We have some summer family projects: learning to ride a bike and such. One of the projects is to find some good lunches to take to school next year. So I designed a bracket-based Tournament of Lunches for this summer–I’ll try to post the tournament diagram and some photos early next week, when we have a summer-camp-dictated interruption. The competition in each bracket is decided on three eight-point rankings: “How I Feel About This Being In My Lunchbox”, “How I Feel When I Actually See It” and “How It Actually Tastes”. Rankings in the last category are worth double. (The scale was originally a seven-point one set up like the pain rankings in doctors’ offices, with frowny faces and happy faces, but my daughter insisted it needed a SUPER-HAPPY face as an imbalanced eighth ranking, just in case something was incomparably awesome.)
My seeding was totally random, e.g., as I thought of easy-to-make lunches, most of them using Trader Joe’s precooked or precut foods, I put them into brackets, though I did try to avoid doubling-up things that were too similar.
Unfortunately my daughter is already gaming things, not so much to favor things she really likes (which is the point of the whole exercise) but because she’s too tender-hearted to see something lose and because she wants to show her loyalty to what she’s learned about healthy eating when The Man aka Dad appears to be recording her preferences. I just barely bought that lentil salad defeated a salami-and-cheese medley in the first match-up yesterday, because the lentil salad was pretty good. But today rice salad tied with a pepperoni-and-cheese medley and the rice salad was decent but not really a kid’s thing. (Trader Joe’s precooked brown rice + a bit of sausage and chicken + roasted red bell pepper + fresh green beans from garden + lime vinagrette.) Unfortunately I hadn’t figured on a tie. I’m thinking a secret judge’s ranking that’s based on “how much of each lunch was actually eaten”, in which case today’s pepperoni medley won pretty handily.