Thanks to Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy for hosting The Revival of Common Courtesy.
According to Greg Reeson of Associated Content, common courtesy isn't so common anymore. I believe that's the focus of this relatively new meme. To remind us of the many ways we can foster common courtesy in our homes, our jobs, and our daily lives.
This week's theme focuses on table settings. Now, no one expects you to be Martha Stewart and set the table perfectly for every meal, but there are general guidelines that are commonly accepted depending on the type of meal you will be eating.
I have included a diagram below for a very formal dinner. When setting your table for something less festive, simply remove the items you won't need, but leave the other items in their original places.
Next is a table setting for a buffet dinner.
Last, I will show the diagram for setting a family dinner. Again, simply remove items that you don't wish to include, and leave the rest as it is in the diagram.
Here is an alternative setting for a lunch or dinner that may better meet your needs.
Just a few more guidelines about table settings:
When to start eating:
Despite what mother told you, culinary experts say you do not always have to wait for everyone to begin - start eating hot food when it is served. For cold foods or buffets, wait for the host to announce dinner, and wait until the head guest starts dishing.
Foods you can get by hand:
1. Bread: break slices of bread, rolls and muffins in half or into small pieces by hand before buttering.
2. Bacon: if there's fat on it, eat it with a knife and fork. If it is crisp, crumble it with a fork and eat with your fingers.
3. Finger meals: follow the cue of your host. If finger meals are offered on a platter, place them on your plate before putting them into your mouth.
4. Foods meant to be eaten by hand: corn on the cob, spareribs, lobster, clams and oysters on the half shell, chicken wings and bones (in informal situations), sandwiches, certain fruits, olives, celery, dry cakes and cookies.
Removing inedible items from your mouth:
1. Olive pits: drop delicately into your palm before putting them onto your plate.
2. Chicken bone: use your fork to return it to the plate.
3. Fish bones: remove with your fingers.
4. Bigger pieces: bigger bones or food you don't appreciate you should surreptitiously spit into your serviette (napkin), so that you can keep it out of sight.
Utensils: The general rule of thumb is to begin with the utensil furthest from the plate and use your utensils working inward.