My office is divided. Exactly half of the staff eat lunch out every day. The other half brings a homemade lunch most days. It so happens that the split divides the men from the women. It is not an economic divide. The most interesting part, to me, is that while all the men eat out every day without deviation. The women eat in most days, occasionally going out. It’s a small office — just four of us — so the sample group isn’t large enough to be brow-raisingly telling. The dividing line isn’t always so thick at larger offices.
At the larger office, I sometimes sat in the break room and other times at my desk, but on nice days I’d always sit outside. Regardless of where I sat a friend sometimes joined me and only sometimes did I eat alone. At the small office I always eat lunch on my own. So does the other woman and the men when they bring their restaurant lunch back. We, none of us, talk to each other…split the bread…share a meal.
Peanut Butter & Jelly, Roasted Tomato Soup with Wild Rice, White Bean Salad and Pita Chips, Cold Pizza — it’s all eaten at my desk gazing at the computer screen. That’s how I stumbled upon Lunch at the Shop by Peter Miller. Everyday this bookshop prepares and eats lunch together. It must get a little old sometimes and sometimes isn’t a little solitary time needed? But it sounds delightful. Especially compared to the current state of my lunches.
I checked the book out from the library in order to read about the fantasy. The daily afternoon meals described in the book would never be possible in my office. These meals require a certain type of work place that doesn’t exist at this place. I’ll attempt to describe it without detail by saying that our dietary differences only hint at how little we have in common. And every time the book talked about toasted bread. Oooh, the number of dismal mornings when I pack lunch thinking about how good it would be with toasted bread. Microwaves don’t toast bread.
My lunches of dinner leftovers have been needing a little motivation. That was my other reason for checking out the book. A few ideas were found on Pinterest, but it felt like an exhausted search. I needed more ideas. Preferably slightly eccentric ideas wrapped in a soft, vintage-style book cover.
I’d never made lentils before this which seems like an oversight as it is so simple. I followed the instructions for “One Way to Cook Lentils” with my typical lack of proper reading (oh, you’re supposed to measure the water) and “Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil” with my typical lack of measurement (looks about right). Rarely having the free time (as long as I’m in the building I’m on the clock) to devote to making lunch at work the dish was entirely homemade. I hadn’t yet found the never used toaster placed to the back of a bottom cabinet.
Finding that toaster might be the most exciting thing to have happened.
As a first time experience cooking lentils I’m also submitting this post to be part of Our Growing Edge. This month’s host is Corina’s blog Searching for Spice. She’ll be posting the whole roundup in October so be sure to head back to her blog then.