Yesterday I photographed our lunches, and then when I found myself wide awake at three this morning — because the chicks that my daughter bought yesterday and then put in the downstairs guestroom that’s directly below our room were cheep-eep-eeping so loudly that they woke me up and I had to get out of bed to fetch the noise machine from where it purrs in the hallway and plug it in next to my bed, right by my head, so I could drown out the shrill peeps, but then, of couse, all that activity only served to wake me up even more — I tried to write a post to go with those lunch photos. Because if I wasn’t going to sleep, I might as well do something useful.
But what, I thought to myself as I flopped about, tugging the covers up and then flinging them off, is there to say about lunch? Nothing really, except, I realized, I really like it. I like the eating, naturally, but I also like the word itself: lunch.
Say it: lunch. It’s a friendly word, don’t you think? Cozy and humble, and cheery. Satisfying, too, the way it ends with such firm unch-ness. And it rhymes with other agreeable words, like munch, bunch, and crunch, all which are related to lunch: I munch and crunch my way through a bunch of lunch. See?
But oh yes. The photos. Right.
My husband’s lunch….
He has never been one for packing a lunch. He does it, but he hates it. Lucky for him, the older he gets, the less he eats, so there’s less to pack.
Still, I don’t understand how he can pull off eight hours of hard physical labor on a couple eggs and an apple with peanut butter. I’d be flat on my face — doing his job, I’d be flat on my face even with a big lunch — but he says it’s enough, so whatever.
My younger son’s lunch….
I was going to heat up leftover brown rice and curry for our lunch, but then I just didn’t feel like dealing with the inevitable fussing (the kids aren’t curry fans), and we had plenty of other leftovers. Cobbled lunches are one of my favorite things about eating at home — I feel so virtuous, emptying container after container of leftovers.
My younger daughter’s lunch…
She couldn’t finish it, so my younger son ate the rest of it.
(My older daughter was at school, so I didn’t photograph what she ate. I think she took some chips, though, and a couple granola bars. And when I went to Costco yesterday, she sent along money so I’d buy her a large pepperoni pizza that she then divided up and stuck in the freezer for her future lunches.)
In my Sunday school class on the climate crisis, there’s a lot of talk about how reducing food waste is one of the biggest ways that we can fight climate change. (Of the dozens and dozens of ways that we can cut back on carbon emissions, guess what’s the number one way. Transportation? Netzero building? Recycling? Walkable cities? Nope — refrigerants!)
But I’m a little unclear about what “reducing food waste” means. Is it the waste from growing the food (fertilizers and fossil fuels)? Waste from shipping it? Waste from grocery stores buying too much and throwing it out? Waste from all our driving to and from the stores, restaurants, pick-your-own patches? Waste from driving to the gym to burn off the excess calories? Waste from processed food? The obesity epidemic and the ensuing medical costs? Excessive food packaging? Our crazy-high meat consumption?
How is the homecook supposed to respond? Does it boil down to The Pollan Mantra — Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants — or is there something more?
Like I said: Lunches are for munching and crunching. I have a hunch you agree.