Food, eating, what a great pastime it is. We do it to survive, our bodies need it, but if the truth be known, it the most social thing we do. We go out to eat more now than at anytime in history. We brave the crowds, the waits, the mediocre service and food, overpriced, under cooked, but still we go. We will eat almost anywhere we go. We eat at the 7-11, you know, the hot dog on the run; we eat at diners at 3 am after a night of partying, which we started out, by eating dinner earlier. We combine eating with everything we do. We do dinner and a movie, we do dinner and a show or play. Can you go to the ballpark and not have hot dogs and beer; I think not, pure sacrilege. Would we even dream of watching a football game without snacks of chicken wings, nachos etc. We eat everywhere, Fairs, you know the county type, we eat at Rodeo’s, Art Fairs, Grand Openings of almost anything, drive ins, take out places, boat shows, fund raisers, almost any type of show, and lets not forget the political fundraiser, where dinner can get rather costly to say the least, and last but not least, and the menu is comprised of a rubber chicken that we move around the plate so it looks like we attempted to eat it. We eat in restaurants, cars, bars, in front of the TV, at the movies, in our boats, planes, trains, airports, inside, outside, top floor, basements, you name it we eat in it. We rarely eat by ourselves, we mostly eat in groups, small groups, and large groups and sometimes we won’t go if we aren’t with a group. We often find ourselves going out to eat more than we eat in. Eat in, means at home. Does anyone go home for lunch anymore? I would think that is a rarity. We “do lunch” or we “do dinner”, not sure what that means, doing lunch, I usually eat mine but, I’ll “do” it if I have to.
We do dinner parties, we even name them, Black Tie Dinner party, where all the guests are in formal attire and the menu is usually comprised of steak and lobster. We do theme dinner parties. We do dinner parties to honor people, or events, or days, but the common denominator is still food. We have Pig Roasts, 4th of July BBQ, Beach parties, and parties which even determines what we will serve. A BBQ for example will have ribs, bbq chicken, grilled this and that, hell we have found out that we can grill almost anything and its good. Veggies, steak, hot dogs, bologna, artichokes, fish, this is a list that will never end. Not sure I’d want it to. Now, it would be a sin to leave off the list the Irish holiday celebrated by everyone, Irish or not. St Paddy’s day, where corned beef and cabbage and green beer are the order of the day. When everyone you meet is Irish for a day, and what a great day it is laddie.
Some National Holidays are usually held outside, Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, topping the list. They are usually backyard bbqs or beach affairs, with lots of grilling going on, topped of with desserts that usually come in melon form, water melon, mush melon, and apple pies are a big hit at these events as well. Some physical activities take place, volleyball, softball, horseshoes, swimming, and the physical activities all occur before the eating commences because it certainly won’t happen afterward. There are probably hammocks that need filling. We will have parties based on other holidays that usually dictate the menu as well, Thanksgiving, will almost always see the obligatory Turkey, roasted or fried, with all the accouterments, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry jelly, green bean casserole, and of course pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert. Christmas, however may take on different variations. We may have Turkey dinner again, but some prefer ham, or Prime Rib, one of my fav’s, or the newest tradition, going out to a movie to view the latest holiday releases, where we consume mass quantities of popcorn, gummy bears, and junior mints and a jumbo soft drink with which to wash it all down.
When we have a day like Mothers Day, what do we do, we take Mom out for dinner, same on Valentines Day, Fathers Day although Dad may like a new fishing reel, golf club or something along those lines rather than dinner.
We eat at Weddings, Funerals, Retirements, Graduations, Christenings, Birthdays, almost any occasion where people gather, you will almost certainly find food. It’s a given, you can’t have a group of people get together without having food and drinks. It’s against the law. Now the drinks can lead to a whole other blog, so we’ll just stick with food for now.
We eat to cure what ails us. I can remember sometimes after having too much fun the night before, that a big juicy, greasy, bacon cheeseburger, with fries of course, was just what the doctor ordered for my self induced illness. Now I know I’m not alone in implementing this time honored cure for the hangover. We also use other foods to help us heal, the chicken soup for the flu or colds food, bananas to help eliminate cramping during strenuous exercise. Apple a day keeps the doctor away, were told. We juice, we smoothie, all in the name of curing what ails us or to use as a preventative measure, and it tastes good. Well, most of the time.
I could go on and on about our infatuation with food but I think you get my point that food is not only sustenance, but, fun and a very social activity. And every once in a while I do the unthinkable; I just eat because I’m hungry.