Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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An Excuse to Ingurgitate..?

December 21, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Ingurgitate – definition: to swallow greedily or in great quantity, as food

Christmas dinner

Firstly, a Merry Christmas to you all. I wish you health, wealth, love and flowing words for 2014.

The celebration of the festivities centers mainly around the Christmas Day meal. Traditionally, turkey is the bird of choice although duck, chicken, ham and vegetarian equivalents are among the other options available. Although if you read this link, you can find exceptional offerings :  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-502605/It-serves-125-takes-hours-cook-stuffed-12-different-birds—really-IS-Christmas-dinner.html

turkey

This combination in itself would be enough to try and consume without all the trimmings to go with it. I am sure there would be many weeks of sandwiches, crock-pot meals and leftover meals after this one.

So why do we eat to excess at these times? Is it greed, showing off to family and friends, a status symbol of our wealth? Or is it a celebration of abundance we are able to enjoy?

Or a symbol of love for those around us who have made our lives better for being in it?

This last option is the one I believe in, especially now, as I am thousands of miles away from my family. I will treasure the moments with my immediate family on Christmas Day this year. My choice of bird this Christmas is duck.

Take your choice of these explanations or comment on your own thoughts.

This link gives some insight from a British point of view.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/22/eating-excess-christmas-british-tradition

What bird are you cooking? 

Image from : http://www.acageybee.com/decking-the-halls/145

xmas-typewriter

Post Meal Habits…

June 21, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Postprandial – definition: happening or done after a meal

-post-prandial-The etiquette of meal times has changed drastically in modern times. Many households have meals balanced on laps while watching TV or plates are taken to separate rooms. The latter mostly for teenagers, I believe. Obviously, some families still enjoy meals at the dining table but unfortunately it is not common practice. I think we miss out on real connections with other family members when the dining table is abandoned.

When our story is set in a particular era, details such as meal etiquette enable us to create the right atmosphere. Let’s take the 18th century as an example.

It was customary for gentlemen and ladies to dress formally for dinner, primarily because it was an opportunity to meet a partner. The host and hostess were first to be seated and the closer you sat to them the more honored a guest you were perceived as. Meals were usually two courses plus a dessert although upper class diners could see up to 25 dishes from which they chose two or three.

Once the meal was finished, the gentlemen would stand and wait for the ladies to exit the dining room. Leaving them to smoke cigars and drink such beverages as brandy and cognac. At this time the dishes and  tablecloth would be removed. The ladies gathered in the drawing room to exchange conversation and wait for the men to rejoin them for the evenings entertainment.

This sort of evening meal is not really practical now-a-days, with children’s activities, working parents and our frantic lifestyles but once in a while wouldn’t it be fun?

Have you discovered a ‘lost’ etiquette while researching an era?

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