Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.
The only real, but very serious, challenge with making school lunches is avoiding monotony. I don't know about you, but I have to fight it every morning. That ham sandwich is just so easy, so likable. But just as I wouldn't want our kids' teachers conducting the same math drills every day, I feel it's important to make sure I don't send them to school with the same lunch every morning. Our kids are soaking up the world, and I want them to see and experience as much of it as possible, even if this means just the breadth of foods that can travel well in a lunchbox.
To push myself, I try to buy ingredients that are new and interesting and then work with them. This week, I picked up some bresaola. It wasn't great bresaola but at least it was a new flavor, a new cured meat. For one lunch when I was running late, I made a snacky array -- sliced radishes; bresaola rolls; cheese sticks that I'd baked the night before for a co-op board meeting (the recipe is in this book, though I cut back the red pepper flakes by 2/3); shortbread cookies; Speculoos biscuits; and clementines.
The next day, I called the bresaola into service again for a brioche and butter sandwich -- made with this tea and honey butter -- and clementines again. And despite my feelings of triumph and efficiency, my daughter declared the sandwich "eh" and ignored it entirely.