I’VE just read an interesting article about the names people use to describe their eating rituals. Do you have three meals a day? If so, what do you call them?
At home in Birmingham we started with toast or cereals – a pretty universal breakfast, I think.
However, we had what we called ‘dinner’ at midday, and our evening meal was ‘tea’.
When I married comparatively sophisticated southerner Mr F, he was commendably relaxed about my definitions and open-minded about what he ate.
Well, that was until I dished up my signature corned beef hash with integrated baked beans. Even love could not overcome that.
I soon discovered that when people invited us to dinner in the Deep South they meant we should join them for an evening nosh; in those days typically melon or pate, followed by moussaka or lasagne and salad, cheese and biscuits and a bottle of frascati.
Even more puzzling was supper (pronounced ‘sapper’); to me that was cream crackers and a cup of Bournvita or Ovaltine before bedtime
Lunch (pronounced ‘lanch’) I’d always regarded as food packed in a plastic box for the school break.
Occasionally we Brummies were caught out by migrants to the midlands
When I went to my friend Theresa’s after school, her southern family gave me high tea, which included a delicious cheese pudding, rather like a soufflé.
Then there was Sally, whose mother served me cucumber sandwiches and a thin slice of fruit cake when we trotted in after school – very strange for a homecoming meal I thought.
Of course, it was afternoon tea, and we were served real food later on.
Here’s a way to simplify matters. Everyone accepts dinner is the midday meal when its Christmas dinner or school dinners, so why not use this term all the time?
Tea could cover anything from 4pm to 8pm, with the earlier version called afternoon tea. I rest my cake.
■ SEPTEMBER 5 today. Only three months until campaigners go to court to try to prove the decision to proceed with the £30-odd billion high-speed rail project is unlawful.
What I want to know is – is there anyone in Hillingdon borough in favour of it?