Backpacks, Baguettes, and Babies

I have finally solved the major issue I’ve had with summer field trips since I can remember: lunches! I only wish I had thought of the idea myself.

I hate making lunch. I hate it. With a passion. Which is weird because I love making breakfast and supper. (I don’t love being interrupted by all of my children while I cook, but I really do love all the planning, prepping, chopping, sauteing, frying, baking, and everything else that goes along with making a meal.) But I would take a hard pass on making lunch everyday if I could. And even more than making a PB & J around noon, I hate packing lunches for field trips. It puts a major damper on my morning. And before you suggest it, I’ve done it the night before and it puts a damper on my evening, too!

But recently while listening to a podcast, a nature-loving homeschool mom said that to solve her lunch-making problem, she simply packs a baguette, some salami, and cheese. And voila. When the kids get hungry on their hike, she tears off a hunk of baguette (that’s been sticking out of her backpack so perfectly because where else would it be) and her kids rip it open and stuff in a slice of cheese and salami themselves and then wander off with their sandwiches while they explore. Cue lightbulb moment!

So that’s what we did today. Before hitting the trail, we pulled in at Hannaford (and then I had to unload, tote around, and reload 5 little children–will definitely be doing this part the night before in the future when I plan ahead, but this was a last minute hike), picked up a baguette, some salami and some pre-sliced cheese, a bag of cherries and a bag of Swedish fish (because it’s me) and we were off. And the lunch was a hit!

Not only did they love their handmade “gourmet, European-style” sandwiches; there were no napkins or little baggies to worry about and they just took their hunks of stuffed bread with them and continued their explorations by the water and in the woods.

I’m surprised I didn’t think of this myself because when I backpacked through Europe, this was literally how I ate all. the. time! I wandered through France with my baguette, cheese, and maybe a splurge on meat or mustard. A bottle of water and a bottle of wine. Had I forgotten that or did I just not think that a simple bread/meat/cheese combo made by hand instead of a butter knife with mayo could suffice for my kids’ lunch until I heard it from another mother?

Either way the success of today’s lunch brought back that memory and more. I’ve found the start to a simple solution of a problem that has plagued me about our summer day trips and who’s to say it can’t spill over to our in-home lunches, too? And I’m starting to remember things about myself from my pre-mommy days. That’s a bonus. I’ve been knee-deep in diapers and spit-up for a long time and I still have time to go before these days are gone, but I’m liking the direction we’re heading.

More on the diapers and spit-up and how a surprise fifth baby has rocked my world in many ways in an upcoming post…

For now, here are some more cute pics from today’s hike…

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