August Foodbuzz 24x24: Back to School Lunches

This post is titled "back to school lunches" and in an ideal world that would have been how this would have gone. This post in reality is "Hurricane Irene Meal Packs." I was supposed to make some beautiful school lunches, take them on a picnic to a lovely DC park with my friends in the glorious sunshine and have it be like a grown up field trip....instead I ended up in a snuggy on my sofa for a "state of emergency." This got me thinking how really this kinda worked out pretty well for me. If I'd been asked to evacuate packing a meal to go would have been something I should have done, and as a grown adult I wouldn't have had a lunch pail. Thank you, Irene. Now I have a lunch box. I am ready to pack a meal to go in the case your sister pays me a visit in the future. The major bonus is having three meals planned out ready to go while the rest of my lovely city was fighting lines at the grocer. Winning! 

I did all the prep ahead of time, lest I loose electricity or a tree branch destroy my current home (moving in four days!). I planned out three meals : the monster meal, a proper tea, and the gourmet Lunchable. Thankfully these meals and the leftovers meant that I was eating well while bunkered down in DC. 

The Monster Meal

If you're looking at those photos you might be thinking.....huh? Let me explain, below you see monster mouth apple slices. These are a personal fave that is easy enough to accomplish. A quarter of an apple, some mini marshmallow and slivered almond and you can create a gobbledy treat. I kinda think they look like crabs. They make me smile, and also the person who is unfortunate enough to be around me while I play with them like puppets. Grrrr. Arg. (For the Buffsters out there). 

You're also looking at "dragon's liver." Okay so it's nectarine and thyme fruits de pate. I made it work. It was a hurricane people! was actually in the plan the whole time, I just feel sheepish about putting pretty ribbons on dragon's liber. It reminds me of the old movie Bed Knobs and Broomsticks when Angela Lansbury is making potions and needs poisoned dragon's liver. If it entertains my child-like mind it certainly should pass on a much younger child. I say, make the pate, rent the movie and make a hurricane party of it. I did. 
Last but not least, those knarled vampire eyes are actually radishes! Who knew that a radish and a zester could combine to make vampire eyes? Now all the kids who hate Edward Cullen (Go Team Jacob!) can get a healthy treat out of it. Just think of the potential a bowl of these have for a Halloween party! Who wouldn't adore a bucket of eyes sitting next to the dip?  Wow. I just said that. I paired it with some of my Gummy Worm Soda. It's a very fun lunch, if you like creepy crawly gobbledy gook.

The Gourmet Lunchable

The typical Lunchable used to be some food they called meat, cheese, and perhaps some pudding if you were lucky. Nutritional value was a zero, and quality of food was pretty poor. I'm sure not sure that I believe that ham really was ham. I love eating cheese, crackers and meats for lunches. I often have packed myself some crackers, a slice of brie, grapes, a square of dark chocolate and walked over to the park to enjoy. This lunch was supposed to be for Butchie, who was barricaded down in Dupont. I had planned this one revolving around her favorite foods, which ideally she got to enjoy in an orchard, picking fruit. Oh Irene, you killed this weekend. I upgraded the basic crackers for romano basil flower crackers, treat for rich chocolate truffles, slices of parmesan and black forest ham, and an added bonus of greek olives. 
Tea Time

This meal was geared toward me and my love of tea time. It had some of my beautiful cucumber sandwiches that I adore, and confess to eating at least four days this week. It also contained some homemade blueberry scones (sadly this recipe was not a winner), carrot flowers, chamomile tea, and a lovely cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes. It's DC. In hurricane conditions we stop off for the essentials on the way home, and this included a Banana Split Cupcake.
I must say it surprises me how just a simple thing like make my carrots into flowers actually does allow me to enjoy them more. I hate carrots. Always have. Smother them in blue-cheese and we'll talk.

The tea time lunch was quaint. It had it's own little tea cup and a cupcake holder and I could just see a cute little girl taking a tea cup out of her lunch box at school and enjoying herself. My little daydream gets better if mom's collaborate and her little circle of friends all get to have a lunch time tea party. It'd be too cute. If nothing else this could easily be packed up for her to take to a tea party at a friend's house.

The cupcake holder is a neat trick for someone who want to DIY instead of buying a cupcake caddy. For your convenience I created a stencil! It's very basic. Cut on the dotted lines and fold on the full lines. This will hold on standard cupcake. If you need to adapt the size....and you probably will, just scale it so the center is the size of normal cupcake, about two and a half inches!

I wish this post had gone according to plan. I wish I had not spent my entire Saturday, in my house, in a pink snuggy, with cookie dough..............who am I kidding. It was great!

I hope for the rest of you who have been in Irene's path that it worked out equally well, and for your next natural disaster, may I recommend packing a lunch.