Food Friday: Decorum at The Table

Cherished readers, in the past week The Lady has gotten two questions  about dining away from home. Rather than answering them separately, this week’s Food Friday segment answers those questions about how to comport yourself, be it in a restaurant or at a friend’s home.

  1. Should you be a smoker, do not smoke at the table. The Lady is not sure any restaurant allows smoking anymore, so she will say that it is important to remember not to do this when in a friend’s or family’s home.
  2. Should you be in a buffet restaurant or at a party where there is a buffet line, do not fill your plate to epic proportions the first time around. You can always go back for more. (The Lady once saw a patron at a salad bar fill up their plate in an attempt to resemble Mount Everest!)
  3. Your dinner napkin is never tucked into the neck of your shirt. The Lady goes so far as to say that those plastic bibs they give you at New England restaurants when you order lobster are also a no-no.
  4. No fixing makeup at the table, or heaven forbid…combing the hair!
  5. Using at a toothpick at the table is frowned upon.
  6. Do not pick up a dropped utensil or anything else that may have fallen to the floor. Ask your hostess or waiter for a new one. Think how picking up the dirty implement will sully the table with all of the germs from the floor.

Best Dining Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Vintage Emily Post : Table Manners

Cherished readers, on of The Lady’s favorite pastimes is watching vintage and retro videos on YouTube. Today I am sharing a video from the Doyenne of  Etiquette, Emily Post. I cannot help but wish these types of educational film strips would regain popularity in the schools. I hope you enjoy!

Best Thursday Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

 

A Question of Asparagus

Cherished readers, The Lady was pleased to find this electronic correspondence while she sipped coffee this morning.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

I am a busy mom with three young sons. I have tried to teach them correct table manners. During our weekly Try-A-New-Food night meal, I served asparagus to them for the first time. I had instructed them that they could eat the asparagus spears with their fingers, but my husband told me that he felt this wasn’t correct. Do you know?

Signed,

Trying My Best 

Dear Trying My Best,

You ask if I know the answer and The Lady humbly says….why, yes, I do.

You may use the side of your fork to gently cut the soft part of the asparagus spear, impale it on the fork, and then convey it to your mouth. This method is preferred in most conservative circles, especially if the asparagus is quite soft and has been covered in some type of sauce.

If, however, the stalks are firm with the sauce only applied to the tops, you may properly pick the spears up with your fingers and eat the soft edible part down to the tough part of the spear. You would then neatly place the devoured stalks on the side of your plate.

You did not reveal to The Lady how you served this noble vegetable to your family, so I cannot say whether or not your husband was wrong in correcting you. I do commend you most effusively for introducing your sons to new foods. I am sure they are on their way to being cultured gentlemen.

Best Mealtime Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

 

Hostess Hint: Setting The Table For Guests

Cherished readers, The Lady Hooper-Brackett spoke to a group of her friends about planning ahead for entertaining for guests. One easy way to take some stress off is to set the table ahead of time. Years ago a kind older lady gave me this tip and I have used it each time I’ve had guests.

Set your complete table the day before you will be entertaining. Lay out your serving dishes on the sideboard, also. Take clear shower curtains or other clear plastic sheeting and lay it over the settings and dishes. Keeps dirt and dust off and then you merely remove right before the guests arrive.

Incidentally, if you have eager young table setters, a cute way to have them remember where the silverware is to be placed on the table is thus:

Spoon and Knife….5 letters same as RIGHT

Fork…4 letters sames as LEFT.

The Lady hopes that the youth of the world will be as interested in good table settings. It is a nicety that we should all revisit in the civilized world.

Best Table Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett