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Friday, February 10, 2012

Lessons from the Lunchlady: Puke-a-palooza with a side of Mesclun

The curtain is about to set on this week and I learned A LOT.

The oven is an important piece of equipment.  Ever since reading the book Save Me by Lisa Scottoline in which an elementary school explodes and all the lunchladies die, I've been ever so slightly obsessed with gas leaks.  We had a teeny one this week which was promptly fix but then the oven decided that it would not cook the following day.  Talk about plan B.  We got the chicken cooked by the fries mocked us.  So we served salad.

Feta Cheese smells different to children.  The kiddos were learning about Israel this week so we served a lovely fish nugget meal with a feta, tomato and cucumber salad.  More than once, some helpful kindergartners told me they were "pretty sure somebody fro'd up in there."  If I tell em' that's the cheese, do you think they'll still taste it?  In their defense, it has been Puke-a-palooza this week at school.  We've got kids droppin' left and right from the Puke-a-saurus Virus.  Here's hoping I can continue to fend that one off.

Hummus can be mistaken for peanut butter.  Also part of our Tastes of Israel, we served a quarter of a pita bread spread with hummus.  Let's just say that if you're thinking peanut butter and you bite into hummus, you're gonna be disappointed.

I'll have a 1 oz serving of new regulations with a side of Mesclun.   I learned this week that starting next year protein servings for K-8 drop from 2 oz. to 1 oz. of protein.  If the kids are already upset with four chicken nuggets does that mean next year they only get two?  Also dark green and orange veggies need to be served three or more times a week.  I'm not sure about mesclun (pictured above) or butternut squash.  Personally, those are hard sells for grown ups.

There is a good chance that I'm not smarter than a lunchlady manager.  I decided to apply for my boss's position as Cafeteria Manager.  Turns out you have to take a five page written test for this position and I didn't study.  Um...admitting that this test was difficult probably makes me look really stupid, but I feel confident that you guys will give me some comment love.  Here are some examples of the questions.

You have an employee who is refusing to wear a hairnet, what do you do?  Not sure why there were four lines for the answer because my approach needed a lot fewer lines.

After being the manager for one year, give me three words each that the students, the teachers, the administrators, and the Child Nutrition Director will use to describe you?  I hope employed is in there somewhere...LOL

How many cups are in 30 gallonsIf you have 497 students eating cheeseburgers and the burgers come in 30 lbs cases and each case has 6 sleeves of 9 hamburgers how many cases do you need?  How many dozen buns?  How many flats of buns is that if each flat contains 30?

Above is a sample menu for breakfast and for lunch.  Under the current Foodservice guidelines are they reimbursable meals?  If not, what would you add? 

Did I mention this was five pages?

What did you learn this week?

11 random thoughts:

TortugaRachel said...

And you thought you'd never use that math again! Ha!

Hehe, I'm sure you did fine. You're a lot smarter than you give yourself credit for!

Hummus instead of PB... I am still shuddering.

becca said...

i've learned your school serves way better food then ours. at my sons school fries are consider a veggie

Wendy said...

Another great post!
I learned water heaters can be your friend and your worst enemy. I learned the proper psi for my pipes is 50-60 not the 150 that was running through mine. I learned my neighbor is an awesome contractor with a heart of gold!

That's what I learned!

Jenners said...

I'm with the kids on the cheese!
I think it is great you applied for the job -- despite the 5 page test! Yikers!

Kristie Maynard said...

Well, who knew there would be a huge test like that? I'm sure you did fine. And they need to realize that some things come with experience not with answers on a test.
I learned that there are very few baptism card out there that are not for babies. I'm making mine for my great niece, but Mom needed one and they are very hard to find. ATTENTION card companies! Not everyone is baptised as a baby! You are losing out on some customers here!

Randi said...

I love your sense of humor! I come here whenever I'm in need of a few giggles. Good luck on securing that new job position!

Mitch Block said...

When I was single, the oven in my house was only important as a place to store pots and pans. I have a friend who stores her breakfast cereal there. Her Native American name is Cooks Without Heat.

I'll have a humus and grape jelly sandwich on white bread, please.

~Wendy said...

Wondering... do you have to get a certain score to be considered for the job or just have the highest score of those that test? The burger one...?? hope they weren't looking for the exact mathematical error. People in "the office" don't always understand that stuff falls on the floor, or cannot be served because there are cattle hair still stuck to the meat when it comes out of the wrapper....

Chasing Joy said...

Wow, those are hard questions. You probably did better than you think. They may have been more interested in if you could work through the questions and write well.

And the kids mistaking hummus for peanutbutter made me laugh. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh the math would have killed me. If I were in charge, some days, the kids would have to share burgers. Other days, they would all have to accept seconds to quietly cover up my errors. Good luck, though. Sarcasm aside, the math can be learned and analyzed. People skills, which are paramount in any management position, cannot. And it seems like you have tons of those and a sense of humor to boot. Good luck!

septembermom said...

Those are tough questions! And five pages of them?? I am with the kids about the cheese!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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