Meals: Customs / Scheduling / Naming

JaneD

JaneD
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when i commuted to work (in those far-off days of last Spring) breakfast was always a bit early so I always had a second breakfast when I got to work. It helped pass those long hours to dinner . From oop north so dinner and then tea in the evening. Unless one was going out for these meals in which case they transmogrified into lunch and dinner.
 

escargot

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Such a shame that your chances of catching norovirus (pre-Covid) were so high that you wouldn't want to eat anything! (Or so my emetophobic husband says.)

Yup, that'd be a drawback for sure. Did you ever read Three Men in a Boat? One of the yarns is about a chap who goes on a week's cruise and looks forward to the food, but is unexpectedly seasick for the first couple of days.

When he recovers he calculates how many meals he's missed and tried his best to recoup his investment! :chuckle:
 

Mythopoeika

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Growing up in the 1960s in the northern midwest US, near Chicago, our working class meals were breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks were unscheduled. At that same time, one of my aunts who married a farmer from Kentucky, changed her meal names to breakfast, lunch and supper.

However, after reading this thread as well as the tea towel discussion, I am changing to breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, and unscheduled snacks. Please, can someone tell me how to add yet anther meal into this equation, in a suitably dignified fashion?
Elevenses?
 

AnonyJ

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I can throw in my experience of Nepalese meal schedules!

Get up early, and drink tea (maybe all milk tea, or tea with butter)

about 10-11am - 1st Dal Bhat (full vegetarian curry meal with rice, lentils, veg curry and maybe an egg) maybe another tea or some fruit juice.

About 3-4pm - snacks like puffed rice, chatapata, or fruit

6-7pm - 2nd Dal Bhat (as above but with chicken, fish or meat if you're lucky!)

9pm (or earlier) - bedtime!

Dal Bhat:

 

Endlessly Amazed

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What a wonderful thread, full of great suggestions by the most cultured, world-traveling gastronomes! My thanks to you all. I have started a spreadsheet for all the suggestions, with criteria columns. So far, here is what I think my current schedule looks like, with floating snacks and grazing thrown in:
Early Coffee
Early Breakfast
Brunch (booze starts here)
Elevenses/Dal Bhat
Lunch/Dal Bhat
Afternoon Tea
Dinner/Dal Bhat
Supper/Dal Bhat

I am receptive to still more sophisticated labels to disguise my relentless, er, snacking.
 

JamesWhitehead

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In the Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann, 1924, the anti-hero, Hans Castorp takes pleasure in the elaborate mealtime routines of the sanatorium, to which he is confined.

Tuberculosis patients evidently required building-up.

First Breakfast was followed by Second Breakfast then Elevenses? before Lunch, Tea, Dinner then Supper.

I am relying on memory, as the book is a large one to leaf through. Maybe I interpolated the British Elevenses.

Reverting to personal memories, Supper, at home was a snack towards bedtime - not too late or one would not sleep!

It seemed a grown-up thing to me, a consequence of being allowed later bedtimes!

When I went to university, an invitation to Supper meant a substantial evening meal, not so formal as an invitation to a dinner-party.

It was usually an indicator of public-school type chaps; if things went well, breakfast might be included! :loveu:
 
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charliebrown

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On BBC America, in the British program Are You Being Served ?, Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe, Miss Brahams, Captain Peacock, And Mr. Lucas all loved their tea break at Grace Brothers.

So this must be low tea, and later must be high tea ?
 

JamesWhitehead

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So this must be low tea, and later must be high tea ?

Nooo!

"Everything Stops for Tea" was a familiar joke about English habits.

The rather posh Jack Buchanan sings about afternoon tea at four here but working people would - if they were lucky - have a morning and an afternoon tea-break, which was usually ten or fifteen minutes - just long enough for tea and biscuits.

In larger offices - I remember it in the Civil Service, way back - a trolly would be brought around. Tea and coffee were served from an urn - or large vacuum-flasks, by my time. Chocolate biscuits etc. could also be purchased. Did we have to pay for the tea? It was widely-believed that Civil Servants had all sorts of perks and that their thirst for tea was insatiable!

Offices which subsidised their tea-arrangements loved to boast of it in their job-descriptions!

Anyway, in shop or office life, a tea-break meant the drink and/or a biscuit or two, not afternoon or high tea! Was there ever a Low Tea? o_O
 
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bugmum

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On BBC America, in the British program Are You Being Served ?, Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe, Miss Brahams, Captain Peacock, And Mr. Lucas all loved their tea break at Grace Brothers.

So this must be low tea, and later must be high tea ?

A tea break is just stopping for 10-15 minutes for a cuppa. When our department was smaller, and we lived in a building with a dedicated tea room, around about 11am there would be a stream of people heading there for a hot drink and some gossip. If it was somebody's birthday, then the celebrant was expected to supply baked goods of some description. (This is where I made a name for myself with home-made cookies - that, and the annual charity binge where my cakes always went down well too). Sadly we moved buildings, the tea room there has been converted to office space and we are now way too large to all fit in the same space at 11 am!

When he was on the wards, the In House GP always used to mutter rebelliously about the fact that nurses had a protected tea break in their shift, whereas he, as the poor junior doctor, was expected to just get on with it. On a ward with a sympathetic senior nurse, he might be gifted a cup of tea and whatever chocolate had been brought in as aleaving present, but not all wards were that nice.
 

escargot

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On a ward with a sympathetic senior nurse, he might be gifted a cup of tea and whatever chocolate had been brought in as aleaving present, but not all wards were that nice.

Reminds me of the newspaper column by the late oncologist Rob Buckman.

He described being hungry enough on a long shift to be caught behind closed curtains kneeling on a patient's chest gripping him by the pyjama lapels and demanding he give up the chocs!
 

charliebrown

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I once did factory work ( one of many jobs in my lifetime ), and in America everyone runs for the soft drink Coke machines on break.

Why does not Coca-Cola not own the world ?

I guess that position is Amazon ?
 

Stormkhan

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My upbringing was working class London: Morning - breakfast; midday - dinner (as in school dinners); evening - tea. Didn't do afternoon tea or supper.
When I was unemployed and skint? One meal - hold off until midday and then eat until feeling full.
At this stage in my life?
Morning - breakfast; midday - lunch (as in lunch break); evening - dinner. My wife likes afternoon tea but it's too much for me.

I'm not sure that the preservation or labelling of UK meal times is above change.
After all working patterns have changed, physical needs have, even the foods we consume are far different.
 

Ogdred Weary

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On BBC America, in the British program Are You Being Served ?, Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe, Miss Brahams, Captain Peacock, And Mr. Lucas all loved their tea break at Grace Brothers.

So this must be low tea, and later must be high tea ?

 

Tigerhawk

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I used to fancy a cruise as the whole daily routine is centred around meals. Mmmmm.
18902645_403.jpg
 

Floyd1

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There is a theory (which I think is rubbish) that the reason Spaniards (in Spain) eat so late is because Spain should be on the same time zone as Greenwich, but is actually one hour ahead, so it stays lighter later there.
 

Fluttermoth

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Isn't it a northern thing to refer to lunch as dinner?
Being from Cornwall, I guess you can't get much further south in the UK and dinner was always our evening meal, with tea meaning a cup of tea and perhaps a biscuit.
BUT, weirdly, at school we did call the catering staff "dinner ladies" (and yet, those of us who took our own food carried it in a lunchbox, never a dinnerbox).

I hate to throw a spanner into the works of this, already very complicated, thread but...

I'm also Cornish, and it was always breakfast (toast or cereal), dinner (middle of the day, cooked meal if at school, sandwich or beans on toast if at home), tea (main cooked meal, around 5:30pm) and supper (tea, cocoa, sandwich or biscuits/crisps, just before bed) in our house; the sweet course was 'afters'.

I can't remember for sure when the switch from 'dinner' to 'lunch' for the midday meal happened, but I was at college, so probably mid- eighties.

Strangely fascinating to read all the differences, I love conversations about these wildly variable trivialities :)
 
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