Dating practices in the european colonies

Throughout the seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century it was served in the "hall" or "common room." ..While dinner among the affluent merchants in the North took place shortly after noon, the Southern planters enjoyed their dinner as late as bubbling stews were carried into the fields to feed the slaves and laborers...In the early settlements, poor families ate from trenchers filled from a common stew pot, with a bowl of coars salt the only table adornment.The earliest trenchers in America, as in the Middle Ages, were probably made from slabs of stale bread which were either eaten with the meal or thrown after use to the domestic animals.The first course included several meats plus meat puddings and/or deep meat pies containing fruits and spices, pancakes and fritters, and the ever-present side dishes of sauces, pickles and catsups...Soups seem to have been served before of in conjunction with the first course. An assortment of fresh, cooked, or dried fruits, custards, tarts and sweetmeats was usually available.An everyday meal might feature only one or two meats with a pudding, tarts, and vegetables...The different betweeen the more prosperous households and more modest ones might be in the quality and quantity of the meat served...

Breakfast was taken early if you were poor, later if you were rich. "Most New Englanders had a simple diet, their soil and climates allowing limited varieties of fruits and vegetables.In the towns, the usual mug of alcoholic beverage consumed upon rising was followed by cornmeal mush and molasses with more cider or beer.By the nineteenth century, breakfast was served as late a 9 or 10 o'clock.The stoic early settlers rose early and went straight to the chores that demanded their attention.In frontier outposts and on farms, families drank cider or beer and gulped down a bowl of porridge that had been cooking slowly all night over the embers...

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