Anyone who has had the good fortune of eating with monks or nuns at a common trapeza (refectory) will immediately recognize this scene:
Dinner was protracted for nearly an hour, but not by reason of any great profusion of variety of food. It was rather a bad dinner; scarcely better than he would have got at Lord Cooper's infamous table; greatly inferior to the daintily garnished little dishes which he enjoyed at home. In course of time each member of the Boot family had evolved a little store of seasonings and delicacies, all marked with their owner's initials – onion salt, Bombay duck, gherkins, garlic vinegar, Dijon mustard, pea-nut butter, icing sugar, varieties of biscuit from Bath and Tunbridge Wells, Parmesan cheese, and a dozen other jars and bottles and tins mingled incongruously with the heavy, Georgian silver; Uncle Theodore had a little spirit lamp and chafing dish with which he concocted a sauce. The dishes as sent in from the kitchen were rather the elementary materials of dinner than the dinner itself.From Evelyn Waugh's darkly comic novel, Scoop.