September days are always bittersweet for parents. The bridge between beach days and back-to-school days marks a transition from carefree time with toes in the sand to schedules and homework. I have always loved the ease of summer evenings, not being on a demanding schedule, especially for mealtime. Once September rolls around, it is back to schedules and rituals, like making lunches for school children.
As a young schoolgirl, I recall the simple lunches my mother would prepare that featured a cheese and tomato sandwich and a piece of fresh fruit packed with love in a paper bag. I would often add a treat like a Butterfinger candy bar on my paper route to school. Ah, the joy of those little things.
My, how things changed. Children today march off to school outfitted with a trendy lunch bag carefully packed with a customized lunch. Our daughter, Alexa, did not like sandwiches, so her daily school meal would consist of carrot sticks, fruit, yogurt or chicken cutlet with healthy accoutrements. I also popped a little note in her lunch along with a special sweet treat. Even after she graduated high school and went off to college, I would bake a dozen cookies so she would have a slice of home to bring with her.
There’s lots of little notes you can send to your child to remind them how special they are. Whether you write it on a heart-shaped doily or a neon post-it, packing a handwritten message with your child’s lunch is one of those little things that will be etched in his/her memory forever.
Of course, freshly baked cookies or a sweet treat will also be welcome.
Here is a recipe that is sure to make your child’s school day a little sweeter.
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 can (8 oz.) drained crushed pineapple
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. raisins (optional)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Grease two 8-by-4 loaf pans.
Mix flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl.
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture; mix well.
Stir in zucchini, nuts and raisins until well-mixed.
Pour batter into greased pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool 30 minutes in pan.
Cut and serve.