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

 

 

Household Tips: Help, An Oafish Guest Spilled Wine on My Tablecloth!

Hello cherished readers, I’ve no doubt that in the course of entertaining friends and family, there has been an instance where someone with a bit of clumsiness knocked over a glass of ‘something’ onto your table linens. One hopes that it was only water…but if it was wine…here is something that may help. *

Firstly, never show by word or action that you are peeved at your esteemed guest. Though your teeth may be clenched so hard you are cracking your crowns, smile and tell your guest that all is well.

When your guests have left, you may then feel free to scream and curse and cry over your Great-Great-Great Aunt Catherine’s linen tablecloth that she sailed across the Atlantic with when she emigrated to our fine country.

This tip is for fabrics that are bit stronger, so please do not use on flimsy fabrics. Boil water, preferably in a kettle for ease of pouring. Cover the stain with salt and set your timer for five minutes. When your timer dings…fasten the stained area over a bowl with a rubber band. I would use as large a bowl as you can find. Put in sink or tub (can be messy!) and cautiously pour the boiling water over stained fabric from about a foot above the bowl. Please do not burn yourself.

Best tidy wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

A word from The Lady:

*this tip has worked for The Lady Hooper-Brackett and her friends. No guarantee that it will work for you is implied. You assume all risk in trying.*

Serving and Eating Corn on the Cob

Summer is coming…and corn will be served.

Cherished friends and readers, as summer approaches we must be prepared for the variety of offerings we will find at outdoor entertainments and barbecues.

Corn on the cob is a delightful side dish that is served only at the most informal of gatherings. The very eating of the corn from the cob can be quite messy, so one would certainly NOT serve it to those wearing their most formal clothes. So how can one graciously consume this summertime staple?

Grasp the ends of the corn cob firmly and rather than eating it in large mouthfuls…be mindful of how things look and eat in neat little rows all the way across the cob. Also, when buttering or salting the cob, do just a few rows at a time. To do the whole cob at once will result in a slippery mass in your hand and quite possibly grease stains on your shirt.

It is proper to cut the corn off the cob with a knife, but a thoughtful hostess will do that procedure for you or send it to be done in the kitchen. Do not attempt at the table or your poor cob might slip from your grasp and make a unholy mess.

Toothpicks become a necessity when serving corn on the cob, so if you are the hostess have them available for your guests. And if you are a guest…remember…no picking the teeth at the table. Retire to the bathroom to do this procedure.

Best corny wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett