A square meal is one that is substantial, satisfying, and balanced.
The phrase came about around colonial days when people took their dinner plates with them. The dinner plate was a square piece of wood with a “bowl” carved out to hold your serving of the perpetual stew that was always cooking over the fire.
The kettle was never actually emptied and cleaned out. New ingredients were simply added to the muck. You always took your “square” with you when you went traveling.
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