Last night my honey and I attended the 50th anniversary Fancy-Schmancy Dinner of his workplace. The women in his department had been dithering for days on end about what they would wear, how they would find time to get a professional manicure for the occasion, etc. The men too were in a tizzy about dressing "right" for the occasion. This not being Halloween we opted to go as ourselves, he in a homespun homemade shirt and black twill pants, me in a homemade homespun dress. We gave our nod to the importance of the occasion by wearing our Sunday-go-to-meeting boots instead of Crocs. This is as fancy as we get anymore.

The evening was a "success", by which I mean everyone got to dress up and be as impressive as it is within their gifts to be. The speaker was quite good, informative, amusing and personable. Not a brow was lifted at our attire, by this time they are all used to our odd ways.

I did learn from the food that there's another area of Plain that interests me. It was a $$$ per plate occasion, and 'per plate' food is of course meant to be elegant and impressive. There were courses of this wrapped in that with a sauce of such and such, all listed in elegant script on a card at each place. Crisply clad waiters at the elbow to refill glasses and change empty plates for full ones. For what it was I would say those in charge did a fine job. Having been to these things before I was not uncomfortable at all, other than being a little bored at times, the sheer number of people there, and the background music, rather prohibited good conversation.

I suppose we'll have to go to another one of these things in 50 years. If we do I'll take along a sandwich in my purse.

I'd truly rather have had a quiet evening at home on the sofa, with a book and a good bowl of hearty soup.

Has Plain living affected anyone else's food preferences?

Views: 83

Comment by Elin Hagberg on 11th mo. 12, 2010 at 5:07pm
No, I can't say it has, but I have never liked food that is overworked and overly fancy but I do enjoy high-quality food cooked with love. I sometimes spend a lot on food but I think that good food is worth spending on and not wasteful at all. I rarely go to reastaurants and functions like the one you describe but if the food was good I would eat and enjoy it but we cook almost all meals at home. Food is necessary and sometimes good food is cheap but you should not substitute quality for a lower price.
Comment by Rosemary Gould on 11th mo. 13, 2010 at 10:18am
Yes, it has, very much so. The thing that has most changed my life is watching a dear Friend fulfill a lifelong dream and become a farmer with her husband (at 50, no less). We try to get as much of our food from her as we can--produce, herbs, goat milk and cheese, eggs, chicken, and occasionally pork. It has humbled me to see how hard they work (and think about what they're doing), how lovingly they care for their animals and their soil, what a beautiful place and work it is. Buying cheap food no longer feels "plain" to me, any more than buying cheap clothes made in a sweatshop would. Expensive food in and of itself also doesn't usually entail this kind of responsibility. Often a really expensive dinner means a fish that's being overharvested in South America or Hawaii and was flown here overnight, you know? But eating responsibly means expense and lots of work, that's for sure. I find it difficult.
Comment by Leslie Rodgers on 11th mo. 14, 2010 at 10:02am
We also prefer home cooked meals. The meat entree at this dinner was chicken breast stuffed with lobster,(certainly not local as we are in Indiana and have no ocean) which seemed to me wasteful in terms of animals consumed per meal. I don't eat shellfish so I opted for the vegetarian entree, which turned out to be eggplant stuffed with tofu. Neither eggplant nor tofu have much flavor themselves, and are usually cooked with something savory. In combining one bland food with another one ends up with an uninteresting dish indeed.
Thus my desire for a good bowl of homemade soup.

We're working toward eating local foods as much as possible. This is easier in summer when the garden is producing, less easy in winter, but our farmer's market now meets year round. They've been given indoors space at a local school gym two days a week. Eating consciously does indeed require work and expense. I tell myself the higher cost here of organic produce is offset by the amount of food we can grow ourselves. We have planted fruit trees which will someday produce apples, pears and peaches, I'm quite eager for that. We also have a small flock of laying hens who so far have given us enough eggs for our own use the year round and an abundance most of the year which we sell to pay for their grain. Raising the baby chicks was a lot of work, but caring for adult hens is not difficult.
We excell at planting gardens, but are not skillful at keeping deer out of them, so how much food there is to eat from the garden varies depending on whether we or the wildlife get to it first.
For me that is challenging. My goal is to become a good gardener....we've been blessed with plenty of land and I think if I didn't garden I would be an ungrateful piglet.
Comment by Debrah on 2nd mo. 28, 2011 at 3:30pm

Living in Pittsburgh, Pa. which is known as a "Meat and Potatoes" city at it's roots.  We all grew up with the 3 part plate. 1 meat, 1 starch, and 1 vegetable.  Sometimes a side salad in summer. And when times where good dessert. 


I must admit that I still cook that way today, the old 3-part plate. I really don't do fancy but I must say that I do enjoy doing pastries which  for me  is more of a creative art that I enjoy rather than cooking.

I have changed much over the years and now I find I have no need for the fancies. The simpler the better!


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