I'm having trouble finding a particular historical reference.
In On Manly Courage: A Study of Plato's Laches, on page 57, the author implies that Spartan common meals were followed by the recounting of noble deeds. "[Lysimachus] and Melesias are raising their sons in the bracing military discipline of the Spartan syssitia (common meals), and evenings after dinner they tell the boys tales of their ancestors' noble deeds (kala erga) in war and peace." While he doesn't outright say it, in context it seems fairly clear that he means that recounting deeds after meals itself emulates a Spartan practice.
If this is the case, I'd like to confirm it with a primary source. If not, I'd like to confirm otherwise from someone more familiar with Spartan history.
Wikipedia seems to confirm the point, at least for Crete if not Sparta, saying meals were followed by "conversation, which was first directed to the public affairs of the state and afterwards turned on valiant deeds in war and the exploits of illustrious men, whose praises might animate the younger hearers to an honourable emulation." But it does not cite a clear source for that. Plutarch in his Life of Lycurgus says "They used to send their children to these tables as to schools of temperance ..." Aristotle makes several references to common meals in Politics, but a word search did not turn up what I was looking for. I also looked at book four of Athenaeus, which is referenced on the above wiki page, but the Lacedaemonian section didn't have the answer.
Is there a primary source that confirms Spartan (or reasonably comparable, i.e. Cretan) common meals were followed by the recounting of public affairs and noble deeds?
Edit: As sempaiscuba rightly pointed out, the Wikipedia article is quoting Athenaeus after all (found here) - I'd just gone a little cross-eyed and went off looking in the wrong place. But this still refers to Crete of course. As stated above, that works just fine for my purposes, and it may very well be the passage the Laches commentary is obliquely referencing, but I'll leave the question open for another day or two in case anyone has an answer for Sparta in particular.