Carrboro, North Carolina
Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim
South Royalton, Vermont
I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren
We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara
Wallace, West Virginia
My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn
My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April
I've been lulled into locavore lunch complacency this winter since my husband has not been working. He's a landscaper, so he gets about three months off each winter from mid-December to mid-March. (Don't even get me started on my extreme jealousy of these seasonal sabbaticals.) In winter, it's easy to plan for lunches: I generally pack my lunch, and I am satisfied with cheese-and-sprout sandwiches, or the occasional leftovers (although leftovers are relatively unknown in our household--we're big people, we eat a lot).
Now spring has sprung and Dan is back to work. Lunch planning must rise to a whole new level. Dan is a big man (6' 5"), and he works hard, so he needs to pack a mighty large lunch. In years past he's packed two lunchmeat-and-cheese sandwiches, usually made with ham or roast beef, plus an apple and a granola bar. I've been baking two loaves of bread each week, which is enough for the smaller lunches we've been eating this winter. However, I'm going to have to increase my bread production to accommodate Dan's two-sandwich working lunches.
Another issue is what to put on those sandwiches. I stopped eating lunchmeat years ago; the stuff just grosses me out. But protein is important for Dan, and anyway, he has a stomach of iron, so we've always bought lunchmeat for his workday sandwiches. I'm hoping somehow to avoid buying non-local non-organic lunchmeat this year, in the spirit of local sustainable eating. But I have yet to come up with a viable replacement. Last week Dan made egg salad for his lunches, which did the job, but I don't think he's going to want to eat egg salad every day for the next eight months. Last weekend I bought and cooked an organic free-range roasting chicken (not local, but it's been months since I'd eaten chicken, and it tasted soooo good) and made chicken salad with the leftovers. This worked fine for sandwiches, but again, I don't think I'm going to be making chicken salad every week all year.
My next plan is ham: Amazingly, we still have one large ham left in the freezer from the hogs we raised and butchered more than a year ago. This weekend I plan to bake the ham, eat a big ham dinner, and cut up the rest of it into sandwich slices. Then I will divide the slices into weekly rations and pack them in freezer bags for future use. This ought to get Dan through the next several weeks, but, unfortunately, that ham won't last forever.
So what can we eat for workday lunches? It must be portable, as Dan eats lunch on the job site, and very nutritious and filling. How do I avoid the dreaded lunchmeat?!