War Crime aka Mom’s Cooking

I was packing a lunch for Jack this morning. Simple as that.

me: Jack, do you want a few saltine crackers with peanut butter as a side snack?

Jack: Why does my lunch have to be like we’re in the middle of the London Blitz?


(That’s a rowing pic from the race in Hartford 2 weekends ago)

Food, Quarantine, School, Uncategorized

What Jack Misses Most

Wow, Friday already. Time flies when you have nowhere to go and many rooms to clean, eh? We’re tackling things room by room, sort of. We started by clearing out Jack’s old “baby” bedroom, and got rid of many books that weren’t so special. Don’t worry, we saved about a THOUSAND BOOKS!

Here are some of the best books you could ever read to your child (if that child is Jack of course) 🙂 I cherish so many of these books for the illustrations (wish I could’ve used my Illustration degree to illustrate children’s books!). These books make me actually sigh when I see them and hold them. If you have children aged 0-6-ish, I would run out and get these!

Andrew Henry’s Meadow – Doris Burn
Goodnight Gorilla – Peggy Rathmann
Goodnight Cape Cod – Adam Gamble/John Andert
One Morning in Maine & Blueberries for Sal – Robert McCloskey
Close Your Eyes – Kate Banks
And if the Moon Could Talk – Kate Banks
Old Bear – Jane Hissey
The Dandelion Seed – Joseph Anthony
Owl Moon – Jane Yolen
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! – Lloyd Moss

As you can see, I could go on and on. We kept about 3 shelves full of Jack’s and my favorites. How can we give those away! Someday he may want to read these to his kids. (!!)

Today Jack is doing school work and also taking an SAT type practice quiz. Geez what a crab he is (Stop typing Mom, I’m taking a test, Go Go!)


So now I’m over here.

I asked Jack what he thinks about all “this” and if he’s ok.

Jack: I’m fine. I don’t mind being home. I can do my school work when I want to.

me: Yeah, I know but what do you miss? Teachers, friends, classes? Anything?

Jack: Not really. Though I do miss pasta Wednesday! (he sniffs dramatically). It was taken from me too soon!!!

(much fake crying)

Really? Ha ha.

Then I started looking up school pasta lunches so I could include a photo of what a typical pasta meal would look like.

THEN I started researching school lunches in other countries compared to the U.S.A. As you can imagine, we’re disgusting. Jack takes lunch to school 4 days a week, mostly due to his nut allergies (though the schools are supposedly nut free), but mostly because the food is gross.

Jack (in 9th grade): Mom, the burger meat has suckers on it.

Nuff said.

Here is a pic of what school lunches look like around the world, with US for comparison… then I will show the US lunch with pasta (though this is not our school and I highly doubt we serve meatballs). I remember back in 1984 for pete’s sake, we had great school lunches with a salad bar and a “grinder” bar (It was MA, so we called them grinders. Get over it LOL!)


Jack: I would totally eat that lunch from Italy, or Spain! OMG, the US lunch looks gross. Sugar, sugar, carb, carb, frozen peas.

me: And that’s why you bring lunch.

And here’s the good old USA pasta lunch:

Spaghetti & meatballs

Gross right? Well the pasta is probably acceptable, and the carrots and banana. Oy.

And, by comparison, here’s what I made Jack for lunch today. Croissant with Swiss cheese and ham, roasted kale chips, cherry tomatoes and pineapple. Of course he picked out the little wrinkly tomato. Geez so picky!


For breakfast, Jack made himself some cereal and then when I made my avocado toast with lemon and an egg on top he eyed it greedily.

me: Sheesh, do you want a bite? I asked you if you wanted one and you said no.

Jack: No you didn’t.

me: I certainly did! Like last night when I asked you if you wanted sour cream for your potatoes and you said yes, then had a fit when I handed it to you. Pay attention.

Jack: Yeah, I wasn’t listening.

me: Great.

He grabs my toast and takes a giant bite out of it.

me: Do you want me to make you one?

Jack: I said no. Geez Mom!


Food, School

It’s not really meat!

me: How was lunch today?

Jack: the cheeseburgers were disgusting so I ate ice cream instead.

me: I thought you liked their burgers? That’s why I didn’t pack you a lunch…

Jack: I decided to actually LOOK at the burger and it was all ground suckers!!

me: What??

Jack: They actually stuck out of the top and you could peel them off! That’s not real meat, mom.

me: Ground suckers…?

Jack: Yeah and if you scratch at the side of it, it turns to liquid!

me: Huh? The meat?

Jack: It’s NOT meat.

me: Did you eat any bites at all?

Jack: Yeah, one, and then threw it away.

me: Did you at least eat whatever came with it? Fries? Veggie? Fruit?

Jack: It didn’t come with anything and the veggies are gross and the fruit was soggy grapes! I told you I ate ice cream. It was cookies and cream on a stick.

me: Ice cream for lunch. How nutritious. And so NOT full of the sugar we’re avoiding. Great, Jack.

Jack: At least I had some energy after that!

(Lord only knows what they put in the “ice cream”!?)





No…seriously. The hammy product in a can.

Jack: Oh oh!!! We HAVE to try this!!

me: Spam?

Jack: Yes spam, glorious spam!

me: Glorious?

Jack: Just put it in the cart lady.


Jack: It’s kinda salty…

me: Ya think? It’s canned…!

Jack: Maybe heat it up?

me: Okay, here you go…

Jack: Umm … Maybe on a sandwich?

me: It really doesn’t get better Jack…

Jack: Yeah. Can I have more chicken??

This morning…

Jack: Spam sandwich for lunch please!

me: Instead of school pizza?

Jack: Their pizza stinks! And Spam is glorious!

me: And salty… I’ll give you a tiny sandwich with cheese and mustard (and a minuscule shaving of Spam).

Jack: Yay! I can’t wait to show my friends!!! And Mr. Spillane!

me: Your math teacher likes…spam…

Jack: Correction. Loves!!

me: How old is this teacher?

Jack: I don’t know, old?? Like 30? What does that have to do with someone loving glorious spam??!!

Conversations, Subaru Confessions

Subaru Confessions – Part 7

I thought this picture was funny. And it relates to my post. Really.


Of course I tucked Jack into bed tonight and woke up next to him a few minutes ago drooling on his pillow. So many stuffed animals, I was so tired, who could resist?

Jack had an excellent week in school. His spelling tests have been perfect. No “notes” or apology letters have come home in his backpack. Whew. The bus driver said she hasn’t had to speak to him about running up and down the aisles in over a week. Okay, I’m exaggerating on that one. But he did get spoken to for not listening to her or not sitting or something. I thought it was time for a trip to the toy store. A giant nerf gun was on our list. I reminded Jack that when you have excellent behavior on the bus and in school, and when all of your work is done correctly, AND when you don’t give your Mom any trouble, presents will follow. Funny that 7 year olds don’t yet retain that little bit of info.

We also had cereal for dinner. A sweet kind. I don’t do sweet cereals with Jack. He’s never had Lucky Charms or Froot Loops or Frankenberry. This time I let him pick. Only a few requirements, after all I couldn’t let all of the rules slip. Rule 1: Cereal has to have LESS than 10 grams of sugar per serving. I can’t give my child 17 grams of sugar in one bowl and then watch him down 4 bowls in one sitting. GASP! Rule 2: No high fructose corn syrup. Just because. It’s a chemical people. Rule 3: List of ingredients has to be small. Luckily most cereals follow that rule. Rule 4: No tree nuts. Well, that should be rule #1 but you get the idea.

(Okay, and technically I said we could have cereal for dessert if Jack ate some of the leftover butternut squash, chicken and corn…He was like “Oh yeah!”. And I’m thinking…you just ate a real dinner and the cereal is kind of a snack now, but whatever. And he didn’t go for 4 bowls because he filled up on veggies. I might be onto something here. How about “you can have this bag of M&Ms for DINNER if you eat this salad first.” Hee hee.)

So which cereal did he pick?

A favorite from my childhood. The box has a new “mascot” now. This wolf-looking thing. Remember this guy? (If you scroll down on that page there’s a Cookie Crisp video from the 80’s. Cool! That blog is also a fun read, so look around!) Uh oh, I just started reading through the blog, clicked on a link to Amazon, and bought this. Okay I gotta go to sleep for realz.

Back to the cereal…

The funny part is, it doesn’t taste the same as I remember. Do they actually change the cereals after a few decades or do our taste buds change? Weigh in!

Okay, here are a few tidbits from the ride to and from the store. Do kids say “tidbits” anymore or just us old people. Sh*t. Or should I say “Bird Sh*t”.


Jack: I’d like to be a bird

me: Birds don’t get nerf guns.

Jack: I’m glad I’m a person then! But birds get to poop on soldier’s uniforms.

me: ?

(I watched Jack hold his nerf gun in the back seat with little boy joy on his face.)

me: Guess what?

Jack: What?

me: I love you.

Jack: You always say that. You have to do better than that.


me: So what did you have for lunch today?

Jack: I got the grilled cheese. Man they have the BEST grilled cheese ever. Soooo good.

me: What makes it good?

Jack: I don’t know, extra grease or something?

me: Do your friends like it too?

Jack: Yeah. No one gets the vegetarian chili. And I mean no one. It’s disgusting.

me: So no vegetarians in 3rd grade?

Jack: No. You put a hot dog in front of any one of them and they’ll eat it. Watch.

(I guess hot dogs are the “meat” of choice for non-vegetarian 3rd graders)


(Journey “Separate Ways” came on the radio. I started singing.)

Jack: You know this song??

me: Yeah, I loved it when I was little. I think it came out when I was like 12 or 13.

Jack: Oh boy, and everyone knows what happens at that age!

me: What??

Jack: You start to go crazy. I’m not looking forward to my teens.