Barmecide feasts trace their origin to a tale in the Arabian Nights where a rich prince serves a beggar an imaginary banquet.
With that in mind, I present a vignette from Fat by Jennifer McLagan “Bread and Point”.
While bread and dripping was the threatened punishment for my childhood misdemeanors, it would not have been as bad as “bread and point,” which was a common expression in our family. My grandfather, undoubtedly exaggerating for dramatic effect and to make us understand how well off we grandchildren were, used to tell us that all he had as a child was “bread and point.” And just what was that? It was a slice of bread at which you pointed your knife because you didn’t have either butter or dripping to spread upon it.
We encounter a variation “potatoes and point” as recorded in the Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English edited by T.K. Pratt.
Noun phrase. Also bread and point, bread and think, tatties and point. Humorous. Occasional in Egmont, infrequent or rare elsewhere; unattested under thirty; especially Irish, less educated. Compare pork and jerk. A scanty meal, during which scarce or costly food is only pointed at or imagined. The phrase is also reported in Cape Breton.
Pratt also gives the expression “bread and skip” as in “bread and molasses, and skip the molasses”.
And so for day 1568