Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Making lunches

PC started a new job on Monday (felicitations PC), which means he is no longer working from home, but rather making an appearance in the real world, with the rest of the working class, during regular business hours.

He now reports to Head Quarters, as a subject expert (expert on what you ask...? well that's considered confidential, or too complicated to bother explaining, so I will just say confidential, which will lead you to think he's off EXTRA importance in the world... however...) - bottom line is... its a raise, its a promotion, and for the purpose of this post, it requires him to have a lunch 5 days a week, because he is tucked away in a piece of Ottawa we like to call ghetto-ville Vanier.

Talking about Vanier is a whole other post (and Vanier residents don't try to convince me that it's better known as upscale Vanier, or Van York, because it's not). Vanier is known mostly for it's hourly rate motels... if you know what I mean, so from that you can conclude it doesn't exactly have gourmet fine dining restaurants nearby, unless of course you count the Loblaw's deli counter down the street from his office.

Anyways.... moving on. Since I have been at Public Health, I am on a regular lunch taking kick (not by choice). Seriously... I pretty much hate taking my lunch because it requires advance planning, and being proactive, and basically all the things I don't do well in life. But, it only makes sense to pack a healthy lunch when you're eating with the people who work on Canada's National Food Guide (fast food and chubby chips are NOT going to cut it in this neck of the woods!).

However... when you aren't use to packing a lunch, it quickly becomes like a second job.

A. You have to have groceries in the house ALL. THE. TIME.
B. You have to have a variety of items to make it seem like you have options.
C. You have to have pack stuff that is portable, with portable containers that require washing at the end of the day.

I am finding that making lunches is easier if you make a decent supper, and then prepare the next day's lunch while cooking supper. However, this brings up another issue, in that we don't always eat a decent supper, especially with our busy schedules - we are on the go, all the time, which makes, making decent meals a challenge in general. If there is no supper on the table some nights, that definitely means there is no chance in hell of having a good lunch the next day, let alone a healthy one.

If I get a decent supply of groceries on Sunday, I seem to be able to get through Monday and Tuesday without too many problems, but when Wednesday morning rolls around, I am fresh out of ideas on what to put in my lunch bag. AND, if I happen to spend the weekend away from home, I am grasping for ideas on what to include in the lunch box come Monday morning - it's a vicious cycle, I swear.

I think I might be able to survive a bit more than PC, on minimal groceries, because a small supply of cheese n' crackers classifies as a meal for me, but PC sees that combo as more of a lame appetizer than an entire meal.

The other issue I have is with deli meats. I like a good deli sandwich, but I seem to be most attracted to the salty meats, like salami and ham.... and less into the fat free turkey and chickens. I like salami for the sheer fact that it doesn't get that slimy film attached to it after only 3 hours in the fridge, and in my opinion it just tastes better - so when I arrive at the deli counter, I am always asking for the same meat, and even I know its not particularly healthy to live off of salami all week long.

All of these little lunch box issues are leading me to ask for some help, some advice, in the lunch making department. Do any of you have lunch packing secrets... good treats or quick menu items that I could try, in an attempt to spice up my lunch bag? If so, please post your ideas in the comments section - I am dying here .... throw me a bone (or a sandwich), PLEASE.