Your school lunch memories

Your school lunch memories

Lunchtime was my favorite part of the school day.

And not just because it signaled the end of trigonometry class.

I actually enjoyed the lunch part of the lunch break. Those square-shaped pizzas, baked spaghetti, kalua pig and cabbage, roast turkey with gravy, even the mystery burrito — I sincerely looked forward to these meals.

The best part, however, was the freshly baked bread that accompanied almost every lunch. I remember trading other items on my tray just to get an extra roll.

It’s funny how we all — no matter which school we attended or how long ago that was — have fairly fond memories of school lunch.

Maybe it was the cost — in my days school lunch cost just 75 cents, not the $2.35 students in public schools pay now. Or maybe it was the convenience. It’s not like we all have fully stocked cafeterias just steps from our office.

Or maybe it’s that everything seemed to taste a lot better in white paper trays in a cafeteria filled with our friends and crushes.

The Old Guys I surf with talk about their memories of school lunches more often than they’d like to admit. They were in high school in the ’60s and remember foods like Spanish rice, baked macaroni, chili and beef stew.

So I thought it would be fun to relive these school lunch memories here!

I want to know 1) where you went to school, 2) what year this was and 3) what your favorite school lunches were.

Who knows — this may end up on a throwback menu somewhere…!

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Weekend Dish: Oatcakes

Weekend Dish: Oatcakes

Derek eats a bowl of oatmeal a day.

So I thought a 10-pound box of Quaker Oats from Costco was a thoughtful — and financially responsible — buy.

I didn’t realize — maybe because I don’t eat oatmeal — just how long that box was going to last.

So I needed to do something about it.

I’ve never been a big fan of oatcakes. The only ones I don’t mind are Akamai Breakfast Oatcakes and the ones from Starbucks.

And since neither company was going to divulge its secret to me, I figured I could find something similar online.

And I did.

It’s called “Sandra’s Oatcakes,” a recipe I found in a 2005 article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Sandra Stenen, owner of Serenity and Massage in Hawaii Kai, developed a recipe that comes close to the oatcakes sold at the popular chain coffee shop.

So I had to try it.

It didn’t take long to make — but it did take a bunch of ingredients I didn’t have readily available. The end result: a great-tasting, low-fat alternative to oatmeal in the morning. Maybe this will make me a believer!

Here’s the step-by-step, with the recipe below:

Ingredients

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This recipe required a trip to the supermarket for items like toasted wheat germ ($8) and a sugar substitute. But don't think this is a fat-free oatcake! There's sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, honey and eggs. No butter, though.

Sandra’s Oatcakes
slightly modified

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup brown Sugar Twin (though I used 1/2 cup Splenda)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup honey
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup nuts (I used cashews and almonds)
1-1/2 cups raisins (I used dried apricots)
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-1/2-by-13-inch pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray (such as Pam).

Combine oats, flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon and wheat germ.

Combine oil, applesauce, honey, eggs and nuts in a blender. Blend until nuts are finely chopped. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in dried fruit. Spread in baking pan and press lightly to even top.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool, then cut.

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Today’s happy shot

Simply Ono lunch wagon won first place in the pork challenge at yesterday’s Eat The Street in Kakaako. The reason: succulent Okinawan shoyu pork and two strips of dark chocolate-covered bacon that took the dish over the top.

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Today’s happy shot

Hiking trails — like Mariner’s Ridge in Hawaii Kai — that are great for dogs and humans make me happy!

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FUUD: Stanley’s Chicken Market on Ward

FUUD: Stanley’s Chicken Market on Ward

It’s something I used to see every weekend growing up in Hawaii, huge billowing smoke emanating from roadside grills.

You knew someone was cooking huli-huli chicken.

Huli-huli chicken is one of those only-in-Hawaii dishes, credited to Ernest Morgado of Pacific Poultry who barbecued this style of chicken in 1955.

Doused in a special teriyaki-style sauce, the chicken was cooked between two grills, which had to be flipped over — or huli-ed — to cook both sides.

Since Morgado has the rights to the name “huli-huli chicken,” you don’t see many folks cooking the once-popular fundraising item anymore.

And that’s a shame. It’s easily one of my favorite things to eat, and you can’t buy it anywhere — with the exception of Koala Moa on Nimitz Highway, but that’s more roitisserie chicken than huli-huli — but from roadside grills.

But one place that comes very, very close is Stanley’s Chicken Market on Ward near Sports Authority.

I couldn’t believe that this roadside stand has been here for 16 years. The original business had been around for 65 years, selling chicken mostly wholesale. But for nearly two decades, Stanley’s has been grilling up chicken on this corner most Saturdays.

How had I not known about it this long?

A huli-huli chicken connoisseur I know invited me to have lunch with him here, at his favorite Saturday spot. (He brings his own wet wipes and cup with ice.) Here’s what we ate:

Stanley's Chicken Market

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Located on Auahi Street facing Ward Warehouse, this roadside stand has been here for 16 years.

Stanley’s Chicken Market, 1020 Auahi St. near Sports Authority. Phone: (808) 593-9989

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