Thanks to a recommendation on Bookmooch, I found myself working my way through A Girl of the Limberlost. I say “working through” because the main character was just so perfect that there were many times I was tempted to through the book into my office’s 4 ft tall industrial shredder. Problem is that I am one of those people who has a hard time giving up a book once I’ve started reading it. But rather than get into my lukewarm feelings about the book, I am going to talk about the one part I really liked: the description of Elnora’s lunchbox. Think of nice leather turn-of-the-century number, with small ceramic containers to hold things like custard and preserved strawberries as well as shaved ham and egg sandwiches. I was in love. So in love in fact that I immediately headed off to google to find what I could find.
Half an hour later, and I still had no luck finding a lunchbox like the one inspired in the book, but I did remember the lunch pail that I bought for a doll I had when I was younger. Though the period for this doll was 20 or so years later than Elnora’s story, at least it was something that I could mimick at home to satisfy me while I did some serious research on the history of packed lunches in America. Here is what I came up with:
And yes, those are watercress tea sandwiches!
My plan is to do more research and produce some more accurate lunches in between my usual bentos. I hope to bring things a little closer to home with this project because deep down inside, I have a real love of American History. Also, I have some colonial period recipe books that could use a little love.