Have you ever heard of a “Tiffin?” I knew what they were, but until recently I didn’t know what they were called.
These are Tiffins:
According to Wikipedia this is the definition and derivation of the word “Tiffin”:
Tiffin is lunch, or any light meal. It originated in British India and is today found primarily in Indian English. The word originated when Indian custom superseded the British practice of an afternoon dinner leading to a new word for the afternoon meal. It is derived from the obsolete English slang tiffing, for “taking a little drink or sip”. When used for “lunch”; it is not necessarily a light meal.
I did some more research and found that there is a big business in delivering these meals from the homes to the workers in India by delivery guys called, “Tiffin Wallahs”. They pick up the meal from the wife at home and take it to the job site of the husband so he can eat his lunch. The container they use began being referred to as a “Tiffin.”
If you know anything about me, you know I like to cook, I love good food and I’m a tightwad when it comes to wasting money. So everyday, I pack a lunch to take with me on the plane. I’ve been flying for 22 years or so, and the thought of eating airplane food gives me the “willies.” I’m sure it’s perfectly fine but it gets old after a couple of decades ya know? So I’ll make up a “breakfast” the night before I go to work. Because there are no microwave ovens onboard, only convection ovens, I have to pack things either in metal or foil. And it’s kind of hard wrapping soup in foil. If you’ve seen any of my posts on Face Book about the “next day’s menu,” I tend to take a lot of food with me. I’m built like a thermometer with eyes, but I eat like a horse and I’m starving in the morning. I work the coach galley and I’m slamming carts around, breaking up bag after bag of ice, and lifting twenty pound inserts of sodas. By 8 a.m. I’ve had a workout and would probably eat a seat cushion if that’s all there was.
I’ve avoided any cushion ingestion by packing a good solid breakfast. And it’s usually not “breakfast food” which usually gives my Face Book friends indigestion. A typical “Menu” post is this:
Tomorrow’s breakfast menu is a killer! I just finished making it. It’s browned chicken legs with rosemary in a reduced red wine sauce with onion, tomato, and green pepper. It will be served along side white rice and marinated artichokes. Oh, I’m out of candy bars so I’ll have to make do with some mini-Toblerones from the flight. I’ll pick some up tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s breakfast is Baked Orange Roughy fish, with Salsa, and boiled potatoes. Oh and peaches. Oh and a candy bar.
So as you can see, my breakfast menus aren’t typical breakfast food. When I fly with my friend Doreen, we take turns doing the cooking. The only rule is: you have to cook it yourself. No cheating. I found something at the grocery store called a “Flanera”, which looks like the above tiffins, except that it isn’t leakproof. That became a problem when I was getting to work and hauling my luggage and 9-pound lunch through the airport and security. My friend Mary knew they were called tiffins and I did a bit of shopping around. And Voila! I discovered a website called: “The Happy Tiffin.”Isn’t that just a great name? It’s a really great website with all kinds of different tiffin models and sizes. Very cool for those of us looking to eat better and more inexpensively when we’re at work or away from home. And the best part? Leakproof! Just watch:
Patricia Sund is a Free-Lance Writer residing in Florida with her three African Greys. She has been published in About.com, Bird Talk Magazine, Birds USA, In Your Flock Magazine, Good Bird Magazine as well as numerous websites and newsletters. She is currently doing research for a book titled "Parrot Nation".