By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook
When I saw this "tamale pie" advertised on the Chartwells menu site I thought my daughter would love it. But I was wrong. She wouldn't have anything to do with it and brought lunch from home.
In the cafeteria, I was anxious to try it. It reminds me a little of the deep-dish vegetarian enchilada they were serving at the schools in Boulder when I was there. This "pie" is like a chili--ground beef, pinto beans, diced tomato, onion and cumin--at the bottom of a hotel pan topped with corn bread mix.
In fact, the corn bread mix was a bit sweet--just like the corn bread muffins they serve in the morning. I think I would have left the sugar out.
Still, I wolfed it down and was surprised--yes, actually surprised--that the kids around me weren't doing likewise. I got up and took a stroll around the lunchroom and saw that most of the kids hadn't touched the tamale pie at all, nor the "cilantro lime rice" that was served with it.
When I asked why they weren't eating it, they just shrugged. "It looks gross," one girl offered. "I don't like beans."
Hard to figure. Most of them just ate the apple sauce. It made me wonder, Do the kids ever get hungry when they refuse to eat the lunch?