In the By Thistle By Thimble story "The Schoolmaster," a boy named Micajah is looking for a teacher. Due to his father's job, Micajah's family has moved many times: from Concord, New Hampshire to Buffalo, New York to Rapid City, South Dakota to Denver, Colorado and finally to San Mateo, California.
In California, Micajah attends the one-room schoolhouse of a teacher named Master Simon. Master Simon enraptures the class with a magical geography lesson that draws Micajah into the fold, and brings a sense of belonging to the whole class.
Micajah's teacher brings the class together with geography, but you know what else often brings new students together? Lunch!
I have to confess, prior to a bit of research for this post, everything I knew about lunches in one-room schoolhouses came from the book Anne of Green Gables. In particular, I always recall this part,
"The little girls of Avonlea always pooled their lunches, and to eat three raspberry tarts all alone or even to share them with only one's best chum would have forever and ever branded as 'awful mean' the girl who did it. And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girls, you just got enough to tantalize you."
As it turns out, organized school lunch didn't really exist before about 1900. Children who lived close to school might go home for lunch, and children who didn't might bring lunch in a pail. But the pail lunches were sparse and very seasonal, including things like cornbread and syrup, bread with lard, or—for a real treat—bread with bacon.
I think I'll stick with Anne's lunches, even if they might not be the most historically accurate.
While these raspberry tarts use modern ingredients, they would be delicious to share with friends over a lunch table. The three parts—tart shell, raspberries, and Greek yogurt “whipped cream”—are meant to be packed separately and assembled just before eating. If your child loves “Lunchable” style kits, this should be a big hit.
Lunchbox Raspberry Tarts (makes 3 small tarts)
3 phyllo cups
½ cup raspberries
a drizzle of honey
a few spoonfuls of flavored Greek yogurt (honey and vanilla are good choices)
These are best if they're packed in separate parts to be combined right before eating.
Begin by packing 3 phyllo cups into a crush proof container.
Next, use a fork to lightly mash the raspberries with a drizzle of honey, and pack those in a separate container.
Last, pack a few spoonfuls of flavored Greek yogurt into a third small container.
When your kiddo is ready for lunch, they can put a spoonful of raspberries into each phyllo cup, then top them with yogurt “whipped cream” before enjoying.
If you liked this recipe, here are others you might enjoy: - Cloud Cream - Rustic Peach Tart with Raspberries and Thyme - Campfire Raspberry Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.