Not only is this a term which describes, literally, thousands upon thousands of delicious meal possibilities — served in just as many different ways — but it is also a common Metaphorical Idiomatic Phrasal-Noun. If you are not familiar with the meaning of those Grammatical Terms, then — by all means — look them up!
Well… If this were a Literal Phrase — (not functioning as a Metaphor ) — Then it could be describing…
A Nice Juicy Steak & A Baked Potato
A Fat Polska Kielbasa & Some Scalloped Potatoes…
Or Whatever-The-Hell This Is Supposed To Be…
So — as stated above, it this were a Literal Phrase — then it could be referring to any of of those combinations. But, the Phrase that I am describing here is the Metaphorical Idiomatic Version which functions as a single Grammatical Unit — as in the statement…
“That’s my ‘Meat ‘n’ Potatoes!”
“Hey buddy! that’s my steak and if you don’t get yer dirty paws off it I’m gonna sock you right in the mug!”
- “That’s the stuff I survive off of!”
- “That’s the stuff that ‘get’s me through’!”
- “That’s what makes up my basic regular sustenance.”
- “That’s the the thing that provides me with a great amount of happiness and fulfillment — and it has been that way for most of my life.”
You see… For many generations (and throughout certain periods of history ) — all around the world… Humans survived off of a rather limited supply of food. It is not-so-much that there was a lack of food available (even though that’s what most history books would have you believe ) — but that Human Beings had grown away from picking berries & herbs — and REALLY got to liking the taste of animals… animals which are slowly roasted over an open flame. Yummm!!! 😛
I‘m not exactly sure how The Potato became “The King Of All Meat-Side Preparations” (maybe ask an Irishman ) — but for what seems like an eternity — we Humans have eaten our slabs of meat with some sort of preparation of potatoes next to it. Which may not be the healthiest choice — but… DAMN it tastes good!!!
This is what we literally survived off of — for so long, in fact — that there is a very large percentage of Humans walking around today (rather slowly I might add ), that still believe that one NEEDS to have some sort of “Meat And Potatoes” in order to survive.
Otherwise, it just doesn’t seem like a full meal — and essentially (they believe ) that one might just starve and die if he or she does not get it… (This of course remains to be a matter of personal opinion and a topic of great debate and discussion. The kind which I really don’t care to join. It is QUITE beyond the scope of this lesson. ) 😎
So when you’re talking to someone — and they refer to some thing (which is not food-like ) as their “Meat And Potatoes” — it probably means that it is some thing or activity that they partake of/in — so much, or so often, that they feel like they would just wither-away and die if they didn’t have or do that thing. On the other hand — if they only had access to that one thing — whatever it may be — for the rest of their lives… they would probably be “As Happy As A Pig In Mud”… (blog post coming soon.) 😉
I Hope that was helpful… And that GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! becomes your “Meat And Potatoes” when it comes to getting information about: Grammar, Lexis, Pronunciation, and Metaphorical Idiomatic Phrases like this one. (I also give a LOT of information about and Training For The TOEFL Exam ) 😉
(Just Remember… “All Things In Moderation”)
Have An Excellent Day!