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School Dinners


Gus Mears
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Inspired by Onyx (and Google doesn't seem to indicate that we've had one these threads before).

My school dinners at Primary were putrid. School was in the middle of the countryside and they hadn't changed the dinner ladies since the Crimean War. The food wasn't great quality, but it was more a case of everything being cooked by imbeciles. A weekly menu was something like:

Monday- Turkey Twizzlers in this minging sweet and sour style sauce
Tuesday- Richmond Sausages and mash
Wednesday- Bernard Manning Turkey Dinosaurs with croquettes
Thursday- Spaghetti Bolognase- rock hard pasta and sauce cooked to oblivion. 
Friday- Fish and chips 

On the last one; The dinner lady once genuinely tried to tell me that "the fish still has bones in because it's a good source of calcium". Liar.

Secondary was an improvement so I will post something on that later after I've got over the Gulf War Syndrome brought on by these recollections. 
 

Edited by Gus Mears
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Bernard Manning Turkey Dinosaurs is the first thing with 'Bernard Manning' in it that I've laughed at so bravo Gus! 

My school dinners were rank as well. The puddings might've been even worse though. Flabby custard and chocolate concrete that I'm quite sure was actual concrete dipped in some cheap arse No Frills type of chocolate. 

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In primary school school dinners were typically awful.

But when I went to grammar school (*sniff*) the school dinners were the only good thing about the whole dreadful experience. Well, that and looking down Mrs DeVince's top when she bent over to do the register.

We used to go in towards the end of lunch break and get mounds of chips and sausage rolls and beans and chocolate pudding with MINT CUSTARD. The only crap day was Wednesday when they did roast potatoes and beef burgers, both of which were honking, although they did have jelly for dessert so I used to go in for a few of those.

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I don't think my primary school even had dinnerladies. I just can't picture it - lunchtime was all saying grace over packed lunches in the corner of one of the bigger classrooms.

First secondary school was atrocious. I had been vegetarian for a little under year when I started secondary school, and that was an entirely alien concept for a boys' school in Yorkshire. And I knew nothing about food, and was too meek and shy to dare ask anyone what something was, or if I was able to eat it, so I'd just buy things I recognised, even if that never amounted to anything more than a plate of chips. The only time I can remember them actually doing a "vegetarian option", it was some frozen Birds Eye vegetable fish fingers.

We used to have just over an hour for lunch, and you could sign up to use a computer in one of the IT rooms for half an hour. There was a sign-up sheet outside the room, and you initialled which computer you wanted to book, for first or second half of the break. Me and my mates figured out the ingenious, foolproof plan of just signing made up names for both sessions, to stop anyone else booking them, and staying there for the full hour, then grabbing something to eat in the remaining few minutes. Because who wants to play outside when you spend an hour chatting to the kid sat right next to you on the Sky Sports chat room, over a dial-up connection on Windows 3.1? We got to the canteen, only to find there was fuck all food left - and certainly nothing for a vegetarian. So I ended up spending my £1 lunch money on 10 bags of Space Raiders.

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5 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

So I ended up spending my £1 lunch money on 10 bags of Space Raiders.

Yeah, this. Like Devon, I also went to demiponce school and with them not being a dime-a-dozen, had to commute in by train as a result, until we moved nearer. The walk from the station to the school took me past a brilliant old school tobacconist and sweet shop, which had everything in those great glass jars. The number of times I spent the whole of my lunch money on a bunch of gobstoppers or sherbert was insane. I blame being 5'6 partly on eating nowt but weapons-grade quantities of sugar during years 7 and 8. 

Edited by Gus Mears
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Tom Toms (which I think were chicken nuggets, hollowed out and with ketchup in the middle) were a staple at ours. That and what was essentially a salad and cottage cheese.

No wonder I switched to bringing my own sarnies.

When I was on dinners though we had that classic school dinner pudding of a brick of chocolate cake with the really shiny, sticky ganache on top and the custard on top. Fucking loved me some of that.

 

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1 minute ago, wandshogun09 said:

Were everyone else's dinnerladies always fat with that blotchy kind of skin that resembled corned beef? 

Yep. And having seen some of them at my girls' school, they're still like that.

We had tuck shops in our school so I used to fill up on Wotsits and these beefy mini-puffs that I can't remember the name of until lunch time and then have some more on the bus home. No idea how I used to eat that much and never become a fat knacker.

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This is going to be a bit Peter Kay...

I LOVED school dinners. Spam fritters, fish fingers your mum could never quite replicate, massive tubs of mash, chocolate *something* (what was it? Kind of like a brownie but crunchier?) & mint custard, having your hands checked by the dinner lady before you could go in, hexagonal tables with a bizarre mix of kids decreed by some secret formula... ah, surely there's a market for adult versions of this (if it hasn't been done in Shoreditch & Hoxton already, that is)?

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Actually, I'm old enough to remember that my Primary school dinner ladies went on strike for a few months so we couldn't go to school, would have been early 80s. It was fucking brilliant.

Thinking back, that may have been what drew me to Trade Unionism and Socialism

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