Friday, April 22, 2011

What's for Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs on a Muffin

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

A year ago this egg/muffin sandwich probably would have been made in a factory and sent to the school frozen, where the kitchen crew would have heated it in a steamer still wrapped in plastic.

Things are a bit different now since Jeffrey Mills arrived on the scene as the new food services director for D.C. Public Schools. He retooled the Chartwells menu item by item, replacing most of those highly processed frozen convenience foods with meals made from actual ingredients.

That means our lunch ladies are actually cooking from scratch in many cases. To make this breakfast, for instance, they scramble the eggs using liquid eggs that arrive in cartons. Okay, they're not whole, farm-fresh eggs from chickens raised on pasture. This is still school food we're talking about, made on a tight budget.

Also, most elementary schools wouldn't see breakfast served like this. They're eating breakfast in the classroom, which substantially increases participation for all those kids who might not be getting a good meal at home first thing in the morning and brings in extra reimbursement dollars from the federal government to help fund the program.

I've tasted this egg sandwich and the muffin is pretty bland. Imagine what the food will be like if they remove half the salt. That's what the USDA proposes schools do over the next 10 years in its new meal guidelines.

Some kids aren't interested in all that bread. This is how they eat the eggs--with their fingers.

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