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Eating: What do you do while you eat?
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:56 pm    Post subject: Eating: What do you do while you eat? Reply with quote

Since this is the "Cooking & Eating" section, I figured this question belongs. I know this is kind of personal, but I am curious as to what others do while they eat. If you have a spouse or children, then that just about requires you to eat with others and have a general family conversation. But maybe some of you have the television or the radio on during dinner?

I know a lot of other people who eat alone read while eating. Other things? I live and eat most of my dinners alone. I am passionate about classical music and opera and reading, so I make dinner, fire up the stereo, grab a book, and eat my dinner. I usually eat late in the evening after all the day's work and chores are complete. That's when I can best relax.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We actually sit in the dining room at the table and catch up on the day's news (except on Monday evenings when we eat in front of the TV while watching Corner Gas). This is also an opportunity to practise ignoring the dogs----those ten begging eyes can be a bit overwhelming at times!
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Growing up on a farm, my Grandmother's Ode to Civility was that the table was always set for dinner and table manners were a MUST! Also, it was forbidden to get up from the table for "forgotten" items like napkins or salt, so if they weren't on the table when we sat down, then we went without! It may sound harsh, but I'm raising my kids the same way; I am NOT a waitress and if you don't cook the meal, and your job is to set the table...THEN SET THE DAMN TABLE! It teaches responsibilty and fore thought; you only have to go one meal without spoons to remember them the next time.

When I'm home alone, I follow this same rule and have wonderful, peaceful meals to myself. I go to the table, placemat and cloth napkin is down, all the stuff I need is laid out, and then I eat. Sometimes it's music and sometimes it's TV. And one rule that I have that will NEVER change: I will never, under pain of death, eat out of a carton! That's just WRONG in my book.....don't you have personal dignity??? Sheesh!

When I'm at my partner's and my apartment in the city, I insist at sitting at the dining room table and making an effort to have quality time. If there is an important show on TV, we'll throw a tape into the VCR and watch it later. There's so little quality time left to live, why cheat yourself of the experience to talk to one another? And if you don't talk, then that's your FIRST sign that something is wrong in your family's health!

Exceptions are theme-specific parties like American Idol parties or Game Night. Then, we do pizza or buffet and people are on their own for where they eat and how. But when we have friends over, it's always an occasion, the best dinnerware is laid out and they are treated royally.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't have a real set thing we do at dinner. Usually it is just the two of us, and Barney our dog. So like David we get in good practice ignoring him. Most of the time we eat at the table which I love because we seem to have the best conversation there.
On movie nights we open a bottle of wine and set up a appetizer spread on the coffee table. Very romantic.
When we have guests it varies, I am always trying out new set ups for our parties.
One thing I always do is use linen napkins, beautiful dishes and good silverware. I love food, and to me that makes each dinner special.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dairy_Queen wrote:
When I'm home alone, I follow this same rule and have wonderful, peaceful meals to myself. I go to the table, placemat and cloth napkin is down, all the stuff I need is laid out, and then I eat. Sometimes it's music and sometimes it's TV.


I'm with you on this one, sister. I also have a routine where everything is in order before I sit down to eat. And I don't rush. I try and make this a relaxing and rejuvinating experience. When I'm with relatives or friends, I try and influence them in my ways by suggesting candles in lieu of electric lights, and table cloth, and a more relaxing, contemplative event. I abhore those people who eat standing at the kitchen counter or those who eat like wolves and finish in 15 minutes.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dairy_Queen wrote:
And if you don't talk, then that's your FIRST sign that something is wrong in your family's health!


Very astute observation. Never thought of it exactly like this, but I have noticed that another unhealthy sign is when the topic of conversation at a meal is other people -- i. e., gossip.

I always try and discuss concepts and ideas; but most people want to talk about people, places and things.

Yes, I'm a misfit.
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I live alone and work at irregular times I usually eat in front of the TV. On the couch Smile . And I actually like that! One of my moments of relaxation. (number one would be reading in a hot bath)(for relaxation, that is, not for eating Very Happy ).

That is, ofcourse, if I don't eat at work. If I do, I usually bring something homecooked (cheaper and tastier), but sometimes it's canteen-stuff. At work I eat with different collegues all the time, depending on who's on break when.

On vacations, if I'm alone, I usually bring a book.

And when I have guests, wether it's one, two or a whole bunch, my table-and silverware are so happy, they get to be used!! Nice table, candles, good food....
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tennoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually get home late, so I like to eat dinner while relaxing with my wife in front of a movie. On nights that I get home early, I often cook up new recipes for my website and end up eating a lot of the dinner standing up (testing of course).

We actually have no dinner table in our house. It's either kitchen counter standing or futon reclining. Life is good.
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brighidsdaughter



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 233
Location: Canton, TX USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Breakfast is almost always at my desk while reading email and news.
Lunch is wherever -- hate to admit it, but that's sometimes standing in front of the fridge eating out of the carton of cottage cheese (I'm the only one who eats it.)

I love to sit down at the table with TV off, pleasant music on, and talk during dinner. But dinner served in little courses on the coffee table while watching a movie is fun too.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brighidsdaughter wrote:
I love to sit down at the table with TV off, pleasant music on, and talk during dinner. But dinner served in little courses on the coffee table while watching a movie is fun too.


I enjoy that, too, bd. My partner has two female roomies and we'll have Cocktail Night at our whimsey. We'll make a pitcher of Cosmos or Martini's and then 3-4 appetisers and all sit down and watch a movie together. Tomorrow night is RAY CHARLES night, and I have the turnip soup, some stuffed crab and bruscetta planned. By the end of the night, we don't care HOW bad the movie is....it always turns out fun!
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bainst



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Baghdad, Iraq

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read, sometimes, horror of horrors, watch TV. Listen to music, or just enjoy the view. I have a great view of Seoul Tower from my apt. It changes colors, nothing like the Eiffel Tower, but very enjoyable, none the less.
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mary g



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 20
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I'm alone I always read when I'm eating--at breakfast I read either the NYer or the London Review of Books; at lunch (often at school) I read something light and frivolous to take my mind off my students (at the moment, Dorothy Sayers's Five Red Herrings; at dinner, something more literary maybe--currently Doris Lessing's Memoirs of a Survivor or Amitav Ghosh's The Glass Palace.
When I eat with my partner, we sometimes read and eat companionably, and sometimes sit at the table and talk, depending on our mood.
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dadegroot



Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Cedar Creek, Qld, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Eating: What do you do while you eat? Reply with quote

Sarape wrote:
I know this is kind of personal, but I am curious as to what others do while they eat.


Well, we have children so we have some rules when it comes to meals. Meals are eaten at the dining table (yes there are exceptions but they're rare). The children may not leave the table without asking at dinner time but it's ok at breakfast and lunch (since these are informal meals).

Personally for breakfast I habitually have toast and iced-coffee during the week and read my email/websites at my desk. On the weekends I usually cook breakfast and we have a sit-down meal of it as a family.

Lunch varies as during the week I'm at work and the children at school, but weekends can be leftovers, cooked and sit-down, sandwiches, or just something quickly thrown together eaten either together or separately.

We don't watch television as a rule (in fact I think it's been ten years or so since I watched any sort of regular tv), I do play a fair amount of music and sometimes we'll have music playing during meals, sometimes not. Mostly the children are not permitted to speak until they've finished (yes it sounds harsh but you try getting a 3yo to eat while his big siblings are chatting away about well nothing really). Thus dinner tends to be fairly quiet with some adult conversation thrown in. Our main adult conversation time is while doing the dishes after the children are in bed.

Hmmm, you know, there's an argument that says you shouldn't make your first post to a forum after 3/4 bottle of wine... obviously I don't subscribe to that argument Wink
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting topic. When it's just the two of us we generally eat at the table and talk. I don't claim the nice linen and fine china, but often with candle light and music. After living without a table for nearly 3 years and having to eat every meal off my lap, I am so happy to have a table back - even though it is a bit of a squeeze space wise.
Sometimes we'll watch a movie over dinner if we're really tired, but I'm generally a complete tv tartar - especially if I've cooked, that food has to be paid attention to! And of course, it's often the only time to really catch up after a busy day.
And eating alone, I read, my favourite indulgence...I've been told that it's better to only eat & do nothing else at the same time - but I just can't give it up. It's good to know that I'm in company with this.
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Shanti



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Duluth, MN

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love posts like these! So many interesting responces!

When it is my husband and myself or guests, all meals are eaten at the kitchen table, no TV, sometimes music. My peeve is no reading while we're eating together. I feel it displays a lack of consideration for your dining partner (and the meal she just created). I always have placemats down and have been working towards no bills/mail/magazines/ect on the table so that way we can focus on each other and our food.

When is just myself...well, I read. I still do the placemat bit and like others I like to make it a special occasion. But I get fidgety by myself and it's a moment of quiet for me so I read my cooking magazines or a book.

My 2 dogs eat after I am finished. This way they aren't trying to investigate what I'm eating and running back and forth to the door to be let out for after dinner constitutions. They aren't particularily keen on this new arrangement but it works much better for me! Very Happy
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