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Meals

  • Sharing our meals should be a joyful and a trustful act, rather than the cursory fulfillment of our social obligations.

  • It is not strange, of course, that the act of cutting meat should be invested with much significance and pomp: from the time of the first stone knives, the first raw or roasted carcasses, it is the man of skill and virile prowess who has been the one to dole out what meat was mete for his dependents. But the art of carving is one that, when learned at all, must be practiced faithfully, and few families now have either the ovens or the appetites (given the incomes) for haunches and hams big enough to work on. My father is one of four or five men I know who still make a little show, a kind of precise ballet, of carving, and since our family has shrunk with the passage of time and peace and war he has few chances in a year to stand up to a bird or a great roast of beef. When he does, it is a noble performance, and one that rightly should be done to the sound of trumpets.

    • M.F.K. Fisher,
    • in Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste ()
  • ... sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

  • Probably no strychnine has sent as many husbands into their graves as mealtime scolding has, and nothing has driven more men into the arms of other women than the sound of a shrill whine at table.

  • ... gastronomical perfection can be reached in these combinations: one person dining alone, usually upon a couch or a hill side; two people, of no matter what sex or age, dining in a good restaurant; six people, of no matter what sex or age, dining in a good home.

  • ... since we must eat to live, we might as well do it with both grace and gusto.

  • I like breakfast-time better than any other moment in the day. No dust has settled on one's mind then, and it presents a clear mirror to the rays of things.

  • To eat together is one of the greatest promoters of intimacy. It is the satisfaction in common of a material necessity of existence, and if you seek a loftier meaning in it, it is a communion ...

  • The sharing of food is the basis of social life, and to many people it is the only kind of social life worth participating in.

  • The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction.

  • I don't use the word gourmet. The word doesn't mean anything anymore. 'Gourmet' makes it sound like someone is putting sherry wine in the corn-flake casserole.

  • ... desserts are the most crucial part of any meal.

  • ... though we can populate our kitchens with more gadgets than ever before, fewer and fewer people today are sitting down to a home-cooked meal.

  • We do not desecrate the dish by serving any other, neither salad nor dessert. We just eat crab Newburg. My friends rise from the table, wring my hand with deep feeling, and slip quietly and reverently away. I sit alone and weep for the misery of a world that does not have blue crabs and a Jersey cow.

  • Two elements enter into successful and happy gatherings at table. The food, whether simple or elaborate, must be carefully prepared; willingly prepared; imaginatively prepared. And the guests — friends, family or strangers — must be conscious of their welcome.

  • Lunch was not good. ... There was trout beside which I felt young and innocent; veal the condition of which was inexplicable unless it had spent its lifetime competing in six-day bicycle races; the spinach was a dark offense. Apart from the culinary malpractices, there was that in the restaurant which gave me a temporary dislike for life.

    • Rebecca West,
    • "Increase and Multiply," Ending in Earnest ()
  • While we are at it, where is the salad knife? Evil people are forever putting lettuce wedges and other booby traps into salads, and then demanding that they be eaten with the unaided fork. Is it all that funny to watch people squirt salad dressing into their eyes?

  • The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet.

  • ... eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

  • Parsley, parsley, everywhere. / Damn, I want my victuals bare.

  • Food became the antidote for feelings of guilt, sadness, and anger. ... Food is a resolution to controversy; food is rescue. We ate and talked and cried and laughed in the kitchen and ate again. This was about more than just food. It was about our mom making connections the best she could and in the way she knew best across the kitchen table, across time and across sadness.

    • Rose Quiello,
    • "Dedicated to An Old Friend Whose Kindness I Shall Never Forget," in Regina Barreca, ed., Don't Tell Mama! ()

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  • If you don't eat chicken with your fingers you lose half the flavor.

    • ,
    • in Gertrude Berg and Myra Waldo, The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook ()
  • By some people the meal itself is a long delay between the appetizer and the dessert.

    • Gertrude Berg,
    • in Gertrude Berg and Myra Waldo, The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook ()
  • She could still taste the plump fine oysters from Zeeland that he had ordered for her last meal in the world, the dry sparkle of the vintage Rudesheimer which had cost him the fees of at least five visits to patients, and the ice cream richly sauced with crushed glazed chestnuts which she loved.

  • ... Lyle laid out his six donuts in order — maple nut, powdered sugar, cherry, chocolate frosted, glazed, and plain. Breakfast, he knew, was the most important meal of the day.

  • My mother imparted her daily truths so she could help my older brothers and me rise above our circumstances. We lived in San Francisco's Chinatown. Like most of the other Chinese children who played in the back alleys of restaurants and curio shops, I didn't think we were poor. My bowl was always full, three five-course meals every day, beginning with a soup full of mysterious things I didn't want to know the names of.

  • Never, under any circumstance, do I touch soup, as I do not believe in building a meal on a lake.

  • Fasting and feasting are universal human responses, and any meal, shared with love, can be an agape.

  • A meal, however simple, is a moment of intersection. It is at once the most basic, the most fundamental, of our life's activities, maintaining the life of our bodies; shared with others it can be an occasion of joy and communion, uniting people deeply.

  • In that intensely busy time of children and work, soup became my stalwart friend and I learned its true value. Anyone who's been there knows. You're busy, too much to do, time vanishes, the kids are relentless, and everyone is hungry all the time. Something as comforting, delicious, and practical as soup is like gold.

  • There is something profoundly satisfying about sharing a meal. Eating together, breaking bread together, is one of the oldest and most fundamentally unifying of human experiences.

  • Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.

  • What greater restoratives have we poor mortals than a good meal taken in the company of loving friends?

  • Traditionally, a luncheon is a lunch that takes an eon.

  • Everything tastes good, nearly everything is good. Only the chicken has given its best to a long and and strenuous life and the stock-pot ...