"Well what did you get for your tea at school?"
It was not any better - or worse - than the other meals. There were sandwiches - always cheap white bread filled with more fritz or the strange, soft, pale yellow slices of Kraft "cheese" and dry sultana cake or biscuits. I suspect the cake and biscuits were bought cheaply as well. Sometimes the bread would just be put on the table with the margarine, the Vegemite and the stiff, over sweet concotion that passed for "jam".
Occasionally there would be spaghetti or more baked beans on limp toast - or even without the toast and the bread just passed out with it.
In winter there would be soup, always tinned soup. There would be bread or toast with this. Whether we got toast or not I think depended on who was on duty in the kitchen and how organised they were. The soup would be served out at the table. How much you got depended on how good the prefect in charge was at dealing it out equally. Most of the time they were fair and did a good job, occasionally natural girl-bitchiness would surface and someone would get very little or a favourite would get more. I was always given a fair share - they were too conscious of what I given for lunch.
We ate because we were hungry.
I went on to work in another boarding school - in order to pay my way through teacher training college. The food there was quite different. It was still institutional but it was good food. It was plentiful. It was hot and attractively served. The staff ate the same food as the students. I can even remember the headmistress having a second helping of a dessert the girls called "The Cook's toenails" - apricot crumble.