Mid-Day Meal -- Lunch or Dinner?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Peacock, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Do you consider your mid-day meal "lunch" or "dinner"? Or "supper"....

    I mean, some people have the biggest meal mid-day and a smaller, quick one later in the evening, and others reverse this.

    I know very well that it used to be the tradition among most agricultural people; the women would start the big mid-day meal right after breakfast. But when people started working away from home, lunch became lighter and the big meal happened when everybody got home for the evening.

    We had a little misunderstanding with DH's aunt and uncle over this. They said they'd make dinner for us, and we thought that was going to be maybe 4 or 5 in the evening. But when we got there at 12:30 or so they said they were starving because they'd been waiting for us to have "dinner." We had just stopped an hour before for lunch!

    I kind of like the tradition of having the big meal at noonish. By the evening, I'm tired, and it'd be nice to have the whole afternoon/evening free to get something done without having to interrupt my activity to cook a big meal.

    Obviously with kids in school and DH at work that would be silly. But those of us lucky enough to homeschool and have DH working on site could do it. Do you?
     
  2. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I guess we have always called the noon time eat, as Lunch and the Supper time or 6 PM meal as main meal or dinner hour.
    In fact, as I was going to see my Mom and Dad a few days before Turkey day Mom said that for Lunch we would have just a sandwich because that night we were going to have Thanksgiving meal as I was not going to be at their house ON Turkey day itself. So we have a Small Lunch at 12 noon and Turkey Dinner at 6 PM.
    Well as I was driving over to Oshkosh, WI. I stopped at a Fast Food place and Had a very late Breakfast so I would not eat Lunch at 12 noon at my folks home but only had coffee and cookies till the Supper or dinner meal at 6 PM
     

  3. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    If you get out the old host/manners book you will discover that Dinner is the main meal of the day no matter what time of day it is served. The lighter meal of the day is lunch if it's midday, and supper if it is served in the evening/afternoon. Best to ask what time when someone invites you to Dinner :)

    Hugs
    Marlene
     
  4. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I vote for noon, as you get older, you dont want a heavy meal in the evening. least thats my thought--
     
  5. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In my family, the noon meal of dinner and the night meal was supper. Lunch was what the men got, usually brought out to the fields or where they were working, between breakfast and dinner. Realize, in those days breakfast was usually at sunrise or earlier.

    I remember when we moved to the city from the farm and I was confused as to what lunch was. Now, I'm back in the country and dinner is at noon and supper is at night!

    When I was a child too, the two meals were equal in size and quanitity because the people worked very hard physically.
     
  6. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We always had breakfast, dinner and supper. That's because at noon what we really ate was dinner. Supper wasn't all that much - sometimes what was left over from dinner. Now I have a breakfast, lunch and then dinner. Makes for a much lighter breakfast too. Seems to also make for a much thicker body.
     
  7. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Is this a regional thing?

    I've always lived in the west. Breakfast, lunch, and then dinner is the evening meal. My Husband (from Pennsylvania and then Massachusetts) always calls the evening meal "supper" and used to use "dinner" to mean lunch. He finally confused enough people here on the west coast that he started saying lunch. He kept making lunch dates, only to have friends no-show cause they assumed when he said "dinner" he meant they'd be meeting after work.
     
  8. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    My dad always called the noon meal dinner and the evening meal supper and yes, it was confusing so I always had to double check that he meant the noon meal or the evening meal.

    Dh and I have such an unstructured lifestyle the only meal we "officially" have is the evening meal (dinner, in my vernacular). I prefer not to eat lunch as it slows me down to a crawl and all I want to do is take a nap afterward, which for me is a three hour event. Dh on the other hand eats a big hearty breakfast and lunch. So it's pretty much "every man for himself" during the day, food wise.

    Our biggest meal is always the evening meal.

    donsgal
     
  9. Txsteader

    Txsteader Well-Known Member

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    Breakfast
    Lunch
    Supper
    :)
     
  10. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    BREAKFAST is gobbled up in the early morning.
    DINNER is at noon time if it is a cooked meal. Otherwise it's LEFTOVERS.
    LUNCH is what you carry in a sack or pail to another location to eat in the middle of your absense to keep you ribs from caving in until you get back home for SUPPER in the evening.

    If you don't eat SUPPER in the evening, just when will you eat it? I'm not about to miss my SUPPER.

    If you are eating in a fast food joint, please don't call it any of the above names.
     
  11. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey, that's interesting! I heard something similar with my relatives. Any visitor was invited to "eat a bite" before leaving.
     
  12. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Breakfast
    Lunch
    Supper

    Dinner is just a confusing term. :shrug:
     
  13. BasicLiving

    BasicLiving Well-Known Member

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    Breakfast
    Lunch
    Supper

    Unless..... you plan an early afternoon meal (around 2PM or 3PM) and it's typically rather large (like the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal) and then it's dinner. But dinners are rare here. We eat Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper.

    Penny
     
  14. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It once was much more common than now to hear someone say they were going to eat a bite, or would you care eat a bite with us.
    Using the term "Eat a bite" was for the most part a disclaimer. You didn't want to lead anyone to believe that what was to be, or had been eaten would be considered a full fledged meal.

    Will Rogers once said that during the depression some folks would use proper English and say "Have eaten", when they really ain't Et yet!
     
  15. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    Just to confuse things, "lunch" is a recently introduced term, according to what I've read. It is a shortened form of luncheon, which is a usually a more elaborate meal, and was considered the slang of the fast crowd, a more modern term than the old-fashioned and slightly stuffy "luncheon".

    In earlier times, Society took breakfast in the morning, which could be anything from tea and toast on a tray to a more elaborate meal of meats, eggs, fruits, and breads, then luncheon in the middle of the day, usually at oneish or twoish rather than at noon, tea in late afternoon, dinner at eightish or so before going to the theatre or parties, and supper taken around midnight for those parties that lasted until dawn.

    Dinner at midday and supper at six was country manners. The six o'clock meal and the light lunch at midday became more practical and more popular with the advent of the eight to five workday, children who lived at home rather than went away to school or were supervised and fed by nurses, the elimination of household help., etc.

    But for all of that lunch is what we have at school or work, dinner is the meal in the middle of the day at home, and supper is the evening meal. Dinner in the evening is what we have with outsiders, but I cannot honestly say I've ever had a problem with confusing the matter when dealing with others.
     
  16. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    LOL... we had a major discussion about this at a family gathering a few years ago. My brother actually looked up the definitions in the dictionary. He claims that you can't eat supper until after you eat dinner and he even informed us how many corses must be included for a meal to qualify. It was quite funny to hear him rant on the subject.

    Personally I consider lunch a meal that is eaten away from home mid day. Dinner is a mid day meal eaten at home, and supper is the evening meal.

    I really don't eat lunch, or dinner, or supper. I'm a grazer and eat a few bites every hour or two all day long.
     
  17. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the memories and laughs! Reminded me of when my hubby and I were first married, and his family came to visit us at a military base. I was working, and said we would have the pork chops in the fridge for 'dinner'. Came home that evening to find they had eaten them for what to me was 'lunch' and to them, dinner. I grew up in the city, they in the country, so different terminology! We all had a good laugh, except when hubby's sister commented that I used cloth napkins like I was being 'hoity-toity', when actually I was taught to do that to save trees and grocery money! I suppose it depends on where you live, what you call the noon meal, but as long as you have food, it really doesn't matter!

    Jan in Co
     
  18. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Let's high-jack this thread and make it a cloth versus paper napkins. I say this because I just got a sibling lesson over Thanksgiving about using cloth for the same reasons you mention. She said one of the reasons for napkin rings was to replace your usable napkin so you didn't have to wash it every time. I do know that all of our napkin rings are monogramed with individual initials. Saves time, money and trees - not all that hard to throw in a cloth napkin and little or no time to iron one.
     
  19. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Oh, why not go ahead and hijack it! :) I like the idea of cloth napkins a lot. I use tons of dish towels instead of paper towels, and I'm always getting after DH and my mom (she's the WORST for waste, I swear) for using paper towels for everything, even just drying hands after washing them. When my babies were in diapers, we used cloth unless we were traveling somewhere. I even got DH to use a hanky instead of tissues.

    I remember a conversation I had a few years ago with another mom from DD's GS troop. She swore up and down that using paper towels was *necessary* and that since she switched to using them even in the bathroom instead of hand towels her family had gotten sick a lot less often. I gritted my teeth and resisted the urge to yammer at her about the terrible waste. My family doesn't seem to get sick an unusual amount, probably less often than hers. I don't understand why using cloth towels to dry your hands after they're already cleaned with soap can possibly spread more germs...unless the kids aren't using soap, are using the towels in place of hankies and are hanging them back up... :shrug:
     
  20. Txsteader

    Txsteader Well-Known Member

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    Cloth napkins and real dinnerware here usually. I'll break out the paper stuff when we've got a big project going & I'm too tired or pressed for time to do dishes.

    And we usually eat at the table...unless there's something special on TV, then we'll use TV tables in the living room.