Case study: Leftovers are great
BEING the child of a restaurateur couple certainly has its advantages when it comes to interesting packed lunches for school, as Dublin resident Adrianna Fiorentino has found.
Growing up in New Jersey, USA, where her parents run a French-Italian restaurant, Adrianna (inset) and her three siblings all got packed lunches that were far more mouth-watering than the norm, judging from her mother, Vivian.
"I often sent leftover dinner ingredients, between bagels, English muffins, or sliced bread, often toasted to prevent sogginess," said Vivian.
"Some of what was sent included chicken Marsala, chicken picante, lemon chicken, leftover meatballs, meatloaf, steak, leftover barbequed meat, and pretty much anything that could be called a sandwich.
"Other alternatives included leftover sushi from a restaurant, stew in a reusable container, containers of mixed salad topped with tuna, and hard-boiled eggs with dressing on the side, and lasagne or pasta."
To keep all these items fresh, Vivian used a two-compartment insulated collapsible bag to separate fruits from sandwiches or containers, and a frozen paper juice box was used as a chilling element.
Her kids' teachers told her of the time when her son Pascal once threw away part of a veal sandwich, and the teacher said: "Oh my, why would you throw some of that delicious sandwich away?"
"He answered with a smart-mouth reply: 'It may look great to you . . . but it tastes like hell to me'. Oh well, too much of a good thing wasted on a five-year-old," said Vivian.
Irish Independent Supplement