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Eating while watching TV

mels88 Apr 4, 2009 06:45 PM

Does it make your meal more enjoyable or does it distract you from your food? What about eating while watching cooking shows?

Somehow it makes my food taste that much better or not taste good at all! I just thought I'd mention it cause I'm watching Hell's Kitchen. =)

  1. a
    Alica Apr 4, 2009 06:53 PM

    I cannot do subtitles during dinner, Food comes first! I love watching food tv on Saturdays while on the treadmill, i always get great dinner ideas and often make them that night! What did we do before food tv?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alica
      coll Apr 7, 2009 01:23 PM

      We got recipes from friends, magazines and newspapers.

      1. re: coll
        a
        Alica Apr 9, 2009 02:47 PM

        I know! I was just kidding! We also waited until we got home to make a phone call, sent more letters, saw people face to face, great point!
        I do enjoy my cell phone, my computer, my food tv, etc.. I guess it is the way of the world!

    2. l
      Lucia Apr 4, 2009 06:58 PM

      At home I always eat in front of the TV. It definitely distracts from my food, but, truth be told, when at home and left to my own devices, the food I eat isn't too deserving of concentration.

      1. kchurchill5 Apr 4, 2009 07:07 PM

        At home my TV is always on, maybe just a background noise, it depends. Weather channel, food network. I just like noise. I am not comfortable in silence it bothers me. Alone, yes I sit in front of the TV, with company it depends. If a game is on I may have it on, otherwise with company or a dinner party probably not, but at least music. It would depend on the company. and what they like.

        As far as distracting. Food is good but TV is certainly not going to distract me. Besides. I love a good meal, but food is not that important, nor is TV. I can do both at the same time.

        1. m
          melly Apr 4, 2009 11:24 PM

          I eat more when I watch tv during dinner.

          1. flylice2x Apr 4, 2009 11:42 PM

            Watch TV when I only eat alone. If family is there we sit a the dining table and have conversations over our meal. The meal is most enjoyable with family even if it is leftovers....

            1 Reply
            1. re: flylice2x
              Kajikit Apr 5, 2009 05:07 AM

              If I was having guests for dinner the tv would be OFF and the cd player would be on for background music... but when it's just me and DH, the tv is on all the time (actually he's one of those people who wants the darned thing on 24/7!) It doesn't spoil my dinner, most of the time I just tune it out entirely unless it's something that I wanted to watch.

            2. im_nomad Apr 5, 2009 06:38 AM

              i'm horrible for doing this, in fact worse. I have perfected eating over my laptop :) and sometimes, also while the TV is on. I'm a multi-slacker.

              as you can tell, I live alone. I eat at the table when I have company over.

              4 Replies
              1. re: im_nomad
                mcel215 Apr 6, 2009 02:54 AM

                Ditto here.

                1. re: im_nomad
                  kchurchill5 Apr 6, 2009 08:09 AM

                  Ditto as well. I may be at home or at work, so I never know where I will eat. Company, that is different but again, usually TV, sports if something is one or a CD, background noise. I can't live in silence. Drives me nuts.

                  1. re: im_nomad
                    Boudleaux Apr 6, 2009 08:13 PM

                    A multi-slacker! I love that. Me too. I even manage to fend off kittens trying to sniff/taste my food while doing all of that.

                    1. re: Boudleaux
                      kchurchill5 Apr 7, 2009 06:51 AM

                      3 cats, who thinks my dinner should be theirs. I know the feeling.

                  2. l
                    Linda VH Apr 5, 2009 08:29 AM

                    DH and I would always watch Cash Cab when eating (early, of course) with our g-son who is now 12. He turned us on to the show and has learned alot from it - me too lol!!! If I am alone I have the TV on and am reading a book as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Linda VH
                      rockandroller1 Apr 6, 2009 12:28 PM

                      We eating watching Cash Cab too! Either that or Jeopardy.

                      1. re: rockandroller1
                        kattyeyes Apr 6, 2009 07:19 PM

                        Jeopardy then House Hunters here. Dinner usually bridges both shows. ;)

                    2. Candy Apr 5, 2009 08:33 AM

                      If I am home alone the television is rarely on. I will turn it on in the AM while dressing and getting ready for work to catch the news and weather. The minute DH walks into the house it goes on. His parents were the same way, his mother still is. If eating by myself I tend to read. The only time the damned box is turned off at meal times is if there are guests

                      1. tracylee Apr 5, 2009 05:54 PM

                        We don't have a TV, but my SO will eat in front of the laptop. We have a cat who feels that if I'm sitting in the living room eating, the food's fair game, so I eat with something to read, if conversation with SO isn't available.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: tracylee
                          kchurchill5 Apr 5, 2009 06:27 PM

                          My tv is on almost 24/7, not that I watch it but background noise. I hate radio so I put various stations on. I honestly couldn't live without it. But most days I'm not home during the day but when I am it is on. Spoiled maybe but I just like the background noise.

                          1. re: kchurchill5
                            k
                            KevinB Apr 12, 2009 04:56 AM

                            I have the TV on a lot as well, not so much as background noise but as an "Early Warning" system. If, for example, Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy! is on, I can be pretty sure that nothing imminent and terrible is happening. This lets me enjoy my dinner in peace.

                            1. re: KevinB
                              c oliver Apr 12, 2009 07:47 AM

                              That is hysterical! I do the same thing first thing in the mornng on the internet. If the lead story is benign, I can relax for a while.

                        2. s
                          Smorgasbord Apr 5, 2009 08:38 PM

                          I just can't eat while watching TV. I don't multitask well, and when I've cooked something I want to pay attention to it while I eat it instead of absentmindedly having it disappear and realizing I didn't even remember eating it. It's the same reason I don't answer the phone or speak to my SO when watching Lost :-)

                          While I don't eat while watching cooking shows, our ritual at home is to eat dinner, then watch "Chef at Home" to get a recipe idea for the next week. And no matter how full I am, watching cooking shows always makes me hungry again!

                          1. l
                            LJS Apr 5, 2009 08:44 PM

                            Well, I tell myself that it doesn't matter that the TV is on at those times when I indulge in dinner at the same time. But I have discovered that my plate mysteriously got emptied and I didn't notice!

                            1. u
                              umbushi plum Apr 5, 2009 09:18 PM

                              i probably don't watch tv when i eat ever, but i can't watch tv by myself for some reason, i would prefer to read or go bike riding when i am alone. So when there are people around i eat at the table with them. ;-) , but i probably unless it was a cooking show would think it would take away from a meal, mostly because i can't eat unless i am sitting down, relaxed and focused i have been this way since i was little (unless famished of course!)

                              1. g
                                givemecarbs Apr 6, 2009 01:58 AM

                                I never watch tv while I eat, I think it takes away from the food. Some people I know always watch the news while they eat, I don't know how they can bear to. I try to avoid restaurants with tvs on if possible. That is getting harder these days but I'm eating at home more and more anyway.

                                1. hotoynoodle Apr 6, 2009 06:39 AM

                                  if i'm alone i will sometimes eat and watch tv. with anybody else, i hate the tv on. when i have people over, i only play music.

                                  come to think of it though, cooking shows (like hell's kitchen, which i couldn't tolerate even one episode) might be a good diet plan for me. they'd make me too pissed off to eat!

                                  1. chicgail Apr 6, 2009 06:44 AM

                                    I once heard that it's ok to watch TV (or read) while you eat. It's a problem when you eat while you watch TV (or read). The distinction being that it's unconscious eating that you want to avoid.

                                    1. cuccubear Apr 6, 2009 06:54 AM

                                      The SO and I eat meals at the kitchen table every night, no tv, no radio. With rare exception do we eat in front of the tv, too messy for the furniture or rugs. Eating alone, I still eat at the table.

                                      1. cassoulady Apr 6, 2009 06:59 AM

                                        I have a satellitle radio in the kitchen, so we listen to music while we eat but never tv. even if I wanted to, the tv is upstairs and I cant imagine taking plates upstairs. We eat at the table, just music. If i am alone, i still eat at the table but may read the paper or a magazine while I eat.

                                        1. h
                                          HillJ Apr 6, 2009 07:00 AM

                                          Weekends when my family is altogether, we'll pop in a DVD and watch a movie with dinner. The family room & kitchen are basically sharing the same space anyway. But during the week we listen to the radio/a CD, thru a Bose system near the kitchen desk, during dinner. We keep the volume low in both scenarios in order to hear each other speak but I would say it's pretty rare when we don't have some form of background entertainment going during a meal.

                                          1. MMRuth Apr 6, 2009 07:14 AM

                                            I'd say that about 98% of the time we eat at the dining room table, listening to music. The TV is in the bedroom and, on occasion (Superbowl comes to mind), we'll eat a light supper in the bedroom. Every once and awhile we'll eat in the living room - if it's something that doesn't need really need silverware, such as a seafood plateau or something like that - nice to eat in front of the fireplace. Since we have a dog, the latter two options are exercises in keeping the dog away from the food, so the dining room table is easier.

                                            22 Replies
                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                              c oliver Apr 6, 2009 12:36 PM

                                              What's a seafood plateau???

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                s
                                                small h Apr 6, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                This:

                                                http://www.latimes.com/features/print...

                                                So pretty!

                                                1. re: small h
                                                  c oliver Apr 6, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                  Oh, wow!!!!!!!!! Just from the name I had a feeling it might be something like that. Let's make a reservation at MMRuth's, ok???

                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                    MMRuth Apr 6, 2009 05:04 PM

                                                    I don't have a fancy plateau thing though - I just poach shrimp, get clams and oysters on the half shell from the seafood market, and make two sauces from the Balthazar cookbook - mignonette and a mayonnaisy/tomato/tarragon one. Sometimes I get sea urchin for my husband as well.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      s
                                                      small h Apr 6, 2009 05:22 PM

                                                      We're coming over anyway. I'll make you a fancy plateau thing out of two seder plates, a handful of chopsticks and some gum. Deal?

                                                      1. re: small h
                                                        c oliver Apr 6, 2009 05:32 PM

                                                        So are you a professional juggler?!?

                                                      2. re: MMRuth
                                                        cassoulady Apr 8, 2009 02:01 PM

                                                        MMRuth, do you shuck your own oysters or does the fish monger do it for you? I have a bit of fear of doing it for fear of slicing open my hand.

                                                        1. re: cassoulady
                                                          Passadumkeg Apr 8, 2009 03:04 PM

                                                          Use a dull shucking knife.

                                                          1. re: cassoulady
                                                            MMRuth Apr 8, 2009 03:05 PM

                                                            The fishmonger does it. Costs maybe $2 more per dozen, but worth it. My husband has tried to be macho and ordered 3 dozen unshucked. We had to pitch them all.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                              coll Apr 9, 2009 02:48 AM

                                                              Microwave for 10 seconds, then they pop right open with the knife. Great trick I learned from a fisherman. Do it one at a time by the way.

                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                c oliver Apr 9, 2009 07:25 AM

                                                                Wow. And they don't get warm? I wouldn't like warm :(

                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                  coll Apr 9, 2009 07:52 AM

                                                                  No it doesn't really cook them, just relaxes them a bit.

                                                                2. re: coll
                                                                  MMRuth Apr 9, 2009 07:45 AM

                                                                  Great trick, but I don't have a microwave.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 9, 2009 08:11 AM

                                                                    No way! What are you, Alice Waters? ;) Totally just kidding! Am guessing it's a space issue, right?

                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                      MMRuth Apr 9, 2009 08:18 AM

                                                                      Right - I don't have room for one and don't own one to put it anywhere. When I lived in DC, there was one built in above the stove, and I used it to heat up leftovers, melt/soften butter, and that is about it - oh maybe to thaw things. I rarely miss it though - I heat up leftovers on the stove top, I melt butter on the stove top, or, if I have the oven on already for something else, I put it in a ramekin and stick in in the oven for a couple of minutes, and for thawing, well, I just plan ahead.

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                        hotoynoodle Apr 9, 2009 09:10 AM

                                                                        lol. i thought i was the only person who didn't own a microwave!

                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                          greedygirl Apr 9, 2009 11:47 AM

                                                                          I don't have one either.

                                                                    2. re: MMRuth
                                                                      b
                                                                      Bobfrmia Apr 10, 2009 08:06 PM

                                                                      I couldn't live without my microwave. I have a cup of coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I can make two cups on Saturday, and just nuke the one cup on Sunday.
                                                                      I guess really, I could live without a microwave.

                                                                      1. re: Bobfrmia
                                                                        kchurchill5 Apr 11, 2009 06:03 AM

                                                                        leftover coffee?

                                                                        I make fresh ground coffee every am, just 2 cups, I large one for me. Never nuke coffee, but I certainly couldn't live without my micro. I don't COOK meals but reheat, love leftovers, defrost, boil water when I need a small amount. melt butter when I need it just to add it to something. Lots of easy things.

                                                                        1. re: Bobfrmia
                                                                          linguafood Apr 12, 2009 09:34 AM

                                                                          ew. leftover AND a day old...

                                                        2. re: MMRuth
                                                          MMRuth Apr 7, 2009 10:58 AM

                                                          I should add that when my husband is travelling, I do eat in front of the TV, while sitting on the bed, no less. And it is often food that I have had delivered.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                            mels88 Apr 7, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                            I love getting Chinese food or pizza delivered =D Delivery's the best sometimes

                                                        3. kchurchill5 Apr 6, 2009 08:14 AM

                                                          I have a medium size apartment but small compared to my house I had. We had a TV on our lanai (FL), one in each bedroom (4), one in the family room and with the kitchen open to the family room , everyone just gathered together. I was cozy and casual and fun. The guys could watch sports, the girls talk, still have music on and on the lanai with the game on and everyone was happy. I like my dinners to be very open and relaxing and nothing structured.

                                                          1. amethiste Apr 6, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                            I grew up watching tv at family meals. My Mom and Dad would sit at either side of the dining room table. I would sit at the head of the table and the black and white tv would be placed at the other end on the table. I can't imagine eating a meal without the tv on.

                                                            Now I usually eat dinner while surfing the internet and watching tv.

                                                            1. sebetti Apr 6, 2009 12:27 PM

                                                              I guess this is proof of how shallow I am, but Dang! If I'm going to go through all of the effort to create a nice meal -- especially on a busy weeknight, I want people to pay attention to the food!

                                                              There's nothing wrong with pizza in front of the TV or a movie night, but in general I find the TV too distracting during meals, it's simply too hard to have a complete conversation.

                                                              Conversely, if I'm alone, I'll always read or watch TV.

                                                              1. z
                                                                ziggylu Apr 6, 2009 03:40 PM

                                                                Growing up the TV had to be off at dinner and I've lived by that for most of my life, at least when eating with others. Also, having battle with weight issues for much of my life, I try not to eat absentmindedly in front of the television.

                                                                That said, now that I'm back in school my husband and I have gotten in the bad habit of eating while watcihng television. I think this is a combination of our meals getting much simpler than when I had a lot more time on my hands(omelets are often our dinner these days) and our dinnertime has shifted into primetime from earlier in the evening with schedule changes(For much of the last ten years I was a part-time employed housewife so could usually have dinner ready to go when hubby got home).

                                                                We were talking about this over the weekend actually and agreeing we need to get back into the habit of eating at the table together away from the television.

                                                                1. Passadumkeg Apr 6, 2009 05:59 PM

                                                                  Never, never eat w/ TV; always by candle light. Life is short and then we die, My time is too precious to waste on the boob tube. With the switch over to digital, we are down to 2 channels. Don't miss it.
                                                                  So much to do; so little time.
                                                                  Sorry, I just don't care for it.
                                                                  There is a full moon this week. Turn off the tube and take someone special for a walk by moon light.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                    c oliver Apr 6, 2009 06:02 PM

                                                                    I continue to be impressed with what a nice person you are.

                                                                  2. jillp Apr 6, 2009 06:08 PM

                                                                    No television with dinner, but we usually read at the table, if it's just the two of us.

                                                                    1. cayjohan Apr 6, 2009 07:11 PM

                                                                      TV and food don't usually go together in this household, but please don't read in any self-imposed moral superiority! We're just waaaay too talkative a family to even bother. Dinnertime is a pretty lively affair, and TV would just be drowned out by the pontificating and debating (we only have TV in the living room - no kitchen or dining room screens, so that helps make the decision). Alone, I will often listen to NPR, as I am a radio person more than a screen person.

                                                                      Now the exception that proves the rule is Saturday mornings. The Hub and I settle in to watch the PBS cooking show line-up and all bets are off. So very hunger (no, make that *appetite*) inducing! We often plan for a plate of Saturday snacks just for the sudden urges that come on during the lineup. (Hey it's like Saturday morning cartoons with Coco-Puffs as a kid!) I cannot believe the stupid things I have eaten on Saturday morning just because Pepin or Andres or Bayless whipped up some appetite in my small reptilian brain!

                                                                      On the whole, I think TV and dining should not mix. It's an issue of paying attention to things for me. But not on Saturday mornings! :-)

                                                                      Cay

                                                                      1. podunkboy Apr 6, 2009 08:14 PM

                                                                        Unless it's a really big game or I'm home eating lunch by myself, I eat my meals at the table in the kitchen, with no access to the TV. I'm not anti-TV or elitist, I just try to schedule meal-time when there's nothing good to watch...er, I mean I consider dining to be an important social experience to interact with my family and friends.

                                                                        1. q
                                                                          queencru Apr 7, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                          I live alone, so I often watch TV during dinner. I don't really want it on when I have guests over, but for some reason the guests I invite all seem to view the TV as an essential element to the eating process. My parents were TV on people as well- typically the news, but it may be something else on the weekend or if they eat later than 7.

                                                                          29 Replies
                                                                          1. re: queencru
                                                                            kchurchill5 Apr 7, 2009 11:04 AM

                                                                            Mine do too usually, I offer yes or no and then usually the TV end on. If they are happy fine. I invited them and want them to relax and enjoy.

                                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                              MMRuth Apr 7, 2009 11:32 AM

                                                                              So, during the meal, is everyone watching the TV, or is there conversation? It's hard for me to imagine inviting people to dinner and then all watching television. For me, it's a chance to catch up with friends, etc. And, don't get me wrong, I watch a lot of TV, and crap TV (Gossip Girls, Real Housewives of NYC).

                                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                c oliver Apr 7, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                                                You responded before I did. Unless people were invited over to watch a game, it would never be an option to watch tv. Never. I want my friends ot have a great time - and I think they do - but if they require tv in order to do that, well, maybe they're not having such a good time :( And I'm no tv snob either. While watching is on my list of things to do, it's quite a ways down the list. And when i/we're not actively watching it, it's turned off. I like/love/crave silence!

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                  kchurchill5 Apr 8, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                                                  TV is just a background noise, we are all talking. Not watching it but it is on. To me you don't have to watch it just because it is on. But if a good game is on. Of course we are watching it.

                                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                    MMRuth Apr 8, 2009 11:20 AM

                                                                                    Thanks - I was just curious. For me, I prefer music in the background when eating.

                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                      kchurchill5 Apr 8, 2009 12:12 PM

                                                                                      It's bad I know. I always have the TV in the house 24/7. Honest when I'm home all day. Even when working I always have radio or TV on in the background. Just how I grew up, but we still talk during dinner. Unless a good game in on the tube. Sometimes I do it when alone in front of the TV on in front of my computer, but with company no. I try for music but most always ask if something is on TV so it goes on.

                                                                                      1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                        hotoynoodle Apr 9, 2009 07:45 AM

                                                                                        i never understand why people *need* background noise. there is a thing called selective concentration. you may not be aware of doing it, but a part of your brain is choosing to either ignore or listen to the sounds.

                                                                                        perhaps because i live in the city, i really appreciate quiet time at home. as other posters mentioned, when i'm dining with others, it's our time to catch up -- not have talking heads or nonsense blathering in the background.

                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                          kchurchill5 Apr 9, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                                                          I still enjoy TV on and most of my friends do as well. In fact that usually ask me to put it on. We still manage to catch up and TV doesn't bother any of us. In fact many times we may talk about something that is on the tube and enjoy having it on.

                                                                                          Maybe just how I grew up.

                                                                                          1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                            c oliver Apr 9, 2009 10:21 AM

                                                                                            For some people, I think it may take some practice and discipline to learn to become quieter. It's a good habit to have. Restores the spirit. At least that's how I feel. I'm an extreme extrovert but crave quiet time. And the last thing I want to talk to my friends about - ever - is something we've seen on tv.

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                              Passadumkeg Apr 9, 2009 03:18 PM

                                                                                              I play Latin dance music when I cook, but cool jazz or something mellow/romantic when we dine. In the early 70's I blew up and away a $5 TV w/ a 12 ga. shotgun; just to watch it die. Kill your TV.

                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                s
                                                                                                small h Apr 10, 2009 05:50 AM

                                                                                                I would've used the $5 tv to smash up the shotgun. Chacun a sa violence!

                                                                                                1. re: small h
                                                                                                  kattyeyes Apr 10, 2009 05:54 AM

                                                                                                  Oui, j'agree. ;)

                                                                                                  1. re: small h
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Apr 10, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                                                                    The shotgun is my organic food source. I hope you are a vegetarian.

                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      small h Apr 10, 2009 09:02 AM

                                                                                                      I eat fish, but no meat or poultry. Your hope is realized, I hope.

                                                                                                      1. re: small h
                                                                                                        kattyeyes Apr 10, 2009 09:08 AM

                                                                                                        Well, there's that expression "like shooting fish in a barrel," right? I am totally just kidding. ;)

                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                          small h Apr 10, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                                                          The last thing I want to do is spend my valuable tv time picking shotgun pellets out of a fish! I never quite understood that expression, although it IS really easy to take candy from a baby.

                                                                                                2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  q
                                                                                                  queencru Apr 10, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                                                                  I'm not sure what having a TV on during dinner has to do with whether a person is loud or quiet. If TV does not bother anyone, then I see no problem with having it on. I can't say I really think it affects the quality of the conversation.

                                                                                                  1. re: queencru
                                                                                                    c oliver Apr 10, 2009 07:25 AM

                                                                                                    I was more describing *internal* quiet. I describe myself as having Busy Brain Syndrome :) If the tv isn't effecting the quality of the conversation, then why have it on at all? It just doesn't happen at my house when guests are here.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                      HillJ Apr 10, 2009 07:57 AM

                                                                                                      Unless you're having lunch & a movie with friends in the comfort of your own family room. My gal pals and I try to get together for a relaxing afternoon, watch a film our husbands/boyfriends wouldn't enjoy. Good times.

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        kattyeyes Apr 10, 2009 08:03 AM

                                                                                                        That DOES sound like good times. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                          HillJ Apr 10, 2009 08:25 AM

                                                                                                          LOL, kattyeyes, it's nice to have a comrade in good times!
                                                                                                          This topic reminds me of the "healthy" discussions I have with family members who believe hand held video games are better for the kids than "vegging" in front of a tv all afternoon. For me, it's the same thing. Call it a distraction or multi-tasking thru the day...we humans crave entertainment. In the right context, striking a good balance..I'm flexible.

                                                                                                          My Uncle is uncomfortable around noise volume of any kind. When he visits we take great care to cater to his comfort level.

                                                                                                        2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                          c oliver Apr 10, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                                                          Right, but you're probably not yammering away all the way through the movie because it's part of the gathering. Like watching a game. It's not background noise. I certainly lean more towards Passadumkeg's philosophy. I watch more tv than he does but some of that is because my husband likes more. It basically comes on about 6pm and will be on til he comes to bed. But our house is big enough that I can leave the den and read, talk on the phone, read CH (!!!), whatever. And TiVo is great because we never watch just whatever is on. I've gone weeks when he's not around and not turned it on at all. It's a personal preference totally. As I've said, tv is on my list of things I do but it's quite a ways down the list.

                                                                                                        3. re: c oliver
                                                                                                          q
                                                                                                          queencru Apr 11, 2009 05:15 AM

                                                                                                          I just don't think it's appropriate to dictate to my guests that they can't have the TV on if that's something that makes them comfortable. I just don't want to be that hostess people complain about because she's so strict about having the tv off, no music (I don't have a stereo, so that's not really a possibility), etc.

                                                                                                          1. re: queencru
                                                                                                            MMRuth Apr 11, 2009 05:31 AM

                                                                                                            Just out of curiosity - do they ask for you to put the TV on?

                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                              q
                                                                                                              queencru Apr 11, 2009 05:46 AM

                                                                                                              Certain people do. I am not the type who has the TV running on the background, but the people who ask for it on are those who always have it on at their houses.

                                                                                                            2. re: queencru
                                                                                                              c oliver Apr 11, 2009 07:38 AM

                                                                                                              I dictate what they're going to eat at my house which maybe I shouldn't do??? Maybe I should serve an all-you-can-eat buffet? I have never had a dinner guest ask if they could turn on the tv while we're eating, nor before or after. I can't even imagine such a scenario. I didn't invite them over to watch tv - and that would be fine if I wanted to. I invited them for dinner. It helps that we don't have a tv in the living or dining areas. They'd have to go out to the den and leave the group.
                                                                                                              PS: Try Pandora if you want stereo-less music. I love it!

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                q
                                                                                                                queencru Apr 11, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                I think it's because I have better cable than they do, quite honestly. I have a laptop that doesn't have great sound, so even Pandora isn't an option. I use it for myself, but am too cheap to buy speakers.

                                                                                                3. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                  HillJ Apr 8, 2009 12:20 PM

                                                                                                  Technology is at our disposal... today's television with Internet access including I-radio channels, pay per view, built in dvd players, radio that is listened to thru a mini laptop PC and PC's that play both television, I-radio, S-radio and packaged programming. So if you've got a movie/radio/tv channel "on" you are using some form of tech to enjoy it. The volume button is a joy!

                                                                                                  I draw the line at mp3's and iPods at the table. Background entertainment at a low volume, no issue.

                                                                                            2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                              q
                                                                                              queencru Apr 7, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                                                              I agree completely. If my friends feel more comfortable with it on, then I will happily turn it on. In most cases it is just background noise or we may be watching a cooking-related show and commenting about it. Some people just seem to need some sort of noise in the background and I find that my friends have such varying tastes in music that no one even attempts to go that route.

                                                                                          2. Peg Apr 7, 2009 10:55 AM

                                                                                            I don't have a TV - but I often read while eating alone.

                                                                                            1. mrbigshotno.1 Apr 7, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                                              When the kids were growing up we ate at the table at least for supper, no backround TV or radio, maybe some light backround music once in awhile,table cloth or nice placemats that my mom made. Even took the phone off the hook on Sunday's during dinner. Now it's in front of the TV with a folding TV tray getting pissed off at the news.
                                                                                              Don't ask me why.

                                                                                              1. pikawicca Apr 7, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                Novel idea: When we eat dinner, we listen... to each other. This is our time to share news, argue politics, plan trips, solve the world's problems, etc. If I've cooked something new, we also tend to minutely critique what works and what could be improved.

                                                                                                1. l
                                                                                                  lgss Apr 7, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                                                                  We rarely watch regular TV (1-2 hours per week) but we do borrow a lot of DVDs from the public library, including some of TV series: Due South, Monk, Dr. Who, Torchwood, Living with Ed as well as movies. We generally watch these while eating.

                                                                                                  I close my eyes during some of the scenes but would do that whether we were eating or not. I think we feel less guilty about not getting other things done if we combine the activities and we tend to not eat as fast as we would otherwise. When I finish eating or if we happen to watch while we're not eating I usually have some hand sewing project upon which I'm working.

                                                                                                  1. greedygirl Apr 7, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                                                                    Watching TV while having dinner is actively disapproved of in our house unless you're on your own. We usually eat at the dining table, chatting, listening to music, sometimes the radio. It feels wrong somehow to eat in front of the TV, although we might occasionally if we've ordered a pizza or a curry and plan to watch a DVD.

                                                                                                    1. Paulustrious Apr 8, 2009 12:42 PM

                                                                                                      I took the wall out between our family room and the kitchen. I enjoy eating while watching. However, I do not like the TV on while cooking - under those circumstances it is the radio.

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious
                                                                                                        MMRuth Apr 8, 2009 12:52 PM

                                                                                                        That's interesting - I keep wishing we had a tv that I could watch while cooking.

                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                          c oliver Apr 8, 2009 01:46 PM

                                                                                                          I have a little flat screen, LCD that mounts under a kitchen cabinet. It also has am/fm radio. When I'm cooking, we're sometimes watching tv in the den so when I go in to check on things or if I'm alone and cooking I can have it on.

                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                            kattyeyes Apr 8, 2009 06:40 PM

                                                                                                            We have a flat screen mounted on the sunroom wall that can flip into the kitchen (so we can watch while cooking/cleaning up OR while eating in the sunroom). We have a 3-seater "bistro table" there and we rarely eat in the dining room unless we have more than three people over. ;) I highly recommend it if you have room for a similar setup.

                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                              MMRuth Apr 9, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                                                                              I don't have room for that either (see other post about microwave!) unfortunately.

                                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                Paulustrious Apr 9, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                Absolutely off thread here....

                                                                                                                I suggested to my dentist she install a flat screen TV on the ceiling.

                                                                                                                She's only gone and done it.

                                                                                                                MMRuth, can you cook while lying down?

                                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                  kchurchill5 Apr 9, 2009 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                  My laptop has a swivel hinge so I can flip the keyboard totally underneath. I ended up just putting a small bracket on the wall (decorative) And usually put a nice antique cook book there, but if I am cooking I remove the cookbook and put the laptop up. Instant TV or watch a movie, or show. It was a quick solution. My friend found a small hook from online that hooks on the cabinet and she can put the computer on that.

                                                                                                          2. b
                                                                                                            Bobfrmia Apr 10, 2009 08:42 PM

                                                                                                            This is interesing. I've read through the post, and wasn't sure which to reply to, so I'll just go with it.
                                                                                                            When I cook, it has to be music. If I'm cooking in the kitchen, I prefer something with a nice beat, like Sonia Dada, to just make me kill that diced garlic!
                                                                                                            Blues, Jazz, that's my sous chef.
                                                                                                            Grilling, early Summer, give me Fleetwood Mac. Bob Welch Fleetwood Mac.
                                                                                                            Time to eat, music is done, tv is on. Not really sure why, it's just more comfortable to me. Music takes my attention. TV is more a distraction. I think I try to subscribe to the 20 minutes for your brain to know your stomach is full theory. So, I'll enjoy for 10 minutes, and sit back and be distracted for a bit.
                                                                                                            I'm starting to ramble. Best head over to the beer board. ;-)

                                                                                                            1. coll Apr 11, 2009 01:31 AM

                                                                                                              I grew up with my mother calling TV "the opiate of the masses", and that was when there were only 5 or 6 channels. She was very strict about how much we could watch. I am amazed at everyone's addiction to it nowadays, I guess because of cable TV, but I didn't realize until I read this. All I can say is "wow". Silence is golden to me.

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                                                                hotoynoodle Apr 11, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                wow indeed. tv in our house never went on til dinner was finished and cleaned up.

                                                                                                                i am truly amazed by those who have kitchen tvs on while cooking. how do you chop or saute while watching wheel of fortune?

                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                  HillJ Apr 11, 2009 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                  With our ears, lol!

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 11, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                    Exactly, HillJ! ;) And I already told you guys, not Wheel of Fortune, but House Hunters. "Hi! I'm Susanne Whang!" Actually, we're usually finished with dinner when HH starts, but we're frequently listening to Nightly News with Brian Williams and Jeopardy as we're prepping and eating.

                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                      HillJ Apr 11, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                      Oh HH International is a great program!

                                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                      hotoynoodle Apr 11, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                      um, i always think of radio or music as for the ears and tv as for the eyes. plus i watch tv only a few hours a week, and that's with tivo, so no commercials and only what i want.

                                                                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                        HillJ Apr 11, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                        so now you've learned something new, lol! Some of us watch tv w/our ears!

                                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                        c oliver Apr 11, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                        You chop with your ears?!?!? LOL

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                                          HillJ Apr 11, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                          No, I watch with my ears...I chop with a knife, LOL

                                                                                                                  2. Boccone Dolce Apr 11, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                    If I had my way, we would eat at the table MORE often. It's about 70/30 now, usually the t.v. wins- husband likes it on constantly. I don't. Sometimes we have our coffee and nibble leftovers for breakfast standing around the kitchen island!
                                                                                                                    But we are very loud and when we entertain, the t.v. may be on, but we are ALL over the house eating and talking.

                                                                                                                    When I was single, I would eat either at the computer or in bed watching t.v. and they were never knife and fork meals. They were lonely meals. I don't like to eat alone.

                                                                                                                    1. steakman55 Apr 13, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                      If there is some national or regional major news story (election night; tornado warnings etc) then I keep it on. Otherwise, wife's rule is NO. sometimes I talk her into Jeopardy, but usually she makes me wait until dinner is over. And she is right. Always!

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: steakman55
                                                                                                                        Boccone Dolce Apr 13, 2009 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                        Are you phrasing your request to watch tv while watching Jeopardy in the form of a question? Maybe that would help...
                                                                                                                        ;oP

                                                                                                                      2. NellyNel Jan 21, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                        It all depends on the situation.

                                                                                                                        If I have cooked a lovely meal - no way will the tv be on...the focus is on the food.

                                                                                                                        But for a Saturday take-away and movie - I really enjoying eating in front of the telly.
                                                                                                                        My DH and I always disagree on WHEN to put the movie on.
                                                                                                                        I want to be into the movie and then start eating...but hubby wants to eat before the movie, so as to concentrate. (on each). But this doesnt work for me becasue I am a slow eater, and like to leisurely take a bite here and there throughout the movie....If we eat before the movie - I feel rushed.....
                                                                                                                        Oh - and deinitely no sub-titles while I'm eating!

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