Do you refer to the evening meal as dinner or supper? My custom was to call it supper and the noon meal dinner. That is the standard here. The noon meal is the largest and most filling so I guess it's proper to say dinner. Most of the meals take longer to finish than reason would allow. The delay in getting everybody served is the cause of this elongated mealtime. It takes an hour, usually, to finish. Sometimes it seems endless, but it does prevent overeating. That last bite that would make me overstuffed has time for consideration, and I usually don't take it.taste
A great deal of the mealtime conversation centers on the menu and recipes. Remember the school lunchroom? It's sort of like that. You may recognize what it is, but it's not the way Mama fixed it. And you don't have to clean your plate anymore. I keep peanut butter and jelly for emergencies.
Mealtimes also provide many opportunities for intellectual puzzles and word games. Trying to guess what will actually be on the plate with only the title of the dish on the menu may be very challenging. I have discovered one reason for this anomaly. The menus are dictated by the corporate office of the company which runs "the home," and they seem to be totally insensitive to the availability of local foods. I think the chef actually tries to make the food follow the menu and also taste good. Sometimes you have to choose one or the other.
Peanut butter and jelly is a good safety net.