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raging moderate
09:02 AM on 11/02/2010
Of course meal traditions do evolve. The tradition of an evening meal called "dinner" which was/is the big meal of the day is something that took root in an urban, middle class context in the late nineteenth century and became widespread in the twentieth century. Prior to that, "supper" was a small meal at the end of the day and "dinner" referred to the mid-day meal, which was the big, communal meal back when society centered on farms and small towns. The evening "dinner" was itself the adaptation of a society where family members found themselves at work and school locations at far-flung points at the middle of the day.
I can remember going off to summer camp in the rural Shenadoah Valley back in the '70s and puzzling because the country woman who ran the kitchen had printed up menus which listed the mid-day meal as "dinner"--it was the most substantial meal listed, for the record. My father, who grew up on a ranch in Oklahoma, just thought it was quaint.
Still, on the basic point, having a family meal together is a good thing.
Looking into the heart of an artichoke.
08:56 AM on 11/02/2010
I'm not sure a whole book is required to execute this concept. I've found that if I put dinner on the table at a certain time, everyone (including friends and neighbors) shows up. There's not a creature in the world who doesn't want a dinner cooked by somebody else. Me included, although that rarely happens.
02:29 PM on 11/09/2010
A whole book is required if you want to make money from the book. You don't have to sit at a dinner table to have quality time with your family. That time happens with or without it when you truly love each other.