Author Topic: skool dinnerz  (Read 2801 times)

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
skool dinnerz
« on: January 08, 2020, 10:13:03 am »
Treacle pudding is something entirely different (and eaten on different occasions)! Although it is a bit skool dinnerz.

No idea what they serve these days, you'll need to enlighten me, but treacle pudding was the best. A big pile of thickly ooglish gloop, the sort of sugary, starchy blanket that many a schoolchild of my era spent the afternoon slumbering under. Wake up, Smith! He's in a treacle coma, miss.

Manchester tart was the most disappointing, basically a cheap jammy dodger derivative decorated with a dandruff of coconut. We all used to be terrified of custard skin. Dinner ladies (fearsome) used to enjoy draping it over your dessert like they'd peeled off the face of the last child to displease them.

Spam fritters, awesome. You'd stick your fork in and a little geyser of molten oil would spurt out. Anything in bright nuclear orange* breadcrumbs was essentially good. Anything else, to be avoided. All meals were basically something in breadcrumbs, fried, and served with chips or lumpy martian mash. They made you have a spoonful of peas in an effort to appease the minimal nutrition standards of the time. I never saw a salad until I went to university. I probably tried to microwave it. Boiled potatoes were avoided as they were too easy to weaponize.

Then there was the ceremony of the sittings. You didn't want to be first in the sitting (dry mash and custard skin) but you didn't want to be last (floor scrapings). Second sitting was horrid, the hunger would gnaw at you started to pray to St Bob to send Live Aid. As one of the two kids in my class to get free school meals (top set, mega-swot), we both had to do the walk of shame in Monday morning registration to collect our tickets from the form teacher, making sure no one forgot we were the poor kids. They could have just sewed something onto our blazers, I suppose.

*any 80s childhood was basically too orangey for crows.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 10:18:13 am »
Treacle pudding is something entirely different (and eaten on different occasions)! Although it is a bit skool dinnerz.

No idea what they serve these days, you'll need to enlighten me,
Someone else will need to enlighten me first, Cudzo Jnr rejected them at least four years ago. He prefers to eat nothing at school nowadays and this seems to be the general preference among his friends. But I'll ask him later.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 10:38:42 am »
There were two options at my school (the local comp) – school dinner or packed lunch. As only infinitely shunnable special needs weirdoes brought their own food, the bushes outside the school gate tended to feature a variety of steadily maturing sandwiches. There was a brief spell when the regime foolhardily decided to let us off the property at lunchtime. Very brief as we recreated the Viking era. Cue hoards of schoolkid beserkers high on chocolate cake and Woolies pick n mix looting every newsagent they could find. We were soon back to being confined to camp (now with extra razor wire).
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 11:11:53 am »
Time moves on. They don't even let kids into shops after school now:
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/takeaway-owner-calls-police-cotham-3593489

This made national news too...
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 11:47:13 am »
Mid-late 1960s grammar school.  School dinners were filling and nutritious.  Perhaps once every 6 months chips would be served, but never anything like a spam fritter.  The kind dinner ladies would find you something else if you flat refused the meat on offer; in my case liver --- yuk!  I don't recall salad items on the set menu, but that was it - a set menu.

Free meals were taken by about 20% of my top level class.  I had free meals for several years.  I was also the dinner monitor so collected the dinner money and knew who had free meals.  There was no social stigma at all, and some of the recipients sold their meal tickets onwards. 

Freedom to roam - only sixth formers were allowed off the premises at lunch time.  Days before sixth formers went to a separate school.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2020, 12:23:17 pm »
Time moves on. They don't even let kids into shops after school now:
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/takeaway-owner-calls-police-cotham-3593489

This made national news too...

Blimey, they still have pro-active teachers (that would seem newsworthy). I thought we'd killed them off. Our local school's teachers hide until the kids have dispersed before emerging and scrambling into their cars.

We had alternatives on the school dinner menu. Chips or mash. We didn't really have vegetarians back then, but I assume that if you were ahead of the curve, you got only got chips and mash and probably a double helping of peas. I'm not sure how they handle modern-day food finickitism. I think they might once have tried chicken kiev, the unanticipated exoticism of which turned us into a sitting of vampires. The garlic!

I'm from the era of Thatcher, so social stigma of free school dinners was guaranteed. Actually, it was probably more a fact that we were in the top set (of 9) which was primarily reserved for the sons and daughters of the school governors. In the lower sets, I expect the walk of shame was less shameful and took a lot more time.

I'd like to say I enjoyed my school years, but as a short bookish nerdler with glasses, a boz-eye and a speech impediment, it was precisely as much fun as you'd expect. I did like the spam fritters though.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2020, 12:38:47 pm »
Time moves on. They don't even let kids into shops after school now:
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/takeaway-owner-calls-police-cotham-3593489

This made national news too...

Blimey, they still have pro-active teachers (that would seem newsworthy). I thought we'd killed them off. Our local school's teachers hide until the kids have dispersed before emerging and scrambling into their cars.

I expect the teachers in question are either  a) authoritarian types with a bee in their bonnet about crowd control / road safety / healthy eating / uniform / etc.  who delight in the opportunity for some petty rule-enforcement  or  b) long-suffering underlings of the above who aren't getting paid.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2020, 01:27:49 pm »
We used to be supervised by teachers at home time (in the mornings we were too sleepy to cause much mayhem). It was no bad thing, the sudden emergence of several hundred children (we had a staggered release system across two sites) had the potential, on any given day, to be apocalyptic.

I thought that was normal, though I've (honestly, officer) not paid much attention to schools in recent years, though it doesn't seem the case with the local school. But the headteacher is a halfwit, so who knows.

I suspect that story contains a fair degree of BS, but I'm the sort of fascist who'd happily see it made a lot harder to sell junk food to kids.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2020, 01:37:16 pm »
Our school went for the retrospective approach:  Occasionally mugshots[1] would be shown to shop owners / coach drivers / long-suffering station staff / little old ladies / etc. in order to identify the perpetrators ("Yeah, it was some year 10ish boys in $school's uniform with gay quiffs[2], acne, Big White Trainers™ and Head™ bags"), and half the school would be rounded up after assembly and issued a nonspecific bollocking.  Much less effort for all involved.

But the general unspoken agreement was that public mayhem would be kept to a minimum, and nobody would get too upset about the consumption of junk food, rolling-up of skirts or wearing of contraband footwear.


[1] The real reason for school photos.
[2] As were briefly fashionable in mainstream culture in the mid 90s.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2020, 01:56:37 pm »
"Lamb a la grand-mère" - Mutton, arranged as brown shoelaces lined up in fascia layers. Only ever seen anything like it in the Anatomy Room.

"Liver" - this was grey and very crumbly.

Caterpillars - yes, my mate found one in something green. He was forced to eat it.

ian had an aversion to custard skin. Our skin was on chocolate sauce. Could have been put on top of a 4 year old tin of brown emulsion and no decorator would have noticed the difference.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2020, 01:58:51 pm »
That report, despite being lokal nooz, is pretty accurate. The school head is the authoritarian A type Kim identifies. Some time in the 2018-19 academic year, the school instituted a rule forbidding kids going into those shops, which are a few hundred metres from the school. This was due to junk food concerns coupled with the normal petty theft (or pathetic attempts at). The shops themselves have had "no more than 2 school children at a time" notices since forever, not that they're enforced. From autumn term 2019, the school put staff on the crossing and outside those shops. Kids stopped going to the shops (which include a Chinese takeaway, Chilli Bellies), traders lost a lot of revenue and asked the school to let the kids back in. School refused. When the school stationed staff in hi-viz outside the door of one shop, preventing even adults entering it, the shopkeeper called the police, who moved the staff on. The owner of Chilli Bellies has threatened to sue the school for loss of income, which I believe he estimated at £30 a day, though I don't know if he's carried that out.

Edit: Most of the problem is lack of communication, as it so often is. The school didn't talk to or even tell the shopkeepers about their scheme, just stationed the "bouncers" there.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2020, 02:36:58 pm »
Fridays, natch, were reserved for the piece of cod which passeth all understanding.  Some kind of backdoor Popery, if you ask me.
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T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2020, 02:44:34 pm »
The serving-women would try to deal your lunch onto one half of the plate and the one at the end would always dollop the mashed spud on your thumb.

The Vice Principal used to prowl between the tables in his gown like a disappointed vulture, enjoining us to eat everything on our plates. Another cubic inch of potato is not going to kill you, boy!

When the food was too revolting you would call for a squash, inviting some voracious bugger with the appetite of a Labrador to flatten your lunch under his empty plate in the hope that it wouldn't be noticed in the pile during table-clearing.

OTOH the bangers were always bloody good and the steamed pud was wondrous.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2020, 03:06:09 pm »
We always had fish (was always rumoured to be fresh from the canal) on Fridays. Had I not exempted myself from RE, I'd have been wise to this popish plot.

I'm sure I've mentioned that time I was hospitalized by pilchards.
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hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2020, 04:58:59 pm »
Fridays, natch, were reserved for the piece of cod which passeth all understanding.  Some kind of backdoor Popery, if you ask me.

Even the Jewish primary school I attended served fish on Fridays!!! ???

Surrogate/proxy Popery...

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2020, 05:28:09 pm »
Fridays, natch, were reserved for the piece of cod which passeth all understanding.  Some kind of backdoor Popery, if you ask me.

Even the Jewish primary school I attended served fish on Fridays!!! ???

Surrogate/proxy Popery...

Well it's that classic weegie question "Are you a proddy athiest* or a caflik ain?"
:hand:

* Any non-Western Christian religious position can be placed here.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 08:33:21 pm »
I thought that was an Irish question...

[My late grate mentor Revd (later Rabbi) Moshe Baddiel (from Cork) always retold this...]

Moshe might have been David's uncle; they were certainly related.

Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2020, 08:55:29 pm »
There was a brief spell when the regime foolhardily decided to let us off the property at lunchtime.

Ours did that in the 6th form.
I once had a block of marzipan. Mostly though it was chips with cheese and beans from the place by the station.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2020, 09:02:16 pm »
In sixth-form we went to the pub at lunch, as was proper. The Old Wine Vaults, which was neither especially old, didn't serve much wine, and had no vaults, but did have a lenient policy on underage drinking.
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hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2020, 09:02:18 pm »
I don't think we left school grounds at lunchtime until the 6th form.

Sometimes those who could drive chauffeured us to The Battle Axes, where we indulged in underage drinking, whilst watching the hairy planes at Elstree Aerodrome.

Life were tough in them days...

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
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Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2020, 09:26:00 pm »
I didn't like the fact there was only water on offer and the sausages were grey and came in a long string.
And I missed my mum. So I started going home for lunch instead.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2020, 09:32:27 pm »
In sixth-form we went to the pub at lunch, as was proper. The Old Wine Vaults, which was neither especially old, didn't serve much wine, and had no vaults, but did have a lenient policy on underage drinking.

Ah, yes.

There was a pub down the road from the school which had a similarly lenient policy.
And of a lunch time or free period, there might also be some of the teachers there.
Oddly enough, we never seemed to see each other.

On one occasion, our senior year group returned to the 'common room', just off the library, somewhat the worse for wear.
The librarian sent for the head, who duly appeared and came into the common room.
We all held our breath and sat staring studiously at our books, but the place must have smelt like a brewery.
He peered around and noticing that the entire sixth year seemed to be implicated, decided there was nothing to be done here and turned on his heels and retreated, as we all exhaled furiously.



hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2020, 09:47:18 pm »
I see ian's post was two seconds before mine...

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2020, 10:32:23 pm »
Infant school involved traipsing to the juniors for school dinners so I don't think I did it much - couldn't carry a tray and they didn't like making an effort for baby cripples who they felt should be in special schools damnit

I had periods of school dinnering at juniors, I quite liked most of the food which was prepared on-site. They didn't feed us nasty shit like liver, but I can't remember what else they served except very thin sliced cabbage which I did like. There were usually a range of choices you could have and if you were lucky you might get 2nd desert. Some were OK, but some were sticky and too hard and risked breaking your teeth.

Secondary dinners was variable but more like a canteen where you picked and chose your food. It wasn't especially terrible although the pizza had a weird sweet tasting base which was quite nice in a strange kind of way.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: skool dinnerz
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2020, 11:54:02 pm »
I had school dinners only around a third of my 13 years of schooling. Having strictly Orthodox Jewish parents meant little was Kosher enough. I think I went home for lunch at infant school and had packed lunch for the first few years at Junior School, after which we moved to London and went to a Jewish Primary for four terms.
At the Junior High, we were bussed to a local synagogue for Kosher dinners.
At the Senior High, Mum expected me to make my own sandwiches, which I seldom did, buying some supplies en route or going without, diving to the sweet shop on the homeward journey.