Just a few short weeks into the school year and already the morning rush is oh so familiar.
Wake up, scramble, breakfast, scramble, get dressed, scramble, go to school, scramble.
By the time we actually reach school, we’re exhausted.
But thankfully, I’ve found at least one thing that makes the morning routine easy: A DIY lunch kit.
Specifically, a polenta honey butter lunch recipe that makes my life easy and has my daughter smiling at lunch time.
It’s savory, it’s sweet, it’s relatively good for you, depending on how much butter you throw on it, and it’s just downright fun to drizzle on the honey. We both love the savory-sweet combo of honey and butter together.
“It always reminds me of a perfect cornbread muffin, only softer,” Emme says, “And I really like that I get to do it all myself.”
This is an old fall back for us. Even on the craziest of crazy mornings, our polenta honey butter DIY lunch kit is a go-to, sure-fire favorite.
I like it because it’s tasty and easy and only has a few ingredients. I can whip it up in no time at this point. Add in some extras on the side (mushrooms, some arugula or, gasp, kale), and it has an earthy, healthy vibe to it that will make the school think you actually care about health.
Emme likes it because at lunch time, she’s in control of just how to make it perfect. She adds the butter. She drizzles the honey. She can toss in the mushrooms or pretend that she ate the greens. She makes it just right for her. I’m cool with that
Indeed, on some mornings, she’s doing everything herself — from making the recipe to packing it to eating it later for lunch. Now that’s a lunch I can get behind.
Here’s what you need
Polenta — 1 cup
Water — 1 cup
Milk — 2 cups
Dash of salt
Honey — a few teaspoons for later?Pat of butter for later
Teeny tiny honey bottle, honey straws, or even a plastic baggie
Hot food container
Here’s what you do
1. Prepare the polenta. Usually there are instructions on the polenta package, but generally it goes like this: Boil two cups of milk and one cup of water. Add the polenta when everything is boiling and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes while whisking. (I usually get super lazy on crazy mornings and simmer for about 3 minutes, turn off the heat, and just put the lid back on for a while. It works.)
2. Once the polenta is done, you’re almost done. Just add some polenta to the hot food container and seal it up tight so it stays hot until lunch time. Polenta has a tendency to become molten when newly cooked, so I find it stays pretty warm for a few hours no matter the container.
3. Cut a slice of butter and pack it in a baggie. Put it next to any cooling element you have in the lunch bag — those little lunch time ice packs work wonders.
4. Fill up a teeny tiny bottle with honey or just add a squeeze to a lunch baggie with instructions to bite off a corner and squeeze. (Think pastry bag.) Even better, if you can find those honey straws, buy a whole bunch and you’ve got it made.
5. That’s it. Your kid opens the hot polenta at lunch, adds a little butter, squeezes on a little honey. It’s sweet and a little salty and buttery.
It’s perfect for a cool day as fall approaches. Mmmm.