I really hate the first day of school.
I love getting Parker ready for the first day of school. The back-to-school shopping. The organizing and sorting of supplies. All the new stuff really is a fun form of retail therapy.
But I hate the first day of school — yet another reminder that the little guy is getting a lot less little.
Today, Parker started fourth grade. Which doesn’t seem even a little bit possible. He wasn’t upset, but he wasn’t excited, either. I suspect he finds the whole “big kid” thing as unsettling as I do.
Actually, he was a little upset. But that was at me because I insisted he stop repeatedly as we were walking to his classroom so I could take pictures. As you can see, this did not amuse him. So uncool in front of his friends…!
Now, about that lunch.
I wanted today’s lunch to be a treat, though not quite the sort I treat I give him on the last day of school.
So I started with a pile of one of Parker’s favorites — leftover barbecue pulled pork. I slow smoked it on the grill during the weekend for almost 10 hours. Pretty darn tasty.
He’s not picky about his pulled pork being hot, so for ease I popped it cold on an onion roll with a bit of sour cream. Had he wanted it hot, I’d have just heated it up, tossed it in a thermos and packed the bun on the side.
To go with it, I went with fruit — apples and plums, cut up for ease. To keep the apples from browning, I used a trick a reader shared a while back. Normally, I’d just toss them with a bit of lemon juice.
But this was even easier. Combine a bit of salt and water in a bowl (I did maybe a hefty pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of water), then add the apples and toss. Pour off the water and that’s it.
You supposedly also can rinse the salt water off the apples without losing the benefit. But I love salted apples. My great grandmother used to give me salted apple slices when I was a kid.
Finally, a yogurt parfait made from vanilla Greek yogurt, granola, frozen clementine segments, a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips and a tiny drizzle of honey.
Why frozen clementines? Simply because they were really the only fruit I had left. I’d bought some for a treat for Parker’s birthday party (I made a fruity ambrosia — the food of the Greek gods), but had some left over. I froze them figuring I’d used them in a smoothie.
Meanwhile, today is the launch not only of Parker’s fourth grade year… But also of the book he inspired… “Beating the Lunch Box Blues.”
Thank you all for the overwhelming support! Folks who preordered should be getting their books this week. I hope you enjoy them. And if you do, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.
Now, back to it. One lunch down; 179 to go.