Ants on a Log

July  1, 2014

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Food52's Assistant Editor Sarah Jampel makes a case for eating ants for lunch.

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I know what you're thinking as you look at this photo: This is not an okay desk lunch. You're also wondering, "How old are you exactly?" I won't answer that second question, but I will speak in defense of my choice to make everyone's favorite insect-themed, this-really-shouldn't-work-but-it-does-anyway childhood snack...at my workplace...as a grown person...for lunch.

1. It has vegetables; it has protein; it has fruit. If that's not a "balanced meal," I don't know what is. 

2. You can easily turn this into a more "mature" food: Bring some homemade nut butter to the office and use it in place of peanut butter. Substitute the raisins with dried figs. Add a drizzle of artisan honey. Serve it with a glass of whiskey on the rocks. (Kidding.) 

3. Celery needs peanut butter as its great redeemer. Any vegetable that's more water than substance needs something sticky and slightly sweet to validate its place on my plate. 

More: 5 ways to make eating celery worthwhile.

4. And the most valid reason of all: This lunch will remind you of the time in your life when you wore leggings without making a fashion statement, when you opened your lunchbox to find a note tucked inside, and when you weren't pretending to be an "adult" who has it all figured out and who only shops at the farmers market and who prefers to eat salty, bitter, stinky foods over good old peanut butter and raisins.

If eating ants on a log makes you happy, then it's a happy desk lunch -- at least in my book. And if you're still hungry, make yourself a peanut butter and jelly, too. 

Tell us: What childhood snacks are you still snacking on? 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • KtMcB
  • Pegeen
  • hardlikearmour
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


KtMcB July 7, 2014
My childhood comfort food is peanut butter.... On anything, even a spoon!
You'd think I'd be sick of it after having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch through elementary school(except for tuna fish on Friday). Just to have a dessert to trade with kids who had cool desserts, I would make pb&j on ritz crackers. Some of my additions back then to pb sandwich are potato chips, Rice Krispy's. raisins, bacon and of course bananas,. Always loved pb on celery, and between two slices of apples both improved with raisins. And then there was marshmallow fluff, but don't get me started.........
Pegeen July 1, 2014
Has anyone else had a version with cream cheese instead of PB, and chopped olives stuffed with pimentos for the ants?
hardlikearmour July 1, 2014
No, but yum!
hardlikearmour July 1, 2014
Ants on a log are very nostalgic for me -- classic girl-scout snack. I've done an Oregon version, too -- Banana Slug on a Log: https://food52.com/recipes/16618-banana-slug-on-a-log
Sarah J. July 1, 2014
Oh my goodness -- WOW. I'm so fascinated. Blue cheese elevates this to a different sphere of sophistication!