Upon my arrival at Lawrence, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food provided by Bon Appétit. After each swipe of my ID card, I piled my plate with food from an array of different cultures. A limitless amount of whatever I wanted for every meal sounded like an excellent deal for a mere meal swipe.
However, I soon discovered monotony within the variety. I no longer had the desire for pizza and potatoes, or tacos and tater tots, or even grilled cheese and gluten-free something. What I wanted was a home-cooked meal.
I must inform you that my mom has always been the most considerate person I’ve ever known, and this thoughtfulness is regularly manifested in our mealtimes at home. Her ability to turn any occasion into a reason to have a big family dinner never ceases to amaze me.
“Someone got good grades on their report card?” Big dinner! “It’s really nice outside today?” Big dinner! “I bought this new apron and I want to test it out.” Big dinner!
Naturally, when I returned home over reading period, there was no shortage of delicious meals. I think my mom made it her personal goal to give me the “freshman fifteen” while I was home for those four whole days. Needless to say, coming back to Lawrence and Bon Appétit was somewhat disappointing.
I turned to Kaplan’s Grill for satisfaction. My Culinary Cash is now dwindling after many chicken tender pitas and chips and salsa combos — my personal favorites. In order to preserve some of my remaining Culinary Cash, I took refuge in Kate’s Corner Store and the sack lunch program.
Two sandwiches, an apple, some baby carrots, a juice, chips and a cookie have been my go-to meal for quite some time now. If someone were to ask me, “What are you doing for lunch today, Bob?” my response would probably be “brown baggin’ it.”
I am a man of routine in certain areas of my life, and this sack lunch program suits me. Most mornings I’ll head on over to Kate’s, and for one meal swipe I receive all that food. It reminds me of lunches I had when I was about seven.
I’ll admit that I do feel like I should be sitting at my kitchen table, wearing footy-pajamas and watching Tom and Jerry as I munch on a PB&J and some baby carrots. These days I’m usually scrambling to finish an assignment during my lunch. The contrast is sickening.
The thought of going home for the ultimate meal that is Thanksgiving brings me great joy and salivation. I can almost smell the turkey basting on the grill as my Dad and I tend to it.
The picturesque table covered with mashed potatoes, corn soufflé, stuffing, gravy, butter shaped like a miniature turkey, the actual turkey and countless other dishes occupies my mind quite often.
I look forward to the family atmosphere, the football, the laughs and the food-induced coma that I will inevitably put myself in. The symbolic loosening of the belt represents a job well done. The Pilgrims would be proud.
Kaplan’s Grill is definitely impressive for cafeteria food standards, and I am content with all that it has to offer, and Kate’s Corner Store provides a nice change, but there’s simply nothing like a home-cooked meal. For the rest of our extended winter break, I will not take those special meals for granted. I think I should also remember to buy my mom a new apron.