I don’t have a picture of a beautiful table to show you, so I thought I would write about Table Setting and some Table Manners.
If you are like me, we are sometimes eating on the run and some basic rules just seem to go down the drain. Lately on TV I have heard more comments about American’s refusal to carry on friendly conversation while eating, and a tendency to eat rapidly and get the job of eating over as soon as possible. It is little wonder that indigestion is common among us.
So I have tried to set a more proper” everyday table” and retain some of the “Old Table Manners”.
Setting a table is not as difficult as it seems. The basic rule is: Utensils are placed in the order of use, from the outside in.
Everyday setting, but I don’t use a bread plate, probably should!
Informal setting…..looks some what formal to me.
Probably more important are our Table Manners…..have you been in a restaurant seated next to people who make your dinning uncomfortable because of their manners?
Nowhere are manners more important than at the table. They prevent us from being sloppy and offensive. No where does breeding or lack of seem to be more on display than at the table. I found a list of rules I thought you might enjoy and although some are old, they are still very appropriate today.
A Few Rules
- Do not play with the table utensils or crumble the bread.
- Do not put your elbows on the table, or sit too far back, or lounge
- Do not talk loud or boisterously
- Be cheerful in conduct or conversation
- Never, if possible, cough or sneeze at the table.
- Never tilt back your chair while at the table, or at any other time.
- Do not talk when the mouth is full
- Never make a noise while eating
- Do not open the mouth while chewing, but keep the lips closed. It is not necessary to show people how you masticate your food.
- Never indicate that you notice anything unpleasant in the food.
- Do not break your bread into the soup, nor mix with gravy. It is bad taste to mix food on the plate.
- Never leave the table before the rest of the family or guests, without asking the host or hostess to excuse you.
- Eat soup with the side of the spoon, without noise.
- The fork is used to convey the food to the mouth, except when a spoon is necessary for liquids.
- Raw oysters are eaten with a fork.
- If you wish to be served with more tea or coffee, place your spoon in your saucer.
- Tea or coffee should never be poured into the saucer to cool, but sipped from the cup.
- If a dish is presented to you, serve yourself first and then pass it on.
Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture, 1886
- Never allow butter, soup or other food to remain on your whiskers
- Never wear gloves at the table, unless your hands are for some special reason unfit to be seen.
- Never, when serving others, overload the plate nor force upon them delicacies which they decline.
- Never make a great display when removing hair, insects or other disagreeable things from your food. Place them quietly under the edge of your plate.
- Eat Cheese with a fork, not a knife
- Ask a servant in a low tone for what you want
- Break your bread, do not cut it.
- Eat fruit with silver knives and forks
- If you prefer, take up asparagus with the fingers. Olives and artichokes are always so eaten
- If a course is set before you that you do not wish, do not touch it.
- It is not your business to reprove the waiter for improper conduct; that belongs to your host.
- A gentleman must help a lady whom he has escorted to the table, to all she wishes; but it is improper for him to offer to help other ladies who have escorts
- Use a napkin only for your mouth. Never use it for your nose, face or forehead.
- It is very rude to pick your teeth at the table. If it becomes necessary to do so, hold your napkin over your mouth.
I wrote this page as a reminder that sometimes we just seem to get in to much of a hurry and I know for families today, everyone is busy and have different eating schedules. Our children and grandchildren learn from us. I am learning how little effort it takes to be a little more proper at our table.
I WAS TAUGHT BETTER!
Happy Tablescape Thursday.
Thanks so much to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for working so hard to put this day together.