Saturday, November 2, 2013
Brother Slug Opining `bout Dining
Our local newspaper today offered an article about dressing up the dinner table. It contained all sorts of tips about searching for and creating decorations, presentation, and so on.
The more I read of the gushing prose, the more my snorting side reared its unpleasant head.
For me, dining is about eating to fill my stomach and feed my body. I want good food well prepared, but it certainly does not have to be gourmet. Macaroni and cheese is just fine, for example, and that cheese doesn't have to be imported cheddar. Or the broccoli I love can be prepared simply - steamed or stir fried, for example - without a special sauce you need hours to prepare.
As for presentation - I'm just going to shove that food in my mouth. It doesn't matter how pretty it looks. I barely notice that. Nor do I need crystal and fine china - a plastic cup and a paper plate work. Heck, some nights when I'm eating alone I just eat right out of the pan the food was cooked in. Fancy linens and napkins - you just have to wash them anyway.
I like manners, for they help to make the eating go more pleasantly - I hate to be around noisy slurpers or people who blow their noses at the table, urgh! - but it doesn't have to involve all the folderol and rules about things like which fork to use and so on.
Now I'm not mocking the people who are into such things. If it makes them happy, fine, I'm happy for them.
I can even accept there are special occasions when you doll things up - I love Babette's Feast.
But for the kind of regular dining the article was talking about, I don't think there's any reason to waste money and time on all that fluff: Just give me my grub.
Pax et bonum