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Is this an English thing?

(73 Posts)
HereForTheLineEyes Fri 02-Nov-18 15:24:04

The only people I have ever come across who make 2 different dinners a night (one at 5ish for DC and one at 8/9pm for the parents) are English.

Do you do this or know anyone who does? Each to their own, but shopping for, prepping, cooking, serving up and cleaning away 2 dinners a night seems like madness to me.

planechocolate Fri 02-Nov-18 15:25:44

Well I had to do that when dc were small, so they ate at a sensible time. They were long asleep in bed when dh came home at 9.30 from work.

HereForTheLineEyes Fri 02-Nov-18 15:27:40

I'd be starving/half asleep by 9.30. Think I'd just keep DH a plate. But that's me prioritising my tummy over my DH grin

chillipophey Fri 02-Nov-18 15:33:18

Depends on what time your kids go to bed and what time you get home from work I suppose!
My dh gets back about 6.30, the kids eat slowly and messily so I do their dinner about half 5 and clear up and then me and dh normally eat around 8 once they're in bed.

HereForTheLineEyes Fri 02-Nov-18 15:36:44

Maybe not just an English thing then! When I was a child we had dinner at 5 and ate as a family (step-dad ran a business from home). So I suppose even if we eat dinner at 6 I feel like it's kind of late. Luckily my DH works from home, so when he downs tools at 5/5.30 we can eat dinner right away.

FreeButtonBee Fri 02-Nov-18 15:38:48

My parents didn't do it growing up but it does happen during the week as I am not home until 6.30 and I have under 6s who couldn't wait that long.

At the weekend/on holiday, we make a concerted effort to eat lunch together every day and dinner on a Sunday (reserving the right to have steak and chips and a bottle of red wine at 9pm on a Saturday night with DH!). It's important to eat together, even if there are variations on what we all eat to account for fussiness.

JaneJeffer Fri 02-Nov-18 15:38:48

There's no way I'm making two dinners!

chillipophey Fri 02-Nov-18 15:39:25

I'd love that, I'd much prefer to all eat together! But I think it's rare for people to be home that early, my dh commutes an hour to work.

FreeButtonBee Fri 02-Nov-18 15:40:07

Should add I grew up in NI and now live in London.

I do remember one friend's family doing kids tea and then grown up dinner later when I was growing up but they were full on slightly strange Presbyterians!

ClaudiaWankleman Fri 02-Nov-18 15:40:19

Why on earth would this be an English thing?

chillipophey Fri 02-Nov-18 15:40:30

Yes always eat together at the weekend too. Unless we want a takeaway 

PinkCalluna Fri 02-Nov-18 15:41:04

I’m Scottish and I don’t do it but I know people who do. It isn’t an English thing.

Raydan Fri 02-Nov-18 15:42:35

I finf it strange that you want to categorise people over something so trivial.

I'm Irish, have lived in the UK for long stretches and I'm not aware of this being an "English" thing.

TheVonTrappFamilySwingers Fri 02-Nov-18 15:53:11

Aren't you just lucky, OP, that you're DH works from home and can be ready to eat dinner at 5.30. That reality doesn't exist for many families. My DH is home by 7 if we're lucky. When the kids were younger they would never have held on until then. I try to make a meal I can serve twice eg bolognaise in the slow cooker and cook spaghetti when it's needed for kids then us later. At weekends we eat all together. It has shit all to do with being 'English.' 

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours Fri 02-Nov-18 15:55:05

I have done it, mainly when the children were very small and depending when dh was home for the day.

I might do nursery tea for them because a) they just wouldn't last until dh and I were ready to eat, and b)dh and I were going to have something else and try and remember our lives pre beans on toast or macaroni cheese, and they could be tucked up in bed and I could pretend to be a grown up person

Equally I might eat with them and make something later for dh if he was going to be very late.

But once they were big enough not to starve to death between home time and a decent meal time then we'd all eat the same thing and dh would be there or eat his later.

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours Fri 02-Nov-18 15:56:26

oh and missing the point...I am scottish, raised mostly in SWEngland but children were all born ( and we still live) in Scotland now.

NotUmbongoUnchained Fri 02-Nov-18 15:57:38

I’m not Irish but I’m not English! I do find food habits very strange here though!

LadyMonicaBaddingham Fri 02-Nov-18 15:57:42

My DB and SIL do this. Their children are appalling eaters, spend all day eating a couple of bites of various snack stuff which is unfailingly replaced with something different as soon as they say they don't want it. Then they have a few bites of crappy processed food at about five. And then loads of sweets and crisps before bed.

DB and SIL then eat later in the evening, while being constantly disturbed by their children who are also dreadful sleepers.

It doesn't seem like a very happy life...

BishBoshBashBop Fri 02-Nov-18 16:00:34

Why would you think its an English thing?

I don't know anyone that does it.

HereForTheLineEyes Fri 02-Nov-18 16:00:55

claudia the only 3 people I know who do this in RL are English. I was just trying to establish if it was a coincidence . After reading the replies I think it is!

Also thinking about it I grew up around, and am still surrounded by farming families, lots of them come in for dinner at 5 and then head back out to finish farming. I suppose they work from home in a way too.

Yes thevonntrapp, that's why I said "luckily". I really do appreciate he is home particularly early.

missyB1 Fri 02-Nov-18 16:01:33

Had to do it when ds was younger - up to about 7 years. Dh often isn't home till about 8pm. Now ds is old enough to eat with us.

chillipophey Fri 02-Nov-18 16:01:47

WARNING everyone, a perfect parent has joined the thread

HereForTheLineEyes Fri 02-Nov-18 16:04:08

Amongst the people I know in RL they tend to either move dinner later to 6.30ish or keep the late home partner a plate. It's generally all the same food eaten though.

Similarly to ladymonica the people I know serving 2 separate dinners tend to do beige heated up in the oven stuff at 5 and then more meat and two veg fair at 8/9. Literally two entirely separate meals and cooking.

PinkCalluna Fri 02-Nov-18 16:06:09

Why on earth would this be an English thing?

Because occasionally through the power on MN you discover interesting things that are done differently in different part of the country. The OP was just wondering if her very small sample size was accurate or not.

I didn’t realise until my sister had an English boyfriend that some people go to bed after the bells on Hogmanay. It was a revelation.

My English colleagues had no idea until they started working with me why we all have the 2nd of January as a bank holiday in Scotland or what a ceilidh was or that we celebrate Burns night. Or the word outwith.

It’s interesting to find differences that’s all.

HereForTheLineEyes Fri 02-Nov-18 16:06:35

Am I the perfect parent chilli? If anything I think I'm a bit lazy because if rather cook one pot of stew than two separate meals! grin

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