Dinner Or Supper In Big Sky Country? It Just Depends
Growing up in Montana, I was raised that your first meal of the day is breakfast, your second meal is dinner and your third meal is supper. Now, fast forward to 2023, when you say supper, not only do some people not know what you're talking about, they actually get a bit irritated that I would dare say supper instead of dinner.
(Remember, it was Eddie's Supper Club. The famous painting isn't The Last Dinner. Just sayin'.)
Where is the Term Supper Used the Most?
If you look up where the term supper is used the most, it's technically the Midwest. Montana is not considered the Midwest. So, why did I grow up hearing it so much?
It also appears that supper is used more by people involved in agriculture than town people, according to Ag Update. This actually makes a lot of sense to me. Most of the people who have dinner for lunch and supper for dinner are on a farm or ranch.
Supper Versus Dinner, technically
Dinner is defined as the largest meal of the day, typically eaten in the middle to late afternoon. Supper is defined as a lighter meal, like soup or sandwiches eaten later in the evening.
Let me tell you why I think I Grew Up Hearing Supper
On the farm my mom and I would get up and make a nice big breakfast for dad and the hired hand(s) probably around 5-6 am and they'd go out to the field. As soon as breakfast was cleaned up, we'd start dinner, probably at around 8ish in the morning. For dinner on the farm, we'd have what a lot of you have for supper. A typical dinner would be a roast, mashed potatoes, a veggie, some rolls or bread and some kind of small dessert. Supper would be started by around 2-3pm, and it was a lot lighter than dinner. That would be when we'd do sandwiches and chips and things like that, IF we served them a light meal like that at all. Especially at harvest, those guys need a lot of calories to make it through a 10-14 hour day, so they were high protein high carb meals most of the time.
The TOTAL definition of supper versus dinner right there. You give them high calorie meals in the middle of the day so they can do the hard work that needs to be done. I will admit that supper is mostly used by the older people in my family and the people they raised.
In summary, in Montana, it is NOT strange to use dinner for lunch and supper for dinner. You just need to learn the lingo of your farm and ranch friends.
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