A friend gave Charlie and me a stack of Barbara Pym novels and every so often we'll read one. They need to be read rather carefully, because nothing much happens on the surface, but a great deal happens between the lines. When I try to write between the lines, my editors send the manuscript back and ask me to clarify. It takes a deft touch to do it properly.
Pym's books--the ones I've read, anyway--use food and drink to good effect. What someone serves and on what occasion, how one behaves at tea or at table all characterize one's personality, upbringing, status, class and propriety. It's enough to make you pause before inviting anyone over. It's definitely a change from Great-Grandma Goodman, who would put supper on the table and say, "Come and get it, 'fore I slop it to the hogs."