Before the large college catering companies like Sage took over, individual dorms had their own kitchens and cooks. Cabot Hall had a wonderful crew of kitchen workers who prepared lunch six days a week and dinner six days a week. On Sunday we had a formal dinner at 1pm and an assortment of cheese and fruit for supper. Our kitchen also served the dorm next door, so they fed about 180 girls a day.
I had grown up on a very bland, unvaried diet. We had frozen vegetables, considered a true step up from the canned vegetables of our parents. We had hamburgers, meat loaf, fish sticks, macaroni and cheese and roast chicken, in a seemingly endless rotation. No one I knew ate much differently. But the cooks at Cabot were local and cooked food with which they were familiar, and they introduced me to manicotti, lasagna, veal Parmesan, fish on Friday, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. I often asked the cook what the food was, much to her amusement.
On Sundays, dinner was a formal sit down meal, unlike the steam tables of other days. Different girls took turns serving, and everyone was expected to be on time. In fact, if one was late, it was necessary to apologize to the dorm parents. I often rushed to get back from church in Boston to avoid that embarrassing routine.
I have always been grateful to those warm Cabot “kitchen ladies”who truly served every meal with love and care. And I only gained the “freshman five,” not ten!