When I was a kid, field lunches were the highlights of the busy season. It had all the makings of a great time: getting to see Dad, possibly riding a round, and best of all, eating in the field – where manners were used, but not as strictly enforced.
What happened? Why did I have to grow up? Field lunches as an adult aren't near as magical and fun! They are work and by no means the romantic tailgate picnic people envision – at least not on this farm.
I saw a tweet the other day: "Cold pizza and chocolate cake for lunch." I had to ask: sarcasm or serious? My Twitter friend was totally serious, though most days were ham sandwiches.
I originally had romantic visions of lunch in the field with my new husband, sitting on the tailgate, discussing the day so far, leisurely and relaxed. Oh, to be young and in love!
The reality is I am not sure that I ever even tried that. I might have been laughed at just for suggesting it.
Related: Five Ways to Jazz Up a Field Lunch
We don't stop for lunch; it is a "working lunch" around here. But we are lucky – we don't have to pack a lunch box and carry it with us until noon. If you know my husband, you know the lunch would be gone by 10 a.m. (Not that I would be any better!)
Instead of a packed lunch, my mother-in-law brings our lunches to the field around noon, in between chauffeuring people and equipment. Lunches are portable, containing no reusable containers and requiring no silverware. We eat while driving, dumping, loading, planting, tilling, standing or sitting. And she does a great job, teaching me well when it is my turn.
She always has a full cooler of drinks and snacks for those pick-me-up, "gotta keep us going" afternoons. And supper, no matter what the time, is eaten at the kitchen table as a family. But that's a whole other story when fending off three hungry kids late at night!
Despite the speed and stress of grab and go lunches, it makes the days that everyone can eat together that much more fun – we stand behind a truck talking, laughing, and being a family that works together.