Good guessing readers! I'm a lunch lady--the volunteer kind at PS. Funny how a week ago I was waxing nostalgic about breakfast waitressing and somehow life has come full circle to that point--I'm back in a kitchen, scooping food onto trays with a smile on my face. The desperate cry for help came home in last week's PS newsletter and I was looking for a way to plug in. Cafeteria duty it is, then.
Green Girl sees the distress call, grabs her spatula and climbs into the Momvan. It's a race against hunger this time. She exchanges superhero cape for an apron and hairnet.
The PS has a unique kitchen--their head cook right now is also the head chef at a very popular local supper club. He's making those meals from scratch back there--fresh-cut honeydew melon and oranges, roasted chickens and hot vegetables seasoned with parsley and diced onions. No one's opening cans, dumping the contents into the microwave for a reheat and slopping it onto a tray. These kids are eating spinach salads, people. No need for Jamie Oliver to save this school!
Twice a week I'm pulling the lunch shift--scrubbing the tables, serving the food, sending the trays and silverware through the dishwasher, sweeping the floors. I work with the cook, CJ, a really, really nice man who has strong opinions about food--like a kind, Midwest version of Jamie Oliver. One day I work with J and the other I work with JV, fellow moms, who connect me to this new community (we don't attend the Catholic church affiliated with PS, so I'm trying my best not to feel like an outsider). I work both days with SG, this gorgeous grandma with cheekbones that make me swoon--she sits and eats with her grandkids after everyone gets served and then joins us later to help clean up. And I've met Jack, a spry elderly man who wears pressed flannel shirts and a friendly grin. Jack runs the dishwasher and helps CJ prep the food a few times a week. The kitchen is warm (read: blistering hot like a sauna) and full of friendly chatter and good smells. We have whatever's left after the kids and staff eat for our own lunch--so I guess this gig isn't entirely without pay.
Mr. T's comment on this turn of events: "I've never seen my mom wearing a hairnet before."
Trust me, reader. I rock the hairnet. Before I leave you singing along to Lunch Lady Land all day, spill it. What's your volunteer gig?