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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Can I Fix You A Plate?

Can I Fix You A Plate?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Can I fix you a plate?”  I hear this at Mrs. C’s family gatherings a lot.  I don’t know if it is particular to her family, or if it is an Italian thing.  These are gatherings where food is buffet style, and by food, I mean FOOD.  There is lots of food, meat, chicken, pasta, stuffed shells, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed relatives, and it is all really good.
The first time I heard the expression I heard someone say,
“Foods on…can I fix you a plate?”
They weren't asking me, but still I did not even know what that meant.
I asked Mrs. C,
“What is fix you a plate? I've never heard that before.”
“It means get food for you, my mom always got my father a plate, he never got his own food.  It is pretty common.”
“But how would anyone know what anyone might want?”
“You either specify, or fixing a plate would be a little of everything.”
“So, if you go to a restaurant and the waitress takes your order, does anyone ever just say, ‘Fix me a plate’?”
“No…Jerk! It is just an expression at a gathering, usually family, usually buffet.”
“Is it an Italian thing?”
“I don’t know.  It is a my family thing.  I never thought of it.  Lots of the wives will just fix a plate for their husband or even a boyfriend, it is kind of a tradition.
New Years Day we were at Mrs. C’s Aunts shore house for a family gathering.  I heard someone say, “Foods on.”
I asked Mrs. C, “You know what I like, can you fix me a plate.”
“Wrong wife, fix you own plate.”
Damn, so much for a really good tradition.
“OK, I’ll get my own food.”
“While you’re up, fix me a plate.”


  1. Funny!
    DH often fixes me a plate to bring home if he goes to some family thing.
    Believe it's a northern and a southern thing ...

  2. We do it for kids around here. But if the husband is talking or watching football or playing a game, the wife will sometimes ask if he wants her to fix him a plate. Usually doesn't work the other way around, though.

  3. That's a bit cheeky of Mrs C to explain it all then tell you to et your own, "and while you're at it..."
    It isn't entirely an Italian thing, Greeks and Spanish people say it too. I think it is one of those things where family/friend gatherings happen on many occasions throughout the year and there is always a buffet style feast. Much, much better than a formal sit down dinner if you ask me. Latecomers and "hangers-on" are easily accommodated and the leftovers are often parcelled up and sent home with anybody who wants them, or there is a smaller, just immediate family, lunch the next day.

  4. Bet you wished you hadn't asked! I have heard the expression before but can't think where. I guess I'll spend the rest of the day wondering!!

  5. I have heard of that, but I agree with you that it makes more sense to get the portions you want yourself.

  6. We're not remotly Italian but that is a common expression here as well.

  7. Totally cracked up at "wrong wife." She does keep you on your toes.

  8. Although I've heard the expression before, it's not a "thing" in my family. Mrs. C has your number, haha.

  9. I love your wife. I know you do too. She's my kind of gal.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

  10. As a San Franciscan, I know a lot of Italians and as soon as you come into their house, they say that! Even if it is not even time for a meal. I'm not Italian but my mom always served my dad first so I do the same with my husband. It's tradition maybe? I find joy, in "plating" his food. I know I know, how disgusting is that????

  11. If someone fixes you a plate, how do you know that you'll get enough of the really good stuff?

  12. I have heard that expression. I might extend the offer to a hungry toddler but that would be the extent of it=

  13. I've heard the expression but not sure where since in my home it was every man/woman/child for themselves! I do fix Jack a sandwich every once in a while...hmmm, I'm going to tell him next time that I "fixed him a plate" and see what happens. Probably he'll just ask me if I'd make him another one! Stay warm and safe this weekend!

  14. Heh. . . What Patti said about keeping you on your toes. . .

    I dated an Italian girl for a while during college, and I never heard that expression. But her mom, God bless her, is the only person who ever accused me of being 'so skinny; you need to eat!'

  15. I've heard this my whole life. My mom was never big on fixing plates but my aunts and cousins were. I say it, everybody in my family says it. Maybe you're just the odd man out Cranky. :)

  16. hahaha
    joke 's apart this tradition sounds like one is here that mostly women of house get plate to men of houses .
    i am lucky that hubby don't mind if he sees me busy anywhere else he brings food not only for himself but for me too

  17. It was one of those expressions I learned when I came to the States (for some reason, this expression was not taught in English class in my school). But my thinking is along your lines...I'd be afraid I might not get enough dessert if someone other than me fixed my plate!

  18. Your page was @ topmost in the search results and that too as a "Knowledge Panel" when I searched for the meaning of the phrase "fix a plate"


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