After a long absence from documenting my school lunches, I have returned to share my experience with packing hot lunches. Hot lunches? What?! I’ve been packing lunches and snacks for at least a decade but, for some reason, I never tried using an insulated container to pack warm food. I don’t know why—maybe because it’s rarely cold in this part of California. I also typically pack lunches the night before and making a hot lunch requires a level of morning productivity that I don’t always have. However, if the kids ask for the occasional hot lunch, who am I to deny them just because I’m not a morning person?
I decided to test out our new Themos containers with a kid favorite: mac and cheese with peas. When I asked them if their mac and cheese was hot at lunch, their response was: “um, I forgot.” Next, I tried heating up their favorite Progresso soup in the morning and, this time, they assured me that the soup was nice and warm at lunch time. So far so good. Then I tried packing Cup Noodles with edamame and a little seaweed sesame seed sprinkle on top. They loved it! But, the most popular Thermos lunch was yesterday’s serving of leftover pad see ew from our favorite Thai Restaurant, Thai Boat.
Overall, I’ve been pleased with these insulated containers. They hold 16 ounces which is a good size for bigger kids (mine are 12 and 9). They also have a handy fold-up spoon that tucks into the lid. It is recommended that you pre-warm the containers by filling them with hot water, which I’ve been doing. Because I don’t totally trust my kids conception of “hot”, I packed myself some homemade soup one day for lunch. When I took off the lid, the soup was steaming. Very satisfying!
Our first week of school heat wave is still in full force. It’s hot outside. It’s hot at school. It’s hot in our house. Cooking is out of the question. Iain was begging for Thai Boat the other day, and I wasn’t about to argue with him. We always get two orders of pad see ew with tofu, so the lucky kiddos got to have leftover pad see ew for lunch yesterday.
Tuesday afternoons are a bit hectic in our house on account of: it’s lesson day. Iain has his ukelele lesson and Lily has two hours of dance lessons. At the end of all these lessons, them kids are hungry and there’s not much time to scrape together a dinner. Sometimes the best solution is calling Thai Boat from the dance studio and picking up a big load of deliciousness on the way home. The kiddos are even thrilled to get leftover cold Thai food in their lunch boxes.
Last night we had take-up from our favorite Thai restaurant. As a result, the kids got the best lunch ever: pad see ew and pad thai from Thai Boat. I can smell the deliciousness just thinking about it.
This is my slacker mom lunch, because it’s Friday’s lunch and I’m just now posting it. Also, it has leftover take-out from Thai Boat (pad thai: yum!) and a little container of trail mix that I found in the way back of my kitchen cupboard. What can I say: after a school year of epic lunch-making, I think I’ve earned a little slacker time. Plus, I did manage to cut up some nice farmers market carrots and strawberries. And, yes, I’m still trying to use up that never-ending bag of marshmallows that I bought for Iain’s lego cake over a month ago.
Pad see ew, how I love thee. Years ago, when I lived in Chicago, I used to get my favorite pad see ew noodles at Siam Noodle in Uptown. Siam Noodle is a totally unpretentious little family restaurant in a somewhat dodgy neighborhood (at least it was at the time) with some of the most amazing Thai food in Chicago. I would start eating my enormous plate of pad see ew and when I was half way through the crack-infused noodles, I would swear it was time to stop. I could bring home a nice to-go container of pad see ew for lunch or dinner the next day. Then, I would eat a little more pad see ew. Just a few bites. Soon, I would have only about a quarter of a plate of noodles left. Hmm, much to0 small to take home. So, I would keep eating, in spite of myself and all logic and common sense because I was rendered drunk and giddy on the pad see ew. I would always regret my gluttony after eating the entire plate of noodles and washing it down with a sugary Thai iced coffee, but I couldn’t help myself.
As luck would have it, the kiddos have inherited my love of pad see ew. I guess it’s genetic. Iain, in particular, is a bit of a pad see ew maniac. Whenever we order take-out from Thai Boat (it’s good, but, alas, I still yearn for the Siam Noodle), I always get two orders of pad see ew tofu. Last night we had just enough noodles left over for two kid lunches today. I finished off the lunch with some plain yogurt and blueberry jam, baby carrots, and slices of pear. And, lucky me, I had leftover massaman curry for lunch. Thanks Thai Boat guys.
This week I’ve been dealing with a case of strep (Lily) and my own sore throat issues. I love a nice bowl of Tom Kai soup when I’m feeling a little under the weather. That meant that last night was a Thai Boat night. As usual, the meal did not disappoint. I always get two orders of Pad See Ew tofu because, well, we are a family of Pad See Ew fiends. Today, the kids (and the parents—yippie!) get to have a little leftover Pad See Ew for lunch. The rest of lunch is pretty sweet: apple cinnamon multigrain snacks, strawberries, oranges and Halloween fruit snacks. The apple cinnamon multigrain snacks have a texture similar to Funyuns®, which means they are a bit like eating air. Sweet cinnamony air.
Every once in awhile, I behave like a normal person. I get home from work, look in the fridge, assess my level of fatigue, think about my chores for the evening, and decide that the only option is to order Thai food. Luckily, we have the most amazing little Thai restaurant right around the corner. There are two young guys who are always there (I think Mom does the cooking in the back) and they are the sweetest, most upbeat dudes ever. They fawn all over the kids and always give out little freebies: Thai tea, popsicles, gummy worms, little silk bags from Thailand. Two years ago, when he was in kindergarten, Iain draw a picture of his favorite meal: pad see ew at Thai Boat. We brought it into the restaurant to show the guys and they promptly taped it up on the wall. I think it’s still there, right behind the cash register. Luckily, Iain and Lily don’t mind cold leftover pad see ew with tofu for lunch. Lily talks so much during meals that I suspect most of her food is cold before she gets around to eating it anyways. I decided to serve peas and edamame with the noodles. The fruit compartment has plums and grapes. I wish I had this lunch today.