Today’s edition of the podcast is dedicated to the school lunchroom and to everyone who has worked there.

I have known my guest, Ken Kirk, for many years. We attended the same church, junior high, and high school, and both were members of Troop 97 in Homewood. We have both lived in Homewood our entire lives. Ken attended Edgewood Elementary but has a family connection to Shades Cahaba High School. His great-grandmother, Ida Hamlin Tyler, was the second manager of the Shades Cahaba Lunchroom. We talk about the lunchroom at Shades Cahaba and we share some of our favorite school lunchroom meals. Below are the recipes that we talked about in the show.

Since this episode aired, my guest, Ken Kirk, passed away on December 18, 2021.



80 lbs. Ground Beef
6 – #10 Cans Diced Tomatoes
2 – #10 Cans Sauce (or paste)
18 – #10 Cans Pinto Beans
5 lbs. Chili Powder
5 lbs. Onions

– Cook meat until done
– Add all ingredients in a large pot
– Simmer 2 hours
– Serve

(#10 cans are those really big cans that restaurants use.)


2 cups Sugar
2 cups Corn Syrup
4 Cups – Peanut Butter
12 Cups – Cereal (cornflakes or rice krispies)

– Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Mix peanut butter into the mix until is smooth. Pour over cereal and spread into a pan.

The ones I remember at Shades Cahaba had been rolled into a ball, and they were served on a pale mint green plate. To my elementary school eyes, they seemed to be the size of a baseball.

BEST DARN BROWNIES – Lunchroom Ladies 50-year-old recipe.

I have only had these brownies in a school cafeteria. I searched the internet and found the recipe at Let me know how they turn out.