How much is 'a lot'? It's a question that has troubled people ever since we traded in our togas for fixed-waisted pantaloons. (Hungry and smart, we are.)
To some people, 'a lot' is actually a little — like servings of cheesecake that are so small we could mistake them for sticks of gum. To others (read: us) 'a lot' means something entirely different.
We didn't come to our conclusion quickly, as we take decisions involving food very seriously. Many meals were consumed to answer the same manner of question: Is this a lot of pasta? Is that a lot of cheese in our quesadilla? Are you going to eat the rest of your pork loin? Okay, so the last one is a question of a different sort, but you would surprised at how often that comes up.
After watching the "John Adams" mini-series on cable TV, we decided to model our decision-making technique after the Continental Congress. (It helps that they were all fat.) We both made presentations—one of us had a slide show, the other brought props, including a dog that seemed to sleep through his portion of the skit, where he was supposed to represent a strip steak. (Actually, I have just been informed that he was in character. My apologies, my hairy method-acting friend. I wasn't aware that beef snored.)
The TFW braintrust kicked it around, digested our findings, literally and figuratively, and have come to the conclusion that "a lot" constitutes four servings of something. Anything less than that is considered merely a "heaping" or even "healthy" portion.
The most obvious beneficiary of this? Movie theater owners who sell those boxes of candy. Because, after checking many of them out, they come in at a "healthy" 3 1/2 servings, which isn't considered 'a lot' in our world, despite how it so torments our gullets.