Settling Down to a New Season

Labor Day always seems a little sad to me, marking the unofficial end of summer. In San Francisco, our farmers’ markets are still bursting with heirloom tomatoes, peaches, nectarines and fresh herbs, but we know that soon all of nature’s largesse will gradually slip away.

We officially turn the page from a summer lifestyle that’s casual and informal, to settling back down to work and school. When my kids were growing up, I always tried to introduce a few new brown bag lunches to mark the start of the school year and to help all of us get back into the daily routine.

Here’s a collection of brown bag ideas from Special Fork bloggers to launch your new fall season.

But first, a few brown bag tips:

  • Remember that the same food safety rules you would use for a picnic apply. Keep foods properly chilled in transit using an insulated lunch bag and ice pack. Once you get to work, refrigerate your lunch immediately.
  • For best flavor and quality, separate sandwich ingredients that can make your bread soggy (such as tomatoes) or limp (like lettuce), and assemble your sandwich just before eating.
  • Leftover grilled meats – steak or chicken breast – make great sandwiches. Spread bread with aioli made by mixing mayonnaise with pressed garlic.
  • Take a tip from Marilyn and invest in Japanese bento boxes to pack kids’ lunches; you can conveniently give them a little bit of a variety of foods.

Sandwiches to try:

Portable salads you’ll like:


By the way, I’ve drawn Chris for our annual family Labor Day gift-giving tradition. Chris is hard to buy for, but Dave found a fun gift for me to give this year. Can’t tell you until we open our gifts!

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Related posts:

  1. The First Salad of the Season
  2. It’s Asparagus Season!
  3. Berry Season
  4. Wild Blueberry Season
  5. The Family that Cooks Together…

Posted: Sep 2nd by Sandy_Hu