Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tablescape Thursday

tablescape thursday 

 

 

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.

 

Basic Place Setting

Everyday setting, but I don’t use a bread plate, probably should!

 

 

Informal Place Setting

Informal setting…..looks some what formal to me.

 

 

Formal Place Setting

Formal Setting!

 

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.

Hill's Forms

  • 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.

Barbara

24 comments:

Cher said...

We took my Chinese student worker and her husband out to dinner a couple of years ago and learned all about how to eat slowly and enjoy the meal and the company! The lesson didn't take permanently, I'm afraid. Thanks for the reminder.

The Texas Woman

Kammy said...

Wow, that is alot of rules...lol..
Hugs ~ Kammy

Lindsay @ Peacock Blue said...

This is such a cute post. My mom had me take an Etiquette class when I was young, and its all coming back to me now!

Barb @ GritsandGlamour said...

Some of those 1800's rules were quite funny. Its funny, b/c in the military with all the formal balls and dinners, etc - I used to give a quickie course to anyone who wanted to attend "Basic Table Etiqutte." The first one I did, my hubby said he didn't think anyone would attend. About 10 minutes into the "class" with no one present, I thought - he was right. Then, about 6 sheepishly shy Marines walked in...then another 4 - and after a bit I had a roomful. We had a good time, and from then on I gave this class regularly. So, I hope I have instilled a little mannerism into a "few good men." :-)

This was a great post! Thx for sharing. Barb

ellen b said...

That was fun! I'll need to practice all these different kinds of settings :0)

KBeau said...

Good rules for all of us.

xinex said...

Thank you for the reminder....Christine

debbie said...

DEAR BARBARA,
WE HAVE LOST THE ART OF EATING AND CONVERSATION. I ALWAYS WANT TO STAY AT THE TABLE AND TALK BUT LIFE IS BUSY...HURRY UP...HURRY UP.
PLACES TO GO...THINGS TO DO...THAT IS LIFE.
NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ANY MORE. IT IS VERY SAD TO ME.
WE NEEDED TO BE REMINDED OF OUR MANNERS....I DID NOT KNOW IT WAS OKAY TO EAT ASPARGUS WITH YOUR FINGERS....I HAVE NEVER SEEN THAT DONE...NOR WOULD I.
HAVE FUN.
ONCE AGAIN, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY.
BLESSINGS
HUGS
LOVE
debbie

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Yes - I think we're all guilty of rushing through meals in an effort to get on with the "next" thing! But meals are so much nicer when they include lively conversation and a slower pace - even if it's PB&J's

Dixie said...

I'd like to add one rule to your modern day list...

STAY OFF THE STINKIN' CELL PHONE... WHETHER TALKING OR TEXTING... IT'S RUDE. TURN IT OFF, PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET, AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE PEOPLE AT YOUR TABLE.

Whew! I feel so much better now... now that I've told the lady sitting at the table next to me the appropriate table phone manners... I can resume my meal in peace!

Happy Mom's Day!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

great tips! Happy Tablescape Thursday ~ Susan

Chandy said...

I will definitely try many of these. Except mixing food on the plate. Us Filipinos make dishes meant to mix in with rice, to be mixed in on the plate. ;-) I'm copying this post down. Thanks!

We have rules at our dinner table; we eat together at least once a day, everyday, bless the food first, no bad language ever, we discuss two pertinent topics of the day for conversation starters, everyone participates, we wait our turn, say our P & Qs and we follow the utensils rule (more for me, lol).

Janie's World said...

Thanks for the reminders! I have to say I am guilty of putting my elbows on the table! I love the rule about keeping food out of your whiskers!! hehe! I wish more people would adhere to, "Don't talk with food in your mouth". One of my eldest daughters pet peeves!

marty39 said...

Hurrah for you. I so remember that dinner with the family was manditory in my house and that's when I heard all about everyone's day. All of my children remember these times too and seem to think that's the way things should be. Good manners are always in style and should be adhered to. Great post. Hugs, Marty

Really Rainey said...

I second that.. Yeah for manners! I taught a manners week in my preschool class! Basic stuff but you gotta start somewhere!
~Really Rainey~

Candy said...

Always helpful to revisit good manners. We do lose some of these in our current culture.
Thanks for the reminder.

Happy MOM day to you,
Candy

bj said...

You are so right in that a lot of younger people don't really even know the proper way to act at the table. Of course, once we have children and grands, manners do fall by the wayside. I always tried to teach mine good manners so that they would know how to act at someone elses house. Not to know is so embarrassing.
Thanks for all the good reminders..

A Joyful Chaos said...

Some of the "old" rules are hilarious!. I can honestly say I've never been tempted to eat while wearing gloves.

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

I have an 18 year old stepson who woofs down his food in the fewest bites as possible. I have tried for the past 3 years (since he has lived with us) to change this bad habit without any luck. I told him he is going to choke to death on his food someday if he doesn't change. Too bad manners are not taught anymore. It should be mandatory in school.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Good reminders! :-)

Robin said...

I love your post....
I am one of six children. My parents were very adamant about table manners....all meals were had at the main dining table. When I had my girls, my husband and I instructed them in propper manners and table settings but we were more flexible when it came to things like the occasional meal in front of the TV.
Have a beautiful day.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Momma always tried to teach us proper table manners, no elbows on the table, don't play with your food, don't talk with your mouth full..don't eat too fast, but I find myself guilty of eating too fast and not talking at table either. Growning up in a non-traditional family of GM, Mother and children, Momma worked nights and sis and I were not allowed to talk at Granny's table, Children were to be seen and not heard...we had to eat at a small table in the kitchen alone (Momma worked on Sundays also.) when company came on Sundays.
Then when I went to work, for 38 yrs, in factories you are allowed 25 minutes to eat and usually you have to walk to and from the lunch room and wait in line leaving only abut 10 mins to eat, you learn to "woof" your food down or do without.
I'm afraid we learn our manners from our life style,
Molly

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Thanks for the reminders. I have taught teen etiquette and it is appalling what they don't know about table manners. The way people eat on television doesn't really help! The best teachers of good manners are moms. Hopefully, you have inspired some to keep after it!

Jennifer said...

I love your post about the manners! I teach an etiquette class at church for kids 8 to 14. Sad to say, may kids have missed it because they were older and oh HOW they could use it!
The children really seem to appreciate someone taking the time to guide them correctly with such things. Great job with all of your page! I love it!!!
Blessings!
Jennifer