Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Not to Throw Out Ham

“Dad, you made me a ham sandwich.”

I slapped my hand to my forehead as I realized the implication of what my nine-year old son had just said. It’s not that he doesn’t like ham sandwiches. He eats them all the time. But when I made his lunch that Friday morning, I’d forgotten that it’s Lent.

My younger son is preparing for his First Holy Communion. For those of you who aren’t Catholic, that’s when you can accept bread and wine in church. (Actually, there’s a lot more to it than that, but this isn’t meant to be a religious dissertation.) He’s been preparing for two years and he will be able to finally take communion in May. So, he’s been learning a lot.

One of the things he’s been focused on is the “no meat on Fridays rule” for Lent. So, with a baseball game last Friday night and knowing we would be ordering pizza for dinner, he knew there was only one option. My sausage and pepperoni loving son split the toppings with his brother, half pineapple and half extra cheese.

I was immediately embarrassed when I realized what had happened. However, my wife had a different reaction. “What did you do with the ham?”

“I tossed it.”

“You just ate bread?”

My wife and I were both a little perplexed. I appreciated his dedication, but I didn’t want him to starve in school. However, my little guy was determined. He also must have noticed the expression on our faces.

“Well, I ate half of the ham.”

The updated response brought a mixture of relief and guilt, but my wife and I have been discussing it since. What meatless entrée could he take? Peanut butter sandwiches are out. He has allergies. We could try it with a grilled cheese but it might not be good by lunch time. A cheese sandwich on its own is dull.

We know we have until Friday to figure this out. However, my little guy is focused on bigger things.

Like dinner.

Realizing that fish can be on the menu, he's asking for sushi every Friday until after Easter. We told him that defeats the purpose. To him, sushi is like steak. It’s a way to celebrate. And it makes no sense to abstain from meat, only to substitute it with something that makes your mouth water anyway.

Any suggestions?

6 comments:

Rachel Searles said...

Cream cheese and cucumber/tomato? Egg salad? Cottage cheese in a pita? Almond butter? Chickpea wrap? Avocado sandwich? :)

Walt Mussell said...

We're trying. The pita works. It's just what to stuff in it.

Thanks for coming by.

Kelly Moran said...

lmao. great post. try tuna?

great post.

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Virginia said...

MMM, we're big fans of the grilled cheese sandwich, the burrito wrap, and the winner- nutella and peanut butter! No kid can resist... But as you say, it's about sacrifice, not finding great new food. For us, it was easier to focus on the 'no snacks and no big meals', since we like to graze. My son is havig his first communion this May, too, and it's all very exciting. :) (P.S. made my way over here from Seekerville and your post on 'sagging'... Wonder how other people will take that? ha!)

Mary Connealy said...

Can't you just send him a box of Little Debbie Cakes.
He won't starve.
:)
I packed school lunches for years.

Send him soup that can be microwaved in it's own little can. Vegetable or clam chowder.

Does he have access to a microwave? Can you drop off lunch right at lunchtime for a few weeks. I used to find 'the cupboard is bare' once in a while and I'd go to town, get lunch stuff and leave it at the school.

send boiled eggs. crack them a little and soak them in food coloring before you peel them and they're pretty, too.
Peel them at home and put them in a baggie. They keep fine.

Walt Mussell said...

Actually, Mary, my wife could bring lunch in, as she volunteers at the school. Howeever, he decided he would give up "whining" instead.