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Old 08-11-2007, 04:53 PM   #1
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Meals at your house

I have read a number of posts that touched on how the business of eating varies in each household and even in different parts of the country. Foods we would and wouldn't eat, how they are prepared, whether or not there are family meals, how each family handles individual likes and dislikes, etc. I thought it might be interesting to hear how meals were handled when we were growing up and how we handle them in our own households. For instance, were you made to "clean your plate" as a kid? Do (did) you make your own kids? Did you sit down to a meal at a certain time growing up? Do you now? What kind of things were allowed at the table growing up (laughing, joking, silence)? What are your table rules now?

Feeding and eating seem to bring out strong feelings for many of us. Our relationships with food can be very intense in so many ways. Obviously, there will be vast differences in our responses so lets be tactful here, but I'd love to hear from ya'll about this and maybe pick up a few tips that will make meal time even nicer in my house!


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Old 08-11-2007, 05:15 PM   #2
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Good question Fishers Mom!

I have no children so cannot comment on that aspect but if there is one thing I mourn, it is the apparent demise of the family all sitting together sharing a meal. It seems the call of the TV set or another social engagement etc interferes with that!!

I was brought up to sit at the table with my family for all meals. We were not allowed to leave the table until everyone had finished eating then we cleared the table. We had to ask to be excused from table for any other reason. It sounds very formal I guess but we discussed all kinds of things over our meals. And we also had to eat everything on our plates and were reminded of all the starving people in the world. It would be given us for breakfast otherwise and we would miss out on dessert. Not a good thing!

I cannot recall not liking any vegetable, and it may be that having to eat everything prevented that although my mother certainly never piled our plates to an inedible height...

Sundays, my father always cooked a roast dinner at midday. Sunday nights my mum always made a very casual meal like pancakes which we would all line up at the kitchen stove for. I had mine with lemon juice and sugar!

Breakfast was usually the real Kiwi type. It would consist of 2 or three of these: Bacon, eggs, black pudding, sausages, baked beans, fried kidneys, tomatos, mushrooms, fried veges from dinner, etc then we always had cereal and toast. No yogurt about those days. I loved porridge with brown sugar and cream. The cooked part of breakfast above is considered a treat by nearly all these days and so it should be! Im surprised I survived it.

School days we all took a packed lunch. After school we had good snacks, mum would always have a pot of soup on the stove in winter. And she never ever bought cakes or biscuits, there was always 3 or 4 homebaked varieties in the tins. Sigh..........

In the book of life, the answers are NOT in the back.
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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Because my dad was very ill with ulcers mom always worked outside the home. Dad did too, so breakfast and dinner were, when we were given our duties for the day,what was needed to be picked up if anything for dinner,breakfast dishes done, and lots of grins, hugs and pleases and thank you's. Lunch was usually at school, summers, I was in charge of the house and my sister and at 10 I began preping and doing things for our evening meal. We always sat down together, laughter was encouraged, any thing we girls felt mom and dad needed to know was discussed,and I was always told when the meal I'd helped with or done alone was so good and thanked..Of course, I was also told if things didn't meet my dad's standards, he would quietly tell me "Start over" and would wait patiently til it was ready..We were expected to taste anything new, If it really turned us off, we did not have to eat it. Mom was pretty cool about fixing all the things we loved..We could bring a friend over anytime for dinner, just expected to ask ahead of time. If we had homework, and I always did I was allowed to leave the table..It was aplus for halping after school taking care of my sis, shoping for dinner, and getting the table set and the meal on the table. I had friends who felt sorry for me cause I never went to the soda shop or skating or anything after school, to many chores to do. There were times I was really unhappy about it, but now, I can see that who is better off now? I am, my sister is forever calling me to get a how to lesson..I have friends who still expect dinner out or take out every night..A stove is completely foriegn to them even boiling water is a chore..My kids and grand kids flock here every sunday and we all spend the day together even my sons in law have taken to asking Can we have such and such next sunday..So, good maners, parents who were giving and had the time even though they worked hard all day,taught us, love of family and time spent together..Those things will reward you well, if you remember them..Look into the faces of you children and family and you will see, just love and acceptance for you and your efforts.
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:12 PM   #4
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There were 5 children in my family. I'm the oldest. My father was a country doctor that didn't get much "at home" time because of hospital rounds, office hours and house calls. My birth mother was a hypochondriac and was always in bed sick with something.

For the most part we had meals on time (6 p.m.) at which time we all sat at the table for the meal. We were expected to eat everything on our plates and, as Lynan, if not it was given to us at breakfast. I never had a problem cleaning my plate, but my youngest sister was notorious for sitting at the table, alone, until 9 p.m. choking down the last bites.

Conversations at mealtime were bizarre to say the least, since a lot of the conversation revolved around medical things. As a result, not much phased us when it came to dinner talk. It was normal for us.

By the time I was about 8 or 10, my mother figured out that I could take over as the cook for the evening meal, which was my introduction to cooking. I've been at it ever since.

When I had a family of my own, I always made sure we had a balanced meat at night and we all sat down together. There was never a TV in the dining area.

Some of our favorite times were those spent around the dinner table and, when the children began to get on their own, we established a "dinner Sunday."

This was the first Sunday of the month and all the children were welcome to come and bring a guest if they wished. By this time they were broke and looked forward to a free meal.

Again, conversation was spirited and many times ended up in "potty" talk that sent us to tears laughing. Many a beau or girlfriend weathered this storm. Those that survived are now our sons- and daughters-in-law.

Now, it's just Buck and me and we usually have a good meal together, unless he's off at his twice-monthly Lions Club dinner meeting.

I, too, am sorry that family mealtime seems to have gone the way of the horse and buggy. We always had such fun at mealtime and enjoyed discussing our day or whatever subject came up.

We learned the art of discussion and how to respect the views of others. It was a great debating field.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 08-11-2007, 11:04 PM   #5
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I really don't remember much about breakfast though I feel sure we all sat and ate together. What I do remember is sitting down at precisely 5:00 every evening for supper. We were never made to clean our plates or forced to eat something. I guess that was never an issue with any of us (cleaning our plates or having food we didn't like ) We didn't eat unusual things (it was the 50's/60/s after-all so the casserole was in as were some one-pot/dishes. I don't remember any strict rules - we just enjoyed our meal and being together. I cried until I couldn't breath if I spilled my glass of milk or something else though I never got yelled at when I did - go figure! lol

Our days are varied now with my husband working late, my son in and out of the house, that we don't eat together very often. BUT, when one of them is eating I always sit in the kitchen with them. My son isn't picky and likes to try new things and he has always been like that. He went through his likes and dislikes though and if he really didn't like what I made then he would always eat a grilled cheese or ramen noodles, or cheese tortellini, or scrambled eggs. It didn't bother me to fix one of those if he really didn't like something.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:37 AM   #6
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When I was small.... I ate breakfast on my own at the kitchen table on weekdays before school. The family didnt eat breakfast together unless it was a weekend. Lunch was bought at school. When I got home from school I was not allowed to eat anything because it would supposably ruin my appetite for dinner. If I asked what we were having for dinner my mom would always just say "FOOD". If I asked what the FOOD was going to be she would say "It doesnt matter because youre going to eat whatever you get". I didnt ever really love my moms cooking. She was the kind of mom who made hockey puck hamburgers, TV Dinners, or made Hamburger Helper, and used Ragu for spaghetti sauce. Most everything either came in a can or box. Dinner was served at around 6pm and we all had to be at the kitchen table, use proper manners, hold utensils properly, guys had to take hats off and they had to wear shirts, and I was always told to eat my food by taking a bite of each thing and not eating all of one item at a time..LOL!!! I had a tendancy to eat my dinner in the priority of what I liked best which left the yucky veggies on my plate last. It took me the longest to eat them but I was told I had to eat them all. While I was told that I had to eat everything on my plate .... that didnt mean I ate alot. I was given very small portions so its not like I had to scarf down a huge amount of food to the point of being stuffed. So I would gulp my cold veggies down and take a huge drink to wash it down... trying not to chew them or taste them..LOL!! After dinner I had to wash dishes by hand...while standing on a kitchen chair so that I could reach. We very rarely ate dessert... if we did it was usualy later in the evening in front of the TV.

Now days as an adult.... I am single and dont have any kids. I eat out ALOT. Usually on my days off I will cook for myself or if someone comes over we cook together. Ironically, I try to avoid boxed or canned foods as much as I can. I like the idea of using fresh ingredients and pretending like I know how to cook..LOL!! If I have someone over I make then help me so we can share the blame if something goes wrong =). I (or we) typically eat in the livingroom while watching a movie on TV. For potentially messy type meals I will eat at the dining table. I have grown to love my veggies and actually eat a little of each item on my plate at a time....LOL!!!

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