Stuck in the Middle: Have your Cake and Eat it Too
The Parkland Secondary Cafeteria Program has taken over food preparation at the North
Saanich canteen. They provide us with a couple of healthy entrees each day which we offer to
students wishing to purchase lunch at school. Monday through Thursday we sell two entrees
and one dessert. The North Saanich canteen volunteers help Mr. Hartley and Ms. Johnson
display and sell the food. It is an affordable way for us to provide a lunch option at our school,
while giving Parkland and North Saanich students the opportunity to gain some career and
service experience. It is a win for both schools!
Last week as I approached the service window I saw two young boys eyeing the dessert item of
the day, carrot cake, while our two grade eight canteen volunteers patiently waited for them. I
could see that they were wrestling with a big decision. They fiddled with the coins in their hands
while they tried to choose a piece of cake from the nine plates lined up neatly in three rows.
I knew exactly what they were doing. Heck I had been twelve a few (dozen) years ago. So I
settled in beside them to let them know my theory on selecting the perfect piece of cake.
“Guys when I was your age I always looked for the largest piece of cake with the most icing on
it.” Then I confidently pointed out the two largest pieces of cake; secretly wishing that I was
buying them myself rather than helping make the sale. The boys smiled at me politely, before
grabbing the plates with the largest pieces of cake and paying the two smiling girls behind the
As the boys excitedly skipped off to the lunchroom to eat their cake; I noticed both young ladies
had devious smiles on their faces. It then dawned on me why they were smiling. Behind them
on a table a couple of feet behind the counter sat the very largest piece of cake with the thickest
and creamiest icing. They saw me look at the cake and their smiles grew even bigger. I asked,
“Whose piece of cake is that on the counter?”
“That is our piece of cake,” they replied, “we get to pick first and we take the biggest piece of
cake with the most icing on it.” Then the two big smiles turned into tiny giggles, before they
went back to serving other students.
At North Saanich Middle School you can purchase a healthy lunch and dessert at our school
canteen, but you better get there early if you want the best piece of cake.