Monday, March 4, 2019

Around the Kitchen Table - When Do We Eat? #Giveaway

KRISTA: The other day, one of my caregivers mentioned that I have things on a very precise schedule. It took me by surprise because I don't think of myself as a super-scheduled person. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized she is right.

My family ran on a precise schedule. I always thought I was the oddball in that respect because I don't have problems eating brunch instead of breakfast or chowing down on dinner at ten in the evening. But now that I'm taking care of my mom, it turns out I'm more like the rest of them than I thought.

Daryl's comment about Sparky prompts me to add that Baron eats breakfast when I do and dinner after his evening walk. I think that may be why he's so eager to come inside in the evening!

How about you? Do you eat your breakfast at the same time every day? Is dinner served at a certain hour? Does it throw you off your stride when you can't follow the schedule?

DENISE: Growing up a farmer's daughter, meals were always on a to-the-minute schedule. Breakfast at 6, dinner (not lunch) at noon, and supper at 5. Then when I grew up and moved out, but my husband and I stuck to pretty much the same times, although dinner became lunch and supper became dinner. Now that hubby's retired and I work from home, we're a bit more flexible. We both eat breakfast and lunch when we feel like it, but dinner is almost always at 5.

Although, on our recent vacation, we found ourselves eating later and later and it was sort of nice!

CLEO:  My father was a steelworker. When I was a little girl, we always ate dinner when he arrived home from work. That was the schedule, and it never changed. What a difference adulthood makes! When Marc and I are working on a writing deadline, all schedules go out the window.

Right now we're finishing up our next Coffeehouse Mystery, and then it's on to the new Haunted Bookshop title. We do give ourselves days (and nights) off, but on those days when we're really producing pages, I tend to rise before dawn, and Marc tends to burn the 2AM oil. This works well for us in keeping up with chores and taking care of our rescued New York strays (of the feline variety). It also gives us private windows of writing time. As a result, Marc will eat breakfast and lunch on his own schedule. I tend to eat small snacks (because noshing on writing breaks makes life more fun). Throughout the day, we check in with each other, exchange pages and ideas, and always get together to share dinner, which we treat as our little foodie oasis. We often greet each in the morning with (after pleasantries...) "So what's the plan for dinner?"


LUCY: This is so interesting ladies! When I was growing up in New Jersey, my dad commuted to New York City on the train every day. We'd go pick him up at the station (a big treat!) and then go right home to supper: 6:15 or so. And the whole family ate together. Raising our kids, we kept the same schedule--not that it was always peaceful, but looking back, I think that family meal time was special. Fast forward a lot of years, and John and I still have dinner most nights at 6:15!

And as for mornings, I'm usually up at 6:45 and walking to my big treat of the day: a cafe con leche from the Cuban Coffee Queen. This makes the morning something to get excited about! (You can ignore the doughnuts--Hayley Snow and I only order them once in a great while!


SHEILA: Breakfast is always on time, because the cats wake me up at 5:30 or so, staring at my face. For the rest of the day it depends on how hungry I am and what leftovers are hiding in the fridge.

I learned to make instant coffee early in my life because my mother was not a morning person, and to get her to open her eyes I had to present her with a hot cup of coffee.

But here's a tale from another time: when I was young (in the 1950s), we had a live-in cook. My mother had delusions of grandeur (and hated all forms of housework). What's more, we always ate in the formal dining room, and my younger sister and I had to take a bath and put on a clean dress before we could eat. There was always nice china and the silver candlesticks were lit. At least the cook could be counted on the produce a nice dessert, and I do remember her lamb stew. The meal started on time, right after the parents finished their martinis, around seven.

The cook was gone by 1959, so my mother had to make do--until I learned some basic cooking when I was eleven (along the lines of: put chicken pieces in pan, add salt and pepper and a pat of butter for each piece, stick in preheated 350-degree oven and cook for an hour or so.)

But the good life wasn't lost when my Irish grandmother married in 1918--this was a wedding gift from her employer.


LINDA:  I hadn't stopped to think about it, Krista. When my son was in school, we had a fairly regular schedule based partly on when my husband and I would get home from work, and later when my son had a part-time job, we tried to accommodate that, too. These days that I'm on my own, I do what I please, when I please. I  have a general morning routine of up and out walking before 7 AM for about 50 min. Then I eat breakfast whenever I feel like it. Sometimes it becomes brunch. My other meals of the day depend on what's happening that day. If my writing is going well, I'll eat when I feel I need a break. 

It's interesting to me that I can be so casual about meals, but I'm a stickler for being places on time. And, unfortunately at times, I expect others to be punctual also.

LESLIE: Isn't it interesting how those childhood schedules can still influence us? Like wanting school supplies and new clothes in September! Now that I no longer work in an office -- I do my legal work from my home writing office -- I tend to follow the dictates of my tummy. I do miss lunch out with work mates or other friends, though I do still meet a critique partner or other friends on occasion, and I always take myself out to lunch to celebrate when I finish a book.

Like Cleo, I also have a husband who works at home -- Mr. Right's acupuncture clinic is in our house. More than once, a patient has shown up early and he's had to stick his lunch in his desk drawer! We don't share breakfast and lunch during the week, but like Cleo and Marc, we consult during the day about dinner ideas, and meet to cook and enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. And I love our Sunday brunch ritual. Those rituals add an important rhythm to life, I think.

Needless to say, the cat's on a stricter schedule than I am!


PEG:  I'm on something of a schedule for breakfast and lunch during the week since I work but when I retire that very well may change.  Dinner is flexible but usually late--8:00 p.m. or so.  Growing up we ate "late" compared to the other families in our neighborhood--6:30 or later since that was when my father got home.  When hubby and I lived in NYC, no one went out to dinner before 8:00 p.m. and after we moved to the suburbs and had kids, we continued to eat late because I didn't even get home until almost 7:00 p.m.   Believe it or not, my (current) husband often "forgets" to eat lunch!  The other day he ate "lunch" at 4:00 p.m.!  I don't think we'll ever become those senior citizens who go out for the "early bird" special unless we plan on considering it lunch! 

Daryl:  I need my breakfast on time and I eat the same thing. That routine helps me start the day. Protein powder is involved. Otherwise I'll fade fast. Lunch is flexible. I do like small snacks at around 10:30 or 2:30, just to carry me through. Dinner is between 6 and 7 so I can watch the news.  But I'm flexible, there, too, because if I've been out and need to walk Sparky, then hours get pushed back. I record the news, just in case. The dog comes first. Now, does Sparky have a schedule? No, he does not. He might eat  breakfast. Or he'll pass and I have to refrigerate.  He will always eat dinner but he might stare at it for an hour before finally getting to it.  He's weird.  LOL 

What about you, Kitcheneers? Are you the kind of person who can actually forget to eat, or do you stick to a schedule? Leave a comment below, with your email address, for a chance to win these wonderful books:     

From Daryl: A Deadly Eclair, #1 in the French Bistro Mystery series.
From Sheila: A copy of The Lost Traveller (County Cork #7, 2019)
From Lucy: An advance reader's copy of A Deadly Feast, Key West mystery #9, coming May 7
From Krista: An advance reader's copy of The Diva Sweetens the Pie, Domestic Diva Mystery #12, coming April 30


Click to see more of our
upcoming releases.


  1. I never forget to eat, but have a varied schedule so don't have set times. I get up at 4:45 am but can't face food that early, so eat breakfast around 8:30 am. Lunch and supper as my schedule allows.

  2. Growing up, we ate all meals on a schedule. Now that it’s just me and my grown nephew, we eat breakfast and lunch at different times but usually eat dinner between 6:30 and 7:30. I usually wake up around 6 or 6:30 but don’t eat breakfast until 7:30. Lunch is usually between 12 and 1. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  3. When I was working I would forget to eat all the time. Now that I am staying at home I eat pretty close to a schedule. Thank you for this chance to win. 1cow0993(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Try to stay on schedule! I grew up in Iowa so we did have breakfast, dinner, and supper. We also went to bed early because we had chores to do in the morning before the bus came.

  5. This is so funny to me because I have put myself on a very strict schedule. I'm retired, living alone except for my pets. Actually they are the ones that have put me on the schedule and they sure let me know when it is supper time! jmpurcel at hotmail dot com.

    1. We swear our dog knows how to tell time! He gets breakfast when we get up but dinner is at 6:30 pm. He starts stalking me around 6:27 if I haven't made a move toward the kitchen. He does not adapt well to the time change! LOL.

  6. When I was a kid, we ate around 6 or 6:30 at night, because The Dad walked in the door around 5:30. Decades later, we eat our evening meal anywhere between 4pm and 6pm - and anything else is pretty much a crap shoot. Noshing is my favorite meal, I think. pjcoldren[at]tm[dot]net

  7. When I was a kid we ate at 6:30 so my Dad could get home from work and sit down for a few mi utes. When we eat with my Mom we usually eat dinner about 5:45 so she can take her pills when she needs to. If it’s just my boyfriend and I then we eat when we’re hungry.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  8. When I was growing up a schedule was important since family meals were eaten together, except lunch when we walked home from school. Now I eat when I want to.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Way back when families had a set schedule for breakfast, lunch and supper we would all gather together but now we eat whenever we feel like eating. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. Now that our kids are out on their own my husband & I eat whatever we want whenever we want

  11. I'm like Linda now -- no real schedule -- my husband and I are very casual about meals. Growing up, we always ate after my Dad got home from work and he and Mom had a cocktail (or two), so I guess about 6:30. When my daughter was growing up, we pretty much followed a schedule - it helped to have our day structured. Thanks so much for the wonderful giveaway!

  12. We are retired so we have a somewhat schedule of eating within a 30 minute either side. I would love to win these books from some of my favorite authors!

  13. Sadly I never forget to eat lol. I live alone though so I eat whenever I feel like it. I'm not a morning person so I do tend to have dinner late.

  14. Before I retired I was on a very stringent schedule. I was always early wherever I went and am still waiting he same way about promptness. I don't have a strict schedule anymore, as I eat when I am hungry and the rest of my schedule is more relaxed than it was!

  15. I tend to stick to a schedule--prevents overeating from being ravenously hungry.

  16. Intriguing.
    The main thing I remember growing up is eating breakfast (before catching the school bus) with my mother puffing away on a cigarette. It was "delightful" to have the smoke drifting by my face as I ate. Yuck!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  17. My only "scheduled" item is my morning alarm to let out my semi-feral kitties from their cage.

  18. I wish I would forget to eat sometime. We are not much for set times to eat in this household, and enjoy "breakfast" pretty much any time
    browninggloria(at) hotmail(dot) com

  19. I don't have scheduled meal times. When I cook I make enough for a couple of meals so I can just warm something up when I'm hungry. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  20. Breakfast is when the mood moves me from 7 AM til 10 AM. Dinner I'd with friends always at 4:15 PM start to the doing room for a lively and cheerful repast. ALWAYS FUN!! 😁

  21. We're kind of loosey-goosey at our house. Breakfast during the week, with everyone trying to get to work and school, is "if you can catch it, you can eat it". Lunch is based on break times at work and school, and dinner is whenever I get it fixed after I'm home. Breakfast on weekends may be a bit more involved, but it's still not on a real strict schedule. And if I'm home by myself (which almost never happens!), then yes, sometimes I do actually forget to eat.

    Thank you for the giveaway! bunkielisa (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. Growing up we had a pretty set schedule due to work & school. Now I just eat whenever, but I sometimes have to plan meals around work meetings. If things are really busy at work I do sometimes forget & don't eat lunch until closer to what would be considered dinner time.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  23. If I had my way I would eat when I get hungry, but because I live with my parents and are their caregiver my father has to eat by 5 every night. If it's 5:02 & dinner isn't on the table he throws a temper tantrum.

  24. I stick to a schedule especially for my breakfast since I have to take my thyroid meds on an empty stomach 1/2 hr to 1 hr before eating breakfast. As for other meals, it's whenever, especially lunch. Hubby and I like to eat dinner between 6 and 6:30 pm.

  25. I have gotten to where I am on a schedule. catlover0112 @ yahoo dot com

  26. My problem is not forgetting to eat but forgetting NOT to eat! LOL. But I try to stay on a schedule so I won't over eat. Vicki nvictoria77(at)yahoo(dot)com

  27. I don't have a strict schedule (other than during work hours), but I have certain things I try to do at certain times. For example, Saturday morning laundry. I think I'm able to be looser with my schedule now that my kids are older and I don't have to do taxi duty for sports/school activities.

  28. No schedule at our house except for the cat's breakfast. She wakes me up to get it.

  29. I don't really remember what our meal 'schedule' was growing up. Daddy was a truck driver, first short day trips, later long haul. But usually we ate noon dinner at my grandmother's after church.
    After marriage, hubby was career Air Force and I guess mostly breakfast was about same time each day, but he didn't want supper/dinner right when he got home so that varied. Second career was ministry -- church pastor. We certainly moved to varied meal times. Now retired, it is definitely meals all over the clock -- sometimes we really only eat one actual meal a day!
    The last few months however, we generally go out for Saturday breakfast. We've formed sort of a 'breakfast club' with daughter, granddaughter and daughter's friend ( & great-grandson and friend's boys on the weekend not with their daddys). We choose a new place to go, and meet about 9:30 am. Sometimes son-in-law gets to come also, or some other family or friends join us.

    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  30. I do actually forget to eat sometimes. I'm never really on a schedule, which is horrible for my kids because dinner is always at a different time.

  31. I could never forget to eat!!! That just amazes me! I really don't have a set schedule, that's the joy of adulthood. I usually don't have a breakfast of lunch, unless I go out with my husband on the weekend. I just eat when hungry. Dinner is almost always at 5 pm. We all work strange shifts,and my husband works till 7pm. I don't like eat that late, so I just make dinner and he eats when he gets home.. rockergoddess2002 at Yahoo dot com

  32. When my husband and were both working, breakfast was always around 5:15 or 5:30 am and supper was around 5:30 or 6 pm. Now that we are retired, breakfast is "on your own" as I don't care for breakfast and I kind of eat when I think about it or feel hungry. I usually have a glass of orange juice. Our noon meal is around 11:30 am and supper around 6 pm. It really does not bother us to get off schedule. We are flexible. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  33. Breakfast is when I get up and it is almost always oatmeal with honey..lunch is green grapes or some sort of snack and Dinner is a meat and two vegetables.I love fish so a lot of times it is salmon or tuna...and I always eat dinner between six and seven p.m. I think the other meals are more flexible and around coming and going of the day. Interesting topic...thank you for the chance.

  34. No set time for breakfast, lunch or dinner. When I was younger living at home there was more of a set time. Thanks for the chance to win.

  35. Our schedule has changed over the year. I can remember us working every odd job we could think of to make ends meet including weekends and holidays. Then it wasn't unusual to eat supper at 10 p.m. because it that was the time it was by the time we got home, cleaned up and meal prepared. My Mom, bless her heart, would say "I'd not eat that late" and I would tell her "Yes Mom you would if it was the only time you had to eat".

    Then after Dad died and Mom ended up living with us after cancer surgery and onset of Alzheimer, our schedule took a big change. We were more regimented with things having to be on a regular routine due to Mom's medication and to keep her from getting flustered. Hubby was still working so supper was at 6 giving him time to get home and unwind just a bit before hitting the dining room table. Then Mom progressed to where she had to be fed and that led to her eating first and getting her settled back in bed before we ate moving our meal back to like 7 p.m.

    After Mom went to her heavenly home, it was just hubby and I again. We downsized and moved to the Ozarks where we could enjoy the music on a regular bases Between wanting to be done with supper to hit the music concerts, finding it as we get older there is more reflux problems if we eat too close to bedtime and getting older to book, we now find it better to eat around 4. You know like the senior rate time at restaurants. Smart little boogers doing that at that time of day for all us old codgers. :) And now I think back to my Mom saying "I just couldn't eat at that time" and have a new respect for her comments from the past.

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win so many fabulous book by some of my favorite authors!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  36. I don’t have a set time anymore it used to be 5:00pm but I’m retired! Thank you for the chance

  37. Taylor R. WilliamsMarch 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    Some days I get too busy to eat more than once, other days it seems like i'm always hungry. Thanks for all the great recipes and contests. tr Williams 69 (at) msn (dot) com

  38. My Hubbie gets up a lot earlier than I do so we each eat breakfast on our own. I serve lunch and dinner whenever we are hungry!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  39. Breakfast was and still is about an hour after whenever I get up, which varies throughout the week, depending on my work schedule. When I was a kid, we ate when my dad came home from work...or my mom remembered it was time to eat. She would get lost tending her extensive garden. Dinner was mostly whenever whoever was hungry went and fixed themselves Here in Germany, dinner is only a big sit down together thing when you have guests. Typical family dinner is more often than not a sandwich with a cup of tea and some fruit. All you need for that is usually in the fridge, so you go and fix it. So it figures that I am pretty loose and flexible with meal times. brurasche (at) aol (dot) com

  40. Anonymous