Food for Thought: What time do you eat dinner? | KNKX

Food for Thought: What time do you eat dinner?

May 29, 2019

In a recent New Yorker Annals of Gastronomy article, Lauren Collins disagrees with Fresh Air's Terry Gross on the best way to start a conversation. Gross says it's "Tell me about yourself." Collins thinks the best ice breaker is "What time do you eat dinner?"

When I mentioned this to Nancy Leson, she said "Sounds like a Food for Thought to me."  

Nancy couldn't believe how early chow time is for DeGroot and me. I start thinking about what I'll cook for dinner early in the day and usually have it on the table (OK, counter) by 4:30.

I think Nancy's dinner time is way too late. "Generally speaking, the dinner portion occurs sometime between 6:30 and 7," she says.  "But there's the cocktail hour portion beforehand." So roughly two hours for dinner at Chez Leson.

If you think Mya-Kai is smiling now, wait till she polishes off the rest of that wine.
Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX

Thinking that unusual hours would mean unusual dinnertimes, I checked with our morning and evening news magazine hosts. Morning Edition's Kirsten Kendrick has to be in the studio by 4:30 a.m., so I assumed she'd be eating a very early dinner.

Kirsten explained that now, during baseball season with a son playing on two teams and a husband coaching one, dinner is "Hit or miss... it just really depends on the times of the games." On non-game days, her dinnertime was surprisingly normal. "When we sit down as a family, I'd say around 6 o'clock."

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco eats a bit later. "If I make dinner I'm not eating till about 8 o'clock. And sometimes if I'm working late, if there's news late into the night, I'll eat dinner right in the booth. Don't tell the engineers." Sorry Ed, now they know all.

"Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying."– Fran Lebowitz