My grade school lacked a cafeteria, so we all packed our lunches. We all owned little metal lunchboxes which, no matter how well you cleaned them, always held onto an odor of overripe banana. The only thing provided by the school was a little carton of milk, costing a penny.
I made my own sandwiches and rotated among peanut butter and honey, bologna and liverwurst.(I loved liverwurst. Since no one else did, I usually could make a sandwich when I wanted it.) Sometimes when peanut butter and bologna were both gone, I made honey sandwiches. One dreadful morning when my mother hadn’t been able to get to the grocery store on Saturday, I had a margarine sandwich.
But this post highlights that trusty product, waxed paper. I never had heard of Saran Wrap in those days. No one I knew had either. Nor had they invented little plastic “sandwich” bags. Only waxed paper was going to keep my sandwich intact until lunch. Waxed paper doesn’t “cling” like plastic wrap. It folds and then unfolds, allowing said sandwich to slide into the banana or the bottom of the less than ideal lunchbox.
The solution? Basic origami was required to get a sandwich to stay put. I was not particularly dexterous, and often couldn’t remember how to fold the paper in any orderly manner. I was in awe of classmates whose sandwiches were wrapped in a way that they stayed intact.
I guess waxed paper is still around. I use it to line cake pans occasionally. I think my roll is ten years old. I don’t miss it. For me it still conjures up that stale lunchbox smell.