, what did you expect with your travel tumbler full of Folgers?
Given the limited repertoire of lunch sandwiches I make, I try to jazz things up with variety in the accompaniments (drink, snack, dessert) I put in Cameron’s lunch box. I also write a personal note of encouragement at least one day a week. But I opted out of writing sweet notes on napkins or putting Bible verses on yellow Post-its. Instead I channeled my inner Dr. Seuss and summoned my repressed Shel Silverstein and created pieces like the following.
Smell that? That’s football in the air,
and here’s some gridiron gastro to help you prepare.
Ah, the meat in your sandwich looks like old pigskin leather
and it smells like a locker room in oven-baked weather.
The stale chips I packed
taste like tiny shoulder pads
and though your dessert
tastes like artificial turf
the lukewarm Gatorade will never go bad.
Sometimes I imagine being a chef being able to offer my son more than a peanut butter and M&M sandwich. If I were a talented French chef I might be able to do something like this:
I made you a lunch of fancy French cuisine
with recipes from Bon Appetite magazine.
In the sectioned container you’ll find beef bourguignon,
escargot and caviar, and braised filet mignon.
And if you’re still hungry—chicken cordon bleu,
and for dessert: crème brulee baked just pour tu.
You may not believe this but I have no cause to lie—
in France they don’t boast
about their French toast
and there’s nothing French about fries.
Of course, one of the ways to innovate the standard bagged lunch is to use leftovers:
Son, I thought your standard lunch
was in need of a makeover,
so I asked Thanksgiving dinner
if it could possibly stay over.
I know you’re sick of turkey
and have a pumpkin pie hangover,
so I kept the dressing and fried it
and made you a gravy-filled turnover.
The sweet potatoes have ripened
and the cranberry sauce is now a solid.
The sour dough loaf is a wheat flour brick
and dessert is whatever you wanna call it.
Another method of culinary innovation is to get other people involved…
Cam, I know that you wish you had
more than a sandwich made by your Dad,
so to give your lunch a little more heft
I placed a call to some celebrity chefs.
Enjoy the spinach lasagna from Rachel Ray
with Martha Stewart's prison souffle.
Sample some hot wings from Bobby Flay
and a bowl of his crawling fish etouffee.
The Barefoot Contessa's beef stock stew
might sell enough books to get her some shoes.
And be sure and leave some room for Dotson’s chocolate pie
but don’t get it on the ceiling cause the meringue’s pretty high.
I know Dotson’s is a Franklin restaurant and not a celebrity chef, but I’m shamelessly hoping to score a slice of pie with my next breakfast at Dotson’s by showing the waitress this column.
OK, before I wrap up, perhaps you’re wondering why Cameron doesn’t just buy his lunch at the school cafeteria if he needs more variety. Plus he’d have a hot entrée instead of a cold sandwich. Well, maybe this will explain it:
I guess by now you’ve heard the hysteria
about the unsolved mystery in the school cafeteria.
But what the police and FBI don’t know
is that the cook is an alien
and the meat’s a UFO. (unidentified frying object)
Posted on: 10/3/2013