School lunches could be a fun thing. One girl would share all the little chocolates she had in my fourth-grade class. Another kid smashed an apple with peas he had gotten from a cafeteria.
My parents would sometimes get creative with what they packed. I didn’t realize how good jelly and cream cheese tasted together and so wouldn’t eat the sandwiches, but I liked peanut butter and jelly. Orange juice and chocolate milk packets were a good way to make a person happy.
I had some apple juice a few weeks ago. Normally I don’t drink apple juice, but it was a hot day and I was thirsty. It was very sweet, with a pucker at the end. The taste brought back memories, of being in school or at a sports summer camp where Capri-Sun was the standard drink offered.
Apple juice’s sweetness makes you think of the apples that were crushed and juiced to make one packet. One orange can make one cup of juice, and one lemon equals one cup of lemonade, but three to four apples go into the same amount of apple juice.
As a kid, I was a fussy eater: my mom’s cooking was too spicy, I liked spaghetti and tomato sauce all the time. It took years for me to appreciate the lavish meals my mother cooked, especially as she taught me some of her recipes a few years ago. I still like spaghetti and tomato sauce, but I also like having more choices.
School lunch, I ate because I was hungry. Now I try to change up my lunch on my own. But the taste of apple juice will take me back, with one sip of tartness.