Note: This essay was inspired by a conversation with a friend about me always bringing in food to school. He inquired how I have time, and I said there are a lot more factors involved, thus, this essay. I also thought it would be interesting to note that I used the much-neglected second person point of view.
Remember when you were in elementary school, and on your birthday your mom baked cupcakes for your whole class? That was the day you looked forward to all year. But what happens when you’re older? Those days stop, don’t they?
Not always. But it’s much harder to bring treats to, say, high school. The three main factors to consider are time, transportation, and quantity.
It can be difficult to find time to bake a cake or a batch of cookies during the school year, especially after school. There are extracurricular activities, and hanging out with your friends, and homework, of course. After school, it is usually faster and easier to use a cake mix or cookie/brownie mix, the kind that can be bought cheaply at your local grocery store. That can take as few as 20 minutes to prepare, and fewer to bake, depending on the size or quantity (see paragraph 6). If you have an hour or more to spare, you can bake it from scratch and even frost/decorate it. That’s why it may be best to do your baking on the weekend when you have more time, even if you have to work around a job and other things.
Now, time and transportation are connected. If you intend to deliver/share your snack(s) at the beginning of the day, you can bring them in something light, not designed to last a long time. If you are delivering them at the end of the day, you might want to use something sturdier that will last all day and survive being bumped and jostled a bit.
Transportation, or the way you bring your goods to school, depends mainly on two things: what it is and when you have to deliver it (see paragraph 4). Another less important factor is whether you intend to bring the container home again or not, because it may be a long time before you receive the container back and you might have to use it again in a short space of time. If you don’t, it may be more practical to use a paper plate or something else that can be thrown away. That may work for small things, like a plate of cookies or a small cake, but for something larger it may not be as practical. Paper plates are also a better idea for things to be delivered in the morning, as they are not very sturdy. For larger things and items that need to stay intact all day, a plastic container is recommended, varying in size depending on what you intend to bring. It should be closed securely and able to withstand a lot of movement, if you will carry it from class to class. It might be safer to drop it off, but if it is a surprise, that would ruin it! It should also be the sort of container where, if you should drop it, it will cause minimal damage to its contents. You must also take consideration how it will be served. With cookies, you do not have to worry as much, but with cakes and cupcakes, that is a different story. If you are serving a larger cake and you intend to cut it at school, you must make sure the container is large enough to comfortably accommodate a knife. With cupcakes, you must be able to fit them side by side in the container without ruining the wrappers and refrain from stacking them, especially if they have detailed frosting. Muffins do not usually have this issue, so they would be considered an easier and safer choice, but not as exciting.
Quantity depends on who you intend to serve, how much time you have, and how much you can reasonably bring to school. You may also have to account for people noticing you have food and wanting some, so it may be plausible to bring a little extra, if you are a nice sort of person. But you should not bring more than you can carry (nothing too heavy or bulky) or more than you can fit in a bag. Depending on how big you make them, one batch of cookies, brownies, or cupcakes should be enough for one class. If you make mini cupcakes, you should have enough for approximately 1.5 classes. Cakes you will have to bake strictly according to your class size. A large cake (not pre-sliced) would have to be cut and served to a lot of people at school, and will likely be a long and involved affair, so for an entire class, it would be easier to bring in individual snacks. For a teacher or small group of students, a small to medium cake would be practical. Large cakes should generally be avoided, especially considering transportation (see paragraph 5).
There are a lot of factors to consider when sharing food at school, but the results can be very rewarding. And people will love you!
Wow. Looking back on this, I have absolutely no idea why I decided to put this online. It’s actually quite amusing. Consider this a snapshot of Alicia’s brain.