March 28th, 2016
Growing up, I thought supper and dinner were synonymous, and that the difference between the two was based on social class. Actually, the difference between supper and dinner was based on social class and the time of day that the meal is eaten. They both can refer to the last meal of the day. In colonial days, farmers were too busy to eat three meals a day so they only ate breakfast and dinner. On the contrary, the wealthy people who occupied urban occupations had more time for eating. Therefore; they ate breakfast, dinner, and supper. As a result of this class difference, dinner has become the formal evening meal. Supper describes a less formal meal eaten with family.
Today, meal times vary. Some people have dinner at seven while others have supper at five. In medieval England, meal times were fairly standard. They ate breakfast first thing in the morning, dinner in the middle of the day, and supper around sundown. It made sense to have dinner, the biggest meal, around midday because the lighting was sufficient. Oil lamps and candles were very expensive to use. The last meal, at sundown, was a quick snack before dark so they could retire to bed. The Industrial Revolution brought artificial light into homes and this invention allowed families to have their meals later in the evening.
Whatever term you use to denote your mealtime, the Cecil County Public Library can help you plan your dinners or suppers. The seven branches offer a wide variety of cookbooks and diet cookbooks to make mealtimes easy, nutritious, and delicious. Are you a magazine reader? Visit the library’s website to view and register for our Zinio service. It is a free service that allows you to read your favorite magazines on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. For mealtime solutions, Zinio offers magazines such as “EatingWell”, “Food Network Magazine”, and “Saveur” just to name a few.
Are you overwhelmed with mealtime preparation? Why not sign up for a free cooking class! Cecil County Public Library offers free six-week courses from Gale Courses. Visit the library’s website to sign up for “Luscious, Low-fat Lightning-Quick Meals”. This course is taught by a Certified Health Coach whose expertise includes weight management, diabetes nutrition care, and cardiac rehabilitation management. The instructor will teach you how to make casseroles, crock-pot dishes, vegan dishes, and many other meals that are nutritious and delicious. Also, you can benefit from tips regarding grocery shopping, meal planning, and food preparation.
Join the Friends of the Cecil County Public Library at the Granary Restaurant for a “A Feast of Words” fundraising dinner – Saturday, April 30 at 6:30 pm.
Which term do you prefer, dinner or supper?