Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lunch: The Breakfast of Champions - Day Two

So after I bitched and moaned in Part One about how much I hate school food, my Tuesday elementary goes and pulls off the unthinkable: a tasty school lunch. Here it is:

Let's start at the top left. That's a salad. It might only have lettuce and sweet potato shoots in it, but at this point I'll take what I can get. It also has much less red pepper paste than yesterday's lettuce and cucumber thing. 


I should point out that having lettuce two days in a row has never happened before. Lettuce is like a once-a-week-and-only-if-we-behave-ourselves type deal. 

Next to this is a radish kimchi, not amazing but okay. It really just tastes like radishes with red pepper, heaps of salt and some vinegar. In another first, we didn't have cabbage kimchi today. At all. I'm beginning to suspect that someone at one of my schools is reading the blog. Or, since I didn't post about Monday's lunch until after I'd eaten this one, reading my thoughts. This is much more likely than it being a coincidence. 

Below the salad and the kimchi is the rice, once again plain with some grains in it. Nothing special but noting to complain about either. Next to the rice is a big bowl of kimchi jigae, a stew made from kimchi, bean sprouts, tofu and thinly sliced pork. Anna makes this at home (recipe here) and it's real good. It's also available at plenty of Korean restaurants and is usually pretty tasty. The school version is obviously not as good as these, but it's not bad. 

Once again it seems the lunch ladies are trying to make me look stupid by making the only edible stew served at any of my schools the day after I say that all the stews are revolting. But there's something else that makes me think they must be messing with me. Look closely at the kimchi jigae.


Did you see that? There's freaking chopped up hot dogs in there! I don't know what game the lunch ladies (they are all ladies, since you asked) are playing, but I think I'd better back off with the lunch hate. 

Luckily, I saved my favourite thing about this lunch till last. It would perhaps be too much to hope that the round potato-ey things at the top right were in fact potatoes, and not some sort of horrible rice cake coated in slime. But potatoes they are, and really delicious ones at that. They taste like they've been baked, although I don't see how that's possible since the school kitchens (and many Korean homes) don't have ovens. 


However they do it, the potatoes are soft and fluffy on the inside and slightly chewy on the outside. They have some kind of soy glaze on them which is surprisingly tasty. 

So I guess today's lunch makes yesterday's post seem stupid in all kinds of ways, but I don't really mind since I got to eat a pleasant meal at school, something which is as rare as me taking a second helping of school lunch, which I did with those potatoes.                                             

Here's today's Bonus Korean Insanity, two books from the English room at my Tuesday school.


Note the strategically placed barcode sticker.
 I haven't read Poo Cake, but I can tell you that the title Holding Poop at Night is neither a mistranslation nor a misunderstanding.

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