Musings on the evening meal–dinner or supper?

Just some random thoughts that wandered through my brain while minding the grill on Saturday afternoon….

Orange tabby cat in the refrigerator

Frankie checks the fridge

I hear lots of people talking about dinner, but what has happened to supper?  Where I grew up, on the farm, the big meal was in the middle of the day, so you’d have energy to work the rest of the day.  Supper was a lighter meal, usually after dark, since you could no longer work outside without artificial light which didn’t happen in the hay field.  Well, when you have questions, look it up:

  • Supper:  Etymology: Middle English soper, super, supper, from Old French soper, super, souper, fromsoper, super, souper to eat the evening meal — more at SUP
    1 a : a meal taken at the close of the day; especially : the evening meal when dinner is taken at midday b : a social affairfeaturing a supper; specifically : an evening social (as a box social) especially for raising funds for charitable or other purposes c : a usually light evening meal
  • Dinner:  Etymology: Middle English diner, from Old French disner, diner, from disner, diner to dine — more at 1DINE
    1 : the principal meal of the day eaten about midday or in the evening; also: a formal feast or banquet in honor of some person or event

    Frankie sitting on top of the refrigerator

    Top of the food chain?

Well, I do cook dinner for friends, and I do go out to dinner.  I even occasionally even cook dinner for myself (and the cat).  Mostly, I just eat supper–it’s a comfortable meal to end my day lightly. But supper doesn’t mean a PBJ in front of the TV.  It’s likely simple–griddled fish or steak, a one-pot meal, an omelette dressed as a Spanish tortilla, or soup–easy but tasty.

A son goût! 

Orange tabby cat on the kitchen counter with the mixer, food processor, and knives

What’s cooking?


1.  “supper.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. (5 Oct. 2012).

2.  “dinner.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. (5 Oct. 2012).

This entry was posted in Food for thought by sa.fifer. Bookmark the permalink.

About sa.fifer

Lover of good, wholesome food and wine. Cooks for one and the cat. Likes to paint-- a frustrated botanical illustrator and amateur (photographer) and fledgling birdwatcher, beekeeper, and Kindle addict. Works as a freelance indexer.