L is for Lunch

When my mother went to work substitute teaching in the high school, my two younger siblings were not yet in school. My parents hired a local woman, whose husband abandoned her with nine children, to babysit. Josie took care of my little brother and sister, washed dishes, and ironed while watching and scolding the silly people on the soap operas. During that time, school allowed the walkers to go home for lunch. I walked with my two younger sisters the long block to Merrick Highway, crossed over with the help of the crossing guard, and turned into our street. Josie greeted us with three bowls of hot pastina and a cold glass of milk. Pastina is a tiny star pasta, cooked thick, topped with butter and a splash of milk. Josie cooked it to a perfect creamy andante. I remember how she warned us that the pastina was hot and showed us how to slide the spoon around the cooler edge and blow gently before eating it. Best lunch, ever.

My theme for the 2022 AtoZ Blog Challenge is titled Grand Prompts To Ask Your Grands. Each day in April I will present a conversation starter/journal prompt to ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, older neighbors, co-workers, yourself…you get the idea. The questions are meant to forge connections between and within generations and inspire storytelling and journaling. 

Pray for Peace

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The Heart of Bakers and Artists

The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers

Becoming America’s Food Stories

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

4 thoughts

  1. I have no memory of coming home for lunch but my husband does. Until he had told me he did, I never knew of anyone doing that. I’m sure I had one of those pretty lunchboxes but can’t remember. He remembers so much while my memories escape me. I have a photo of me with my school bag, will have to check if I’m holding a lunchbox or the folded paper bag. I know my daughter had pretty plastic lunchboxes. When they were in junior high I put them in charge of making their own lunch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My kids had lunch boxes as well. Once they reached 5th grade I gave them a lunch allowance where they could make their own lunch and save the money or spend the money.

      Liked by 1 person

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