Thursday, 25 June 2015


If you were born (like the subject of the story in Life 17 - The Inexorable Tide of Dinner) in 1947, and were married in 1965. If you then had your first baby in 1966, your second baby in 1968, and your third baby in 1970, and, supposing you were responsible for 3 meals a day (including breakfasts, packed lunches, cooked dinners, picnics, birthday celebrations, dinner parties, invalid meals, sudden arrivals, friends and family, and holiday masterpieces over camp stoves), you will have cooked: 273,050 meals.

I've allowed for your children leaving home at 20 and the occasional illness and meals out.  Well done you, that's a lot of dinners. I think you deserve a medal if no one else does!!


  1. That's an awful lot of cooking!! And washing up!! And putting the plates away!! And then there's peeling the potatoes. Feeling quite faint. Need to have a lie down!

  2. I periodically think about how much work was involved on my mother's end when it came to the daily job of taking care of 5 kids - the meals being just one part, but a big part. I had 4 older brothers and remember the weekly trips to the grocery store, filling up two carts to near overflowing and often putting the total "on account" to be paid later. Of course, us kids pitched in with some of the meal-making and clean-up but basically, mom shouldered the load. What I didn't understand until I was older was how much more of a load this was when company came (expected or not) or dad decided to take us camping over a weekend, or even just to the lake for a picnic. Then her prep might go on for several days beforehand, and be more difficult to pull off those meals in the great outdoors under less than optimal cooking conditions. But she loved having company and those camping trips/picnics and didn't seem to mind the extra work. As for those brothers of mine, it was amazing what they could gobble down, and if anyone suggested they didn't like what was on the table, or asked her for something between meals, she'd counter with a quick, "What do you think I am, a short order cook?" That put us in our place ASAP! It's amazing that I didn't see her out of sorts very often. You are right - medals all round!

    BTW - she was married in 1938 with the first child coming the same year, then 1942, 1943, 1947 and finally me in 1953. With that kind of age gap, I was the last one out when I left for college in 1971, although I really wasn't totally gone from home until 1975. What a long haul! But I know she never regretted it. Nor fixing us all those dinners...