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Writing Challenge #2: The Lunch Box - Hungary for Peanut Butter

Posted Dec 14 2009 7:04am

Write of passage

This is part of a writing challenge at {W}rite-Of-Passage, a community of bloggers who are looking to get back to the writing part of blogging and brainchild of my friend, Mrs. Flinger.  Today’s challenge was to take 15 minutes and write about your elementary school lunch.


It was 1946 and Hungary, as nearly all of Europe, was devastated by World War II, including the small hamlet where my mother attended kindergarten.   My mother's earliest childhood memory, one of a very few that she will even speak of, is the day the Americans shipped a case of peanut butter to her school.

Each child was asked to line up and receive his, or her ration of peanut butter and then it was my mother's turn.

"Eva, where is your bread?"

My mother shyly whispered into her teacher's ear that she didn't have any; the local bakers ran out of their allotment of bread, earlier that morning.

"Well, what am I supposed to spread the peanut butter on, the palm of your hand?"

Growing up, we were used to hearing such stories at the dinner table -- how, even in a big city like Budapest, my father was forced to steal to feed his younger siblings -- still, I don't think that my twin brother and I ever really understood how difficult it was for my parents.

Thinking back on it now, I seemed to have developed a sort of school daze and I can't seem to remember where, or even what we ate for lunch. 

However, I can tell you this:  there was always plenty of peanut butter AND bread in our house.

Mine, too.

[Note:  A portion of this piece was originally written in 2008 for my Blogging Out Hunger post as a part of the We Can't Let This Bank Fail Campaign]

Other participants writing, today:

Write on!

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

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