I never EVER ate hot lunch in school growing up.
And I liked it that way.
I happily stuffed my brown paper bags with turkey sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, veggies + ranch, cookies and Little Debbie snackcakes (preferably Nutty Bars or Fudge Brownies) instead of being forced to choke down lumpy globs of mashed potatoes topped with what looked like cat vomit.
They called it Turkey Gravy; I called it disgusting.
However, there was one day of the month where I yearned to pick up my carton of milk, smile sweetly at the lunch ladies in their hairnets and buy hot lunch. When the monthly lunch calendars were printed, I would scan each and every week searching for that one day. That one single day where I sat at the lunch table quietly eating my turkey sandwich and staring enviously at the plastic marbled trays all around me plated with one thing:
Now, 20 years after my inaugural day at the cafeteria lunch table, I find myself with a food blog and still dreaming about the elusive Italian Dunkers of my youth.
Warm marinara sauce.
Cheesy, garlicky toast.
A hint of Italian seasoning in the form of basil and oregano.
All the cool kids were eating them.
And now, so am I.
In the form of Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Soup with Italian Dunker Croutons, that is. It’s a sophisticated twist on my biggest childhood regret, which is fitting seeming as I am now 26 years old and should perhaps start thinking about throwing away those Hypercolor t-shirts, pink scrunchies and Keds shoes already.
But let’s not mature quite yet.
Naner naner poo poo!
You’re going to have to read my guest post on Mara’s blog for the recipe.