Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I was reminiscing about how great our school lunches were--I know that kids today find that unbelievable--but we did have good lunches.

Mrs. Elliott (Jackie Elliott's mom) and Mrs. Houseman did the cooking every day during my 12 years at Bloomingburg School. The only thing they did not cook well was navy beans--we called them "bullets"--because they were hard. Mother said that they didn't have time to cook them until they were "done"!

I can recall sitting in study hall and the potato washing machine made a a rumbling noise. I am now amazed that those two women were able to cook all that food in the time allotted to them.

Staples such as beef stew on biscuits, and cream dried beef over toast (shit on the shingle, folks!) were delicious and I still make those dishes. Fridays were meatless because of the Catholic kids but the peanut butter sandwiches and tomato soup were good! To this day I still serve cottage cheese with peaches just the way it was presented in those little dessert dishes!

As a grown-up I called Nina Elliott to ask her how they fixed the pineapple slices with the lime Jell-O; here's the secret: remove all the juice from a can of pineapple; pour lime Jell-O into the can and refrigerate until set. Push the pineapple and Jell-O from the can and slice! Put a dollop of mayonnaise on top! I said, "So you did that with all the cans of pineapple; enough to serve the whole school?" She merely laughed and said that it was an easy dessert to prepare!

One day I asked Les, "Remember Perfection Salad? We had it all the time at school." He said he did not remember it. A survey of the other brothers resulted in one saying "Yuck!" and the other having no recollection. I said, "I think I'll make it." I went online to get the recipe and I made it. It is absolutely disgusting! See the picture and the recipe.

Perhaps my memory of school lunches is fallible!

Perfection Salad


1 cup boiling water
1 (3 ounce) package lemon Jell-O gelatin
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento

Pour boiling water over jello in bowl.
Stir until jello is disolved.
Stir in vinegar, veggies, salt, and cold water.
Pour into mold, chill until firm.
Serve unmolded on chilled plate, topped with a generous dollop of mayonnaise (family tradition of the last 30 years or so demands that you use Best Foods mayo brand - *never* Miracle Whip).
If preferred, use 1/2 cup celery and 1 cup grated carrot.
You can use sugar-free jello for a diabetic/lowcarb version of Perfection Salad. Sometimes lemon jello is difficult to find - we've sometimes used lime instead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember it and I thought it was yucky back then! ML