My kid gets really excited about school lunch. She says it's her favorite part of the school day "because there's always something yummy there to eat." I am not sure what this says about my cooking.
One of her favorite meals is spaghetti and meatballs. I can make that kid's day by throwing some frozen Kroger balls o' meat in with a jar of marinara. So imagine her excitement when we looked at her school lunch menu and saw that that was the entree for her third day of school. O, joy! Spaghetti and meatballs are to her what chicken noodle soup and government surplus peanut butter and jelly were to me as a cafeteria kid: the perfect formula for a good day at school.
I noticed yesterday afternoon that she wasn't wearing any tomato sauce on her shirt; she should have had a blob on her somewhere if she really ate her lunch.
"Did you enjoy your meatballs today, Ains?"
She sighed. "I ate some of the spaghetti but I didn't eat the meatballs."
"Why not? Those are your favorites!"
"They changed 'em," she said. "They're not the same meatballs as last year. They have big red seasoners in them, and I don't like any seasoners."
I was a little disturbed by big red anythings being in my kid's meatballs. "You mean seasonings?"
"Yeah! Season-INGS. I don't like 'em."
"But you have to have a little seasoning in them or they don't taste like anything. There are seasonings in the meatballs I make."
"But I think yours have 'em on the outside. I like season-INGS when they're on the outside, but not on the inside. When they're on the inside, they're hard, red, spicy things."
Really, when it comes to mostly-meat substances served in school caferias, maybe that's a good philosophy to have. Specks on the outside: good! Specks on the inside: bad. Very, very bad.