June 4th…“DID YOUR CO-WORKERS AT GLENWOOD HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EVER PLAY A PRANK TRICK ON YOU?”
It was a given; each morning, as this young school custodian opened my car door upon arriving at school, I could catch a delicious fragrance wafting through the air from the kitchen at Glenwood Heights Elementary School. Our wonderful Cafeteria Cooks were from the old-school style of making food for the students and staff of our fine educational facility. Most of the menu items were created from “scratch”, with lots of love and care thrown in for good measure.
One of the delights, in those days, was that our Kitchen Gals created homemade cinnamon rolls that were gigantic and smothered in real creamery butter and slathered with white glaze frosting on top. Each morning, as I’d walk into their culinary clubhouse, I would find one of those cinnamon rolls waiting just for me in the warming oven to get my custodian day off to a sweet start. YUMMMM!! 😉 These dear souls were like big sisters to me and a few were old enough to be my mother, but that just enhanced the wonderful family experience of it all.
I ate my lunch every day, right there in the Glenwood Heights Elementary School Kitchen with the gals all hustling and bustling about with their various cooking duties. Sweet Ellen Kytola usually sat down next to me and enjoyed her lunch right alongside me at the long, stainless steel work table. During our lunchtime visits in late winter months, Ellen and I would enjoy bringing our Gurney Seed Catalogs to dream about all the goodies we would plant in our respective gardens that coming spring. Ellen had to eat her lunch a bit early so she could then load up lunches in her old Chevrolet panel van and take them next door to Laurin Intermediate School and serve them out to the Junior High students.
That family-friendly existence, between the cooks and I, led to an incident that happened on a fine and funny day. On that joker of a day, the cafeteria girls were going to prepare one of their most popular meal items……..homemade wiener wraps. When my custodian lunch time rolled around that day, I walked into the Kitchen and headed right for the warming oven which always held my lunch (that the ladies kindly prepared ahead of time). Something was different in the air, though, that day. I noticed that the girls were not in their usual hustle and bustle mode of getting lunch items processed and packaged. Instead, they were quiet and almost anticipatory about something……something that yours truly was about to discover.
As I did everyday, I opened the wide, commercial-grade, oven door and withdrew my deliciously warm lunch tray, not aware of what was about to transpire. As I walked, tray in hand, towards that long, stainless steel table, I could sense that almost every female eye in the kitchen was upon me. Intrigued, I asked, “What’s the matter? Haven’t you girls ever seen a guy eat his lunch before?” They all just smiled their guilty smiles. With a shrug of my shoulders, I thought “Oh well!” and picked up that “extra large” wiener wrap and was about to take a mighty mouthful when all ten ladies cried out in unison, “STOP, DON’T EAT THAT!!!!”
After having scared me half to death, I took a closer look and, sure enough, those stinker ‘school sisters’ had stuffed a big, blueish “SOS Brillo Pad” into my wiener wrap and it was staring out the end at me like the tip of a blue tongue!!!! We all busted out in a roar of gregarious laughter that must’ve been heard clear up to the office that day!! What a culinary adventure that was for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉