Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lost in Translation

City talk versus country talk - it is almost like having two different dialects of the English language.

Living on a farm in the country for the first time in my life, I have many questions.  Many, many questions.  Thankfully, Travis and my in-laws are patient and willing to answer what are probably very elementary questions, and clarify when I need further detail.

But, things are bound to get lost in translation.

One of the things that I have needed almost daily clarification on is meals - times and food types.

In the city, an average person's daily meals would sound something like this: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack midnight ice cream craving.

"City breakfast" is usually eaten within an hour or so of a person waking up.  It might be toast, a bagel, cereal, or a donut, and coffee or orange juice (or for a few people soda pop).

A morning snack in the city can vary greatly from person to person.  When I was behaving myself I would typically have some fruit.  Otherwise I graze upon whatever was at the know, that bowl of candy or yummy treats that one of your co-workers always has out (I have no self-control).

"City lunch" could also vary by the person.  Before I had children (and a budget) I would head out of the office daily around noon to eat.  There were just so many options.  However, I finally came to my senses and started bringing leftovers, and my paycheck and waistline were forever grateful.

An afternoon snack in the city could very well be another kick of caffeine or a trip to the vending machine - pick your poison.

Finally, "city dinner."  Most people I know in the city would eat dinner between 5:30 and 7pm, depending on their commute and their kids' activities (if they had children...happy hour does not count as a child's activity).  Dinner for us was many times something that I had prepared over the weekend and froze.  Quick and easy was always a requirement.

However, in the country, these terms do not have the same meaning - both the times that they take place and the type of meal that is served.  The average daily meals on the farm are as follows: breakfast, lunch, dinner, lunch, supper.

Supper...what is supper?  I thought that it was the same thing as dinner, but then I got confused because dinner was already used in the meal line-up.

Are you confused yet?

Please let me translate:

Breakfast = Breakfast
Snack = Lunch
Lunch = Dinner
Snack = Lunch
Dinner = Supper

All you really need to know as the cook on the farm is this (using the country terms here)…

Breakfast is at sunrise.  Get your own damn cereal out of the cupboard.  Also, the cook doesn't drink coffee, so you better make your own.  Can you tell I am not a morning person?

Morning lunch is around 10am.  Many times toast and fruit is sufficient.

Dinner is around noon.  The guys get points when they give me a heads up as to what time they are really coming in.  Dinner is prepared similar to what I would make for an evening meal in the city during the work week: quick and easy.

Afternoon lunch is around 4pm.  This is more like a lunch that a city person would eat as far as portions go.  Seriously, my mother-in-law brought some Arby's sandwiches back from city where they have their desk jobs and my father-in-law would eat two of them...for a "snack."

Supper is after the sun has set and it is dark outside.  In the summer this can be as late as 9pm...those are the days that never seem to end.  However, with daylight savings coming up, we eat at more reasonable 7:30pm.  And by eat I mean gorge ourselves at the feast that I have just prepared ;).

The truth of it is that I have never really enjoyed cooking until now (baking chocolate chip cookies does not count).  I think a major factor was time.  That, and I was only preparing a meal for myself and Travis.  Now, since our in-laws are at the house quite often doing farm stuff, I have four adults to prepare a meal for.  It gives me a little more motivation to actually put some effort in to cooking.

That and the fact that we have to drive 20 minutes to town find a food establishment - the VFW or Eagles club does not count, but Pizza Ranch does.  Yum.

I hope that you enjoyed my lesson on city versus country vocabulary.  I'm off now to start preparing dinner, I mean supper, I mean...dang it!  Whatever it is they'll eat it.

What's cookin' good lookin'?

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