The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Come and Get It

by Jim Clayton, the Quill

It is time to solve an age old question - a question that has been on the minds of Americans for decades.

It may very well be one of the biggest mysteries of the modern age. Not just in this area, but all over the country.

Many of us think we have the answer, but not everyone agrees. By the time you have read this article this solution will more than likely be as clear as mud.

The question is simple - What is dinner? We all know what breakfast, lunch and supper are, but there seems to be some discrepancy as to where dinner fits in. Some use it interchangeably with lunch and others use it in the same way with supper.

Many say the term dinner is reserved for the chief meal of the day, when the largest spread is put out. But, for many, the chief meal is breakfast, and there seems to be no reference to breakfast as dinner. So, it seems to be a choice between the evening meal and the noon meal. Which is actually dinner?

Rhonda Johnson of La Harpe, and food services director at Illini West High School presented it this way,

"I have always considered dinner to be a more formal meal, the one where you break out the good silver and china and the cloth napkins."

Howard Thie, also of La Harpe remembers life on the farm and dinner being the noon time meal.

"When I think of dinner I think of food. When I was raised it was always at noon time. We had a dairy farm and we worked from five in the morning until nine at night. We needed sustenance so we had our big meal in the middle of the day," said Thie.

"My dad didn't believe in working on Sunday, but we still had to milk and feed, so we would put in five hours on Sundays, but dinner was still at noon."

It seems that each person who is questioned answers in a different way. Seth Pilkington, Illini West Junior said, "Dinner is supper, or the bigger meal of the day."

Well, it is open to interpretation whether dinner is the noon meal or the evening meal.

My grandfather used to carry a black cylindrical metal container to the coal mine every day and referred to it as his, "dinner bucket".

Not very formal and probably not the biggest meal of the day as he would come home to a large home cooked meal every evening.

Most people refer to the meal after church as Sunday dinner. Many kids say they are going home for dinner after an evening of playing outside with their friends.

What is dinner? Dinner is the meal that is called dinner. It could be lunch, it could be supper, or it could be a formal occasion where the best china is laid out for all to use on a rare or special event.

Dinner seems to be a colloquial term used interchangeable for different meals and often by the same people for different meals. Dinner is whatever an individual determines is to be. You can call it what you like, just don't call this writer late for it!