Friday, May 25, 2012
What's for dinner?
I'm waiting on a roast to cook before I can go down to the boat today. When my mother-in-law was here she cleaned out the freezer for us, so we could actually find something. Between the freezer burned bags of salmon and some Ziplock containers of what appears to be mainly frost crystals, she found another deer roast that my son Brian left for us when he was here for a visit last winter. I'm so glad. I've been in the mood for one last pot of vegetable soup before the fishing season really kicks in. Once I'm on the boat it will be canned chili and TV dinners. If I'm really industrious I might remember to stick a potato in to bake in the morning. If it stays in the oven all day it might be cooked enough to eat about half of it by 9:00 PM. Obviously, my boat oven isn't very hot. I should probably wrap the spud in foil and set it on the engine to cook. It would probably be done by the time I had my second cup of coffee in the morning.
Jan and I were sitting in the living room a couple nights ago and she asked me what I wanted for supper the next night. Hell, I don't know. How am I supposed to know that? I want something that tastes good and hopefully has a little nutritional value- and will make me feel full when I'm done eating. I hate trying to think up a menu. I guess Jan does too because we have the "what's for dinner?" conversation frequently. We have a cupboard with about thirty cookbooks crammed into it, plus two recipe boxes stuffed to capacity and access to an unlimited number of other recipes thanks to the Internet, but either nothing sounds good, it takes too long to cook or we don't have some of the necessary ingredients, so we just go with the old standbys. If I was out fishing we could supplement our table fare with a fresh salmon or some sweet and sour halibut, but noooo.... I'm still waiting to launch the boat. Oh well.
I have to ask here- which is proper to describe the evening meal- dinner or supper? Growing up we always called it supper, but then some of my friends always referred to it as dinner. It seems like on TV shows like Leave it to Beaver it was called dinner. Of course June Cleaver always came to the table wearing a flowing dress and a pearl necklace like she was dining out at a fancy restaurant instead of her own home. I was under the impression that folks with a little more money might refer to it as dinner while to us average Joes, it was supper. No one ever got invited to a supper party. For the upper crust it was always a dinner party. "Jeeves, we'll be having the Rothchilds for dinner tonight. Place two more settings out, and Jeeves, lets use the good crystal. Thank you."
I'm kind of glad I didn't grow up in that environment on the one hand, but the flip side is- on those few occasions where the meal and company is kind of fancy, I don't know how to act. I'm always afraid to say too much for fear of saying the wrong thing and offending everyone. It would be really helpful if they taught etiquette lessons in public school so that you're prepared for every situation. I think home- ec should be mandatory too. Then if you're left with a situation where you're the one that has to cook dinner, supper, lunch, breakfast or a midnight snack, you can present something other than a peanut butter sandwich or a can of corned beef hash.