Previous   Next

What was your favorite school lunch?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 16, 2011

Browse the archives

Photo of Libby Harfmann

“At my elementary school they always did Thanksgiving lunches where the parents would get to come and eat and that was always my favorite.”

Photo of Craig Lane

“I always liked pizza Fridays.”

Photo of Courtney Holle

“Mac ‘n cheese.”

Photo of Chris Carey



kernal 6 years, 5 months ago

So sorry the school denied you lunch.

Lisa Russell 6 years, 5 months ago

Spicy chicken sandwhiches that were served on Wednesdays at LHS. Follow that with those chocolate chip cookies that weren't quite baked all the way.....yummy.

JHawker 6 years, 5 months ago

mmm those chocolate chip cookies were amazing... and def worth the wait to skip all the ones that were no longer soft and gooey :-)

riverdrifter 6 years, 5 months ago

It was the chili. The chicken noodle soup was good too. The rest of it sucked. The best was when I pedaled my bike over to the Dari Ring on 56 at noon (open lunch hour back then) and downed a burger & fries made by Mrs. Purvis. I wish that the Dari Ring was still there. Places like that are still needed. And so are open lunch hours. A break was a good thing.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 5 months ago

Amen Aunti. Bess and Dora made cinnamon rolls that we kids loved and they were bigger than two squares on the tray. Woodbine Elementry best lunches ever. circa 1960-1970. People would even drive for miles to get those cinnamon roles during the Chili feed dinners. And of course every day we had the best yeast rolls. (And rice pudding, with or without raisins. Real meat loaf. Dang now I am hungry.)

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

A few of us used to skip Friday afternoon sometimes back in '66 and have liquid lunch at the Harbour. Good times.

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

Corn bread and beans were always good.

And any meal at LHS that included cinnamon rolls got no complaints from me.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

I think you actually have to be an adult to remember cinamon rolls and chili. That was the best, back when they actually cooked food that was good for you. Reading that list above. And we wonder why all the kids today are soft and fat. I think it affected they're brains too.

George_Braziller 6 years, 5 months ago

I thought my school was the only place that had that combination. I always gave away the cinnamon roll though because even then I didn't like desserts or sweets.

Bill Lee 6 years, 5 months ago

It was a toss up between lamb chops and red snapper.

Alceste 6 years, 5 months ago

Now, pull that drummer out from behind that bottle. Bring me my pipe, we're gonna shake it. Slap that drummer with a pie that smells. Take me down to California, baby Take me down to California, baby Take me down to California, baby

Terry Sexton 6 years, 5 months ago

Gosh, I really can't recall what the heck they served when I was in school. The only thing that comes to mind are those little wafer ham sammiches on a dinky bun. I can't remember what they served with them - tater tots maybe?

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

I wanted to snack on the young nurse we had but more often than not I was stuck with a couple warm cans of beast and a smoke for lunch. The food the had was over-priced crap that looks a lot like that nasty Runza place shhhhhh it burger...gross. Really, I just eat pills for lunch anymore (and a pint of Barton's) and then write song lyrics for Ke$ha and Barbra Streisand (funny story, I sent the wrong set to Babs when it should have been Ke$ha, Babs sent back the demo for the song "I'm going to snatch it back (from you)" good stuff)

Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

Tater tots are an abomination. That's my $0.02.

wmathews 6 years, 5 months ago

Chicken nuggets with mashed potatoes were the best! And we had these popsicle things called "Push Ups" that were shaped like triangles. Orange was gross, but cherry was on point.

dogsandcats 6 years, 5 months ago

WTF are crispitos? Sounds real healthy, whatever it is.

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 5 months ago

They are skinny deep-fried burritos with industrial grade cheese sauce. I'm pretty sure the meat was made from ground donkeys or circus animals, but they were delicious! In fact, USD 497 has them on the menu for August 22nd.

Pitt_Mackeson 6 years, 5 months ago

hahaha ground donkeys..... that just killed me. Hey! This hotdog tastes like ZOO!

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 5 months ago

Mmm...zoo hotdogs. Even better if they taste the way the Topeka Zoo smells. Of course, they probably are made from the animals at the Topeka Zoo since they've been having "problems."

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I wish we had a zoo half as good as Lawrences'. Grow up rat girl.

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh lighten up, cranky butt. It was a joke! Did the Topeka Zoo crispitos give you diarrhea or something? I'm not a big fan of most zoos, but Topeka is the one I know best. Please feel free to use KC, Wichita, San Diego, KU Athletic Department, or whatever in my ground meat references if it makes you feel better.

Sarah St. John 6 years, 5 months ago

Sept. 28, 1971: A lunch menu for Lawrence public schools for the upcoming week was published. On Wednesday, students would have beef tips in brown gravy over mashed potatoes, tossed salad, a roll, milk, and spice cake with butterscotch icing.

Nov. 21, 1970: The lunch menu for the week included pigs-in-blankets, green beans, and parsley-buttered potatoes, chicken pie with biscuits, and chili with cornbread.

And of course, milk in those teeny paper cartons:

(At my elementary school in NJ, we had a choice of "white, chocolate, or orange drink.")

MapMadeMind 6 years, 5 months ago

Runza, Pizza, homemade doughnuts, taco salad. Everything was homemade by a couple of grandma's at my school. That's one of the precious few advantages to attending a school with less than 100 kids!

Sarah St. John 6 years, 5 months ago

Are you telling me that "chicken pie with biscuits" or "chili and cornbread" were not good? It sounds so much better than what we had in our school! But yeah, nearly everyone was thin in the 70s. What happened?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

I clearly remember one school lunch. That was the day one of the teachers caught me selling my small carton of milk to a classmate for a nickle. Until I realized that milk had a cash value, I had simply refused to take a carton, and that was fine.

That day, I discovered that it wasn't fine to be selling your milk in the cafeteria. I hated milk, I couldn't stand drinking it. For many years, I could not even watch people drinking it because seeing that was simply to gross. Finally I got used to seeing that, if someone wants to drink milk, sure, do it. Just don't get me involved.

The teacher that caught me selling my milk tried to get me to drink it without success. When it became obvious that I was willing to give up all of recess in order to not drink it, he finally gave up, and I was allowed to leave. But, having learned from the experience, I never sold my milk in the cafeteria again.

Much later, my mother told me something that might very well have explained my aversion to drinking milk. When she was an infant, she was simply unable to digest milk. It would not keep her alive, and she was almost at the point of death by age six months due to starvation, even though she was frantically given as much milk as my grandparents could get into her.

Just in time, her parents tried Similac, which is a soy product. She did very well on it, and quickly began to grow and turned out just fine.

That may have something to do with me disliking milk so much. It simply makes me sick.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Take the last 1/3 of your milk-still in the carton, add some mashed taters, pigs-in-a-blanket/corndog remnants and some corn/peas/carrots. Perhaps mix in a little jello too. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Dispense onto divided lunch tray. Make retching sounds as you slide tray into dishwashing area.

FloridaSunshine 6 years, 5 months ago

That's about the most stupid, disgusting thing I've heard. How old are you?

FloridaSunshine 6 years, 5 months ago

Ron...all three of my babies drank Similac and thrived!! Good stuff, children had a great pediatrician. Can't find them like that these days. I don't know how my grandchildren have survived with some of the bogus advice from their pediatricians! Of course, my children learned to "ask the old wise one" HA!!! I certainly learned a lot about babies and young children from my darling grandma and my dear former mother-in-law. I miss those wonderful women so much...

P.S. I can't imagine not liking favorite drinks are ice water (#1) and skim milk (#2) after the glass has been in the freezer for a while. I usually have at least two empty glasses sitting in the freezer in preparation... (Hope I'm not making you sick just thinking about it...sorry!!!)

BorderRat 6 years, 5 months ago

I too vote for the Chili and cinamon rolls. Also remember when LHS had hot, fresh baked rolls. The limit was two, but I don't remember anyone ever counting as you walked out.

kristyj 6 years, 5 months ago

I second the vote for Spicy Chicken sandwiches at LHS! Crispitos were also awesome. And the a la carte cookies at LHS were just amazing, but that's when students were still allowed to eat real fat & sugar. Burned it all off in marching band!

he_who_knows_all 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

H_Lecter 6 years, 5 months ago

Finding a raw fetal pig head on a fork, on the lunch table, sure grosses the other kids out...kind of warms my heart.

kernal 6 years, 5 months ago

Homemade chicken and noodles over real mashed potatoes. Even the noodles were homemade. Just one of the benefits of a small school - only 25 to 30 students.

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

Hollis. You worked the kitchen? We used to put a penny between the half slices of bread and butter then gather in the hallway to listen for the disposal to grind it up. If one of us were feeling flush a nickel would go in. That would lock up the disposal and a very angry maintenance man would have to skip lunch to fix it.

FloridaSunshine 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow...we were angels compared to you guys! Not even some of the most obnoxious boys in school would have done something that damaging and disrespectful.
And you know what? In thinking back, I did go to school with some really terrific kids!! Even in high school, I remember the kids were respectful to the teachers and even fellow students...the obnoxious few were very few and far between. And these were public schools. I've tried finding some of my classmates from elementary, middle, and high school...even college. Evidently, we're too old for Facebook... I'm still in touch with my best friend from college...she says she can't find anyone, either. Is there a Facebook alternative for the elderly? (I know...the obituaries...very funny!!)

Julie Craig 6 years, 5 months ago

Beef stew with grilled cheese on homemade bread . . . that was the best. We all put our lima beans into our milk cartons because Mr. Church went around and made sure we ate everything on our trays :)

Anybody remember when peanut butter was the government surplus item and they put it into everything! Cinnamon rolls never should be like that.

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

I may or may not know anything about a certain vice principal's VW getting carried into the front entrance and set crossways in the vestibule. However . . . I had nothing to do with the doors of H C Stuart's pickup getting Liquidmetal around the seams of the doors. (That kid was caught and spent many after school hours cleaning it up)

(I'm safe after 45 years . . . right?)

JHawker 6 years, 5 months ago

I never ate a full school lunch, always had a delicious sack lunch meal: slice of bread with meat or cheese, slice of bread with something sweet, a fruit and a yoghurt or pudding. Along with a container for milk. Then again, when there was something I did want, like tater tots or pizza, I would craftfully trade some of my lunch. I always had the good sweets, straight from our Dutch kitchen.. chocolate sprinkles, nutella, you name it :-)

Mike Hatch 6 years, 5 months ago

The rectangular pizza was pretty good. The cinnamon rolls were very good. They always put a lot of icing on them. I remember the grey hamburgers. They didn't look too good, but they weren't too bad.

Worst: Before moving to Lawrence, had some of what Jefferson County school district had to offer for lunch. Baloney Boats. A slice of baloney, fried until the edges turned black and curled up. A scoop of instant mashed potatoes on top of the baloney with a square of orange-yellow cheese on top of the potatoes. Then, some kind of gravy to float around in. I have no idea what was in their "meat blanket". Probably don't want to know.

George_Braziller 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh my GOD! I was sure there wasn't anyone else on the planet who had endured "Baloney Boats."

Only a few differences. At my Junior High they were called "Potato Boats." A chunk of baloney jammed into a muffin tin, an ice cream scoop of instant mashed potatoes, greasy weird cheese, and then baked in the oven. The edges were also burned but ours included a lovely surprise. The "cooks" didn't take the time to pull off the red plastic before they threw it in the oven so it just melted into the burned part.

Didn't have the gravy though. The pools of oil from the cheese and baloney formed its own "gravy."

For three years we had those ghastly things at least twice a month. Every time I ended up spending ten minutes sitting on the toilet after eating them.

roadwarrior 6 years, 5 months ago

back east, elementary school lunch was a chicken back bone with the tail still attached to the end, little tail feather hairs still hanging on it Maybe it was just me, but i remember clearly getting stared down by that lunch lady before having that tail butt chicken shoved into my hand. High school favorite, shepards pie with green beans.

trinity 6 years, 5 months ago

Baloney boats, lolol! I think we called 'em (or the cooks called 'em) potato boats...ours weren't quite as detestable as yours sound, scopi. The baloney was warm but I don't know how it got that way-not by frying, 'cos my dad used to do that and it just made me want to hurl; the mashed taters were real taters, and the cheese was shredded cheddar! They weren't half bad! Two grandma types were our cooks in grade school...very small parochial stuff was done right! That's where I learned to love sour kraut :)

trinity 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh-and those gals were unequalled for the fluffy huge white rolls that were made from scratch and also the cobblers they'd have at the end of the line. Those were freshly made too. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 5 months ago

What stands out in my mind weren't so much the lunches as those from-scratch cinnamon rolls that were so delicious we students used them almost as a form of U.S. currency. They were widely bartered in food tray item swaps and probably got used in non-cafeteria swap agreements as well; they were just that good. Not even the great Joe's Bakery on 9th St. could make sweet rolls that came close.

Eugehne Normandin 6 years, 5 months ago

Mary jane and then whatever they were serving

Commenting has been disabled for this item.