Father always ate first, alone at the table. Sometimes, when Mother was finished serving him, he’d invite her to sit with him. On these occasions, he would lecture Mother about whatever he felt it was important for her to know. When he was finished eating, he’d invite the children to sit at the table, and Mother would serve us. Once we were done, Mother would retreat to the kitchen where she would enjoy her supper.
If food was abundant, Father would eat until he was sick. On the other hand, if food was scarce, he would only take a few bites of food before calling us over from the fireplace where we would all be waiting for our turn. Mother always made sure that there was plenty for my older brother, while we were relegated to smaller portions. Often he would get meat and the rest of us had to make do with bread, milk and a few vegetables.