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  • The cold truth is that family dinners are more often than not an ordeal of nervous indigestion, preceded by hidden resentment and ennui and accompanied by psychosomatic jitters.

  • When one is too old for love, one finds great comfort in good dinners.

  • One can say everything best over a meal.

  • 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 feast had all the elements of perfection: good company, firelight, and appetite.

  • Dinner alone is one of life's pleasures.

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

  • Five is the very awkwardest of all posible numbers to sit down to table.

  • When does the mind put forth its powers? when are the stores of memory unlocked? when does wit 'flash from fluent lips?' — when but after a good dinner? Who will deny its influence on the affections? Half our friends are born of turbots and truffles.

  • 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.

  • The family ate hugely, they were like a school of voracious fish feeding under the sea of chatter.

  • Let us put a stop right now to that dreadful practice of serving half-peeled shrimp. Miss Manners has encountered these pink tricks a few times too many lately ... There the sly creatures all are, snoozing cozily on beds of shredded lettuce, or perhaps getting their exercise by hanging from their tails on the edge of miniature bird baths filled with cocktail sauce. ... Miss Manners can think of no motivation on the cook's part except pure meanness.

  • 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.

  • 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 ()
  • Because he opposed her entering the convent, he had called for all the tempting things of life to speak to her where he had failed, unaware that what he was really putting into her like a probing pain was her last view of him tucking his napkin into the wing collar under his beard, smelling the wine cork before allowing the waiter to pour a drop and drinking the juice from the big rough oyster shells with gusty gourmet pleasure.

  • 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.

  • One uncongenial guest can ruin a dinner more easily than a poor salad, and that is saying a great deal.

  • 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.

  • Don't regret invitations for dinner. That is wrong. Accept or regret invitations to dinner. Remember that they have saddle of mutton for dinner. Guests are asked to dinner.

  • He returned to the large front room and on through to another back of it, looking for that great solace, that mediator between an unappreciative world and dissatisfied man, a good dinner.

  • Dining partners, regardless of gender, social standing, or the years they've lived, should be chosen for their ability to eat — and drink! — with the right mixture of abandon and restraint. They should enjoy food, and look upon its preparation and its degustation as one of the human arts.